Hunter Wetlands National Park
Just a short drive from Newcastle is Hunter Wetlands National Park, a wildlife sanctuary with family-friendly walking, cycling, fishing and birdwatching.
Read more about Hunter Wetlands National Park
It’s hard to believe Hunter Wetlands National Park, a haven for nature-lovers, is so close to the city of Newcastle. Pop the kids and their bikes in the car and head to Ash Island, where Riverside Park is just the spot for a picnic and easy cycling – or walks if you prefer – through rainforests and mangroves. You can also meander to the old World War II radar station or explore the ruins of Milham’s Farmhouse.
For twitchers, this is paradise. More than 200 species of birds either live in or migrate through the Hunter estuaries. One of the most popular spots for birdwatching is Stockton Sandspit, right next to Stockton Bridge, where shorebirds such as curlews and avocets come to roost and feed.
The diverse ecosystems also mean that underwater life is abundant. Bring your fishing rod or handline and try your luck off the jetty at Riverside Park. You won’t be the only one trying to catch a fish – pelicans, cormorants and sea eagles are often spotted here.
The park covers 2 sections, the Kooragang area in the east and Hexham Swamp / Burraghihnbihng (pronunciation) in the west. Its wetland system is internationally recognised and contains the second largest area of mangroves in NSW.
Highlights in this park
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- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in the North Coast region
Hunter Wetlands National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
02 4946 4100
Contact hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm.
- 1 Wetlands Place, Shortland NSW 2307
- Newcastle office