Blue Gum Hills bush regeneration
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park
Are you a history buff? Do you enjoy gardening? Volunteer with Blue Gum Hills Landcare group and help clear the way for native vegetation in Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, near Newcastle.
- Bush regeneration, weed and pest management
3rd Saturday of every month
- Heritage walking track, Blue Gum Hills Regional Park
Help stop weeds from invading this historical environment on the NSW North Coast. During this volunteer activity, we’ll work together to clear the site for the next planting, and make sure these new plants are surviving.
While we’re removing weeds, you’ll get to see the heritage old rail corridor that serviced the JA Brown collieries in the late 1800s. We’ll talk about open-cut mining, and how it degraded native bush in the area in the mid-1900s.
The Blue Gum Hills Landcare group has been clearing massive weed infestations (largely lantana) along the old rail corridor for over a decade. As a result, Heritage walking track has been transformed into a pleasant walk in the park. Featuring trees that are up to 4m high, with understorey plantings and native vegetation.
As we move along the track, you’ll see the section of the rail corridor where pit ponies would have pulled the coal hoppers. You might even catch a glimpse of the lyre birds or glossy black cockatoos that frequent the area. After working for about 3hrs, we’ll share some morning tea with a hot cuppa.
Remember to wear closed shoes, a long sleeve shirt and pants. Bring a hat, sunscreen, a raincoat, snacks, lunch, drinking water and gardening gloves. Tools and a hardhat are supplied.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/volunteer-activities/blue-gum-hills-bush-regeneration/local-alerts
- in Blue Gum Hills Regional Park in the North Coast region
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park is open 7.30am to 8pm during daylight savings (7.30am to 5pm at other times), but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about Blue Gum Hills bush regeneration.
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
The Heritage walking track starts from the gate at the end of the main carpark in Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. Veer right at the oversized tyre and then take the well-graded dirt footpath to the left, just after you pass the large dam.
Park entry points
- Blue Gum Hills parking See on map
Parking is available at the start of the Heritage walking track, about 500m from the main park entry gate.
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - medium
Blue Gum Hills bush regeneration is in Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Learn about the area's mining history
From the middle of the 19th century right up to the 1980's, much of the area of Blue Gum Hills Regional Park was used for mining, mostly Newcastle's famous black coal. You will see evidence of the park's mining history in its unusual topography, undulations and scars are still a feature of the landscape. There is so much to discover about the park's mining history, start by walking the easy Heritage Track which features an historic 1870's chimney, one of the few in good condition in NSW. This park is a fascinating work-in-progress, undergoing rejuvenation and transformation into the beautiful bushland setting much of the park already enjoys.
- Heritage walking track Join the Heritage walking track for a glimpse into the park’s mining history. This short walk follows the old rail embankment to a ventilation shaft from the 1870s.
- Minmi Cemetery walk Take this gentle walk to Minmi Cemetery, a charming historic site that dates back to the coal-mining boom of the mid-1800s.
Stacks to do
The local community has already discovered just how much there is to do at Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, and everyone’s welcome. You can make the most of the wide open spaces, pretty bushland setting and picnic and barbecue facilities, to spend the day bushwalking, cycling, orienteering, picnicking, horse-riding, playing ball games or simply reconnecting with the bush.
- TreeTops Newcastle Challenge yourself on a high ropes course in the forest canopy at TreeTops Newcastle. Adults and kids can choose from over 100 elevated obstacles including rope ladders, wobbly bridges and zip lines.
- Village Green picnic area With picnic table, barbecues, mountain biking trails, an adventure playground and bushland setting, Village Green picnic area is ideal for families and large groups.
The kids will love it too
For the kids there’s a maze, a cool mine-themed playground, easy bush tracks for biking and burning off energy and the flying foxes and rope challenges of the TreeTop Adventure Park. And while they’re getting back to nature, see if they can spot the yellow tailed black cockatoo, with its huge, bulbous bill and bright yellow ear feathers and tail panel, and the masked owl, 50cm long, with a flat, heart-shaped face encircled by a dark border.
Plants and animals you may see
Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.
Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)
The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.