Heritage walking track

Blue Gum Hills Regional Park

Open, check current alerts 

Overview

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.

Where
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park
Distance
3km loop
Time suggested
30min - 1hr
Grade
Grade 4
Price
Free
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note

Walkers, cyclists and horse riders should remain on recognised tracks and trails as there are areas in the park that are subject to mine subsidence.

The Heritage walking track begins at the remains of an 1870's stone bridge abutments. This short walk takes you along the original Minmi Back Creek rail embankment to Brown’s Colliery No. 2 mine, ending at the large brick tower of an original ventilation shaft from the old mine. The return walk to the carpark along Blue Gum Road passes by the dam constructed to wash coal before transportation.

As you wind through dry eucalypt forest you may see goannas basking in patches of sunlight, hear the hum of cicadas and glimpse birds flitting through the trees. Look out for the grey goshawk, you'll be able to tell it from its powerful yellow legs and talons. This walk offers a wonderful blend of history and nature; everchanging as the bush reclaims the landscape.

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/heritage-walking-track/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

  • 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.

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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

Track grading

Grade 4

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

    30min - 1hr

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Gentle hills

  • Distance

    3km loop

  • Steps

    Occasional steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get 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

    Parking

    Parking is available at the start of the Heritage walking track, about 500m from the main park entry gate.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting fopr you in Blue Gum Hills National Park. Here are some highlights.

    Autumn

    A great time for cycling and walking as it cools down after the summer months.

    Spring

    The weather is beautiful and fresh; perfect for a spot of walking or cycling.

    Summer

    The picnic and barbecue areas offer lots of shade so it's a good time to visit to escape the heat.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    20°C and 28°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    10°C and 18°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    December, January

    Driest month

    July

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    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

    Pets

    You can walk your dog at this location. See other regional parks in NSW that have dog walking areas.

    Dog walking is permitted in this park away from picnic areas and children's play areas. You will need to keep them on a leash at all times and remember to pick up after them.

    Prohibited

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Cessnock (26 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

    Newcastle (6 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

    Warners Bay (2 km)

    Warners Bay offers a great lifestyle with a vibrant cultural precinct. It's a pretty lakeside suburb.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Heritage walking track 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

    Heritage walking track, Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    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

    Tree Top Adventure Park, Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. Photo: Tree Top Adventure Park

    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

    Yellow tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus), Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. Photo: Peter Sherratt

    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

    Animals

    • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

      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. 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.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (4)