Bombala walking track

Glenrock State Conservation Area

Overview

Bombala walking track weaves through bush in Glenrock State Conservation Area, giving glimpses of the ocean, before descending to secluded Dudley Beach.

Where
Glenrock State Conservation Area
Distance
1km return
Time suggested
15 - 30min
Grade
Grade 3
Price
Free
Opening times

Bombala walking track is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

What to
bring
Hat, drinking water, sunscreen
Please note
Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go bird watching or whale watching.

Winding through Bombala walking track in Glenrock State Conservation Area, you can catch scenic Pacific Ocean views. Descending from the ridge you’ll pass open coastal forest. Near Newcastle, it’s a great nature getaway with a refreshing swim at a secluded beach as the reward.

Whales migrate through these waters in winter and spring so you can catch the coastal breezes and look for dolphins from the viewing platform along the way. There’s also a hang-gliding pad off a section of the track, where you can see thrill-seekers launching themselves over the ocean.

Dudley Beach is a great spot for swimming, fishing or surfing. At the southern end of the beach, you can find a fossilised forest in the rock platform at low tide. You can finish your walk here, or continue along the coastline towards Merewether.

Take a virtual tour of Bombala walking track captured with Google Street View Trekker.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/walking-tracks/bombala-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Bombala walking track .

Track grading

Grade 3

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    15 - 30min

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Short steep hills

  • Distance

    1km return

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Well-formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Bombala walking track is at the southern end of Glenrock State Conservation Area. To get there from Newcastle:

    • Head south along City Road/Pacific Highway to Charlestown
    • Turn right onto Dudley Road
    • Follow Dudley Road (eventually becomes Ocean Road).
    • Turn left onto Bombala Road and follow it to its end

    Park entry points

    Parking

    Parking is available at the beginning of Bombala walking track. It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited then.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Glenrock State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    Enjoy exploring the park's mountain biking trails when the weather becomes cooler.

    Spring

    The park's birds will be chirping and singing, look out for them in the trees as you hit the tracks and trails.

    Summer

    The park's beaches are a delight at this time of year – you can surf and swim to your heart's content.

    Winter

    Walk the Bombala walking track for excellent coastal views – you may even spot a whale or two.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    20°C and 25°C

    Highest recorded

    42°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    11°C and 18°C

    Lowest recorded

    1.8°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    November

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    283.7mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Beach safety

    Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Permitted

    Fishing

    A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

    Prohibited

    Cycling

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Cessnock (40 km)

    Some of the finest wines in the world are created in the Hunter Valley and its towns, gourmet food is acclaimed and luxury, boutique accommodations are matched by the most beautiful natural scenery.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Charlestown (4 km)

    Charlestown lies just 12 km south of Newcastle. It's a key town centre at the northern end of Lake Macquarie.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Newcastle (7 km)

    Newcastle is a harbour city surrounded by amazing surf beaches that are linked by a great coastal walk, the Bathers Way. The walk from Nobbys Beach to Merewether Beach takes about three hours and is a great way to explore the city.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Bombala walking track is in Glenrock State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    A rich cultural heritage

    Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: Shaun Sursok

    Glenrock State Conservation Area is the traditional land of the Awabakal people. They favoured the area for the abundance of food, including marine life and bush tucker. The park today contains a number of ancient Aboriginal sites, including campsites, middens and axe grinding grooves. You can find out more about the Aboriginal cultural heritage of this park on an Aboriginal Discovery tour.

    • Leggy Point loop walking track Take in the views of the ocean and coastline all the way to Newcastle from Leggy Point loop walking track, a popular walk for the whole family in Glenrock State Conservation Area.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion to explore Yuelarbah walking track. Designed for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students and focusing on science and technology, investigate the living world this beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area, home to amazing plants and animals.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students focusing on science and technology. Carry out investigations to explore the living world in this beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area.

    Back to nature

    Burwood trail, Glenrock Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

    Glenrock boasts a diverse environment from deep gullies to coastal rainforest, beaches and rocky cliffs. A major feature is Glenrock Lagoon, fed by Flaggy and Little Flaggy creeks to the west. The sandstones in these creeks have resisted erosion, resulting in attractive waterfalls and rockpools for which the area has long been renowned. When you've explored the inland, head for the surf at Dudley, Burwood and Glenrock Beaches.

    • Leggy Point loop walking track Take in the views of the ocean and coastline all the way to Newcastle from Leggy Point loop walking track, a popular walk for the whole family in Glenrock State Conservation Area.
    • Rockpool ramble: Glenrock On this school holidays adventure, uncover the mysterious world beneath the rocks at Burwood Beach in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle. For kids 5 years and up.

    Stride, ride, or glide

    Cyclist in Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: Shaun Sursok

    Glenrock is magnificent for mountain bike riding, with 14km of single track and 20km of management trails in the northern half of the park. The mountain bike tracks wind through open forest and woodlands and provide access to Burwood Beach, Leichhardt's lookout and the waterfalls. If you prefer to travel on foot, there are excellent walks including the Yuelarbah track, part of the Great North walk from Sydney to Newcastle. Horse riding is also permitted on some trails. Experienced hang gliders have a choice of two launching pads within the park and will enjoy stunning views of the Newcastle coastline.

    • Bombala walking track Bombala walking track weaves through bush in Glenrock State Conservation Area, giving glimpses of the ocean, before descending to secluded Dudley Beach.
    • Glenrock mountain biking trails Spend the day riding your mountain bike on the trails in Glenrock State Conservation Area near Newcastle. There are rides to suit all levels, and even the kids can ride.
    • Yuelarbah walking track Yuelarbah walking track is a great day walk within Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle. It features a lookout with scenic views, waterfalls and places to picnic.

    Wildflowers and wildlife

    The Leggy Point Loop track, Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

    Glenrock State Conservation Area boasts a diverse range of plant life, over 70 plant species per hectare. Take advantage of this nature wonderland with a relaxing bushwalk, and catch a glimpse of threatened wildflowers - including pink bells, coastal bush peas, and white-flowered wax plants - dotting the area with vibrant hues. Glenrock State Conservation Area is also home to wildlife such as bandicoots, bats and gliders.

    • Bombala walking track Bombala walking track weaves through bush in Glenrock State Conservation Area, giving glimpses of the ocean, before descending to secluded Dudley Beach.
    • Nature diary: Glenrock Have you ever thought about keeping a diary recording what you've discovered when you're out and about in nature? Find out more on this guided tour in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle.
    • Rockpool ramble: Glenrock On this school holidays adventure, uncover the mysterious world beneath the rocks at Burwood Beach in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle. For kids 5 years and up.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion to explore Yuelarbah walking track. Designed for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students and focusing on science and technology, investigate the living world this beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area, home to amazing plants and animals.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students focusing on science and technology. Carry out investigations to explore the living world in this beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Humpback whale breaching. Photo: Dan Burns

      Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

      The humpback whale has the longest migratory path of any mammal, travelling over 5000km from its summer feeding grounds in Antarctica to its breeding grounds in the subtropics. Its playful antics, such as body-rolling, breaching and pectoral slapping, are a spectacular sight for whale watchers in NSW national parks.

    • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

      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.

    • Short-beaked echidna in Ben Boyd National Park. Photo: Sharon Wormleaton/OEH

      Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

      One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

    Plants

    • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

      Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

      The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

    • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

      Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (4)

    Bombala walking track, Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer