Werakata National Park
Lomas Lane, Nulkaba
Escape to natural scenery, enjoy a picnic, bush walk or challenge your skills on a mountain bike.
Werakata National Park in the Lower Hunter Valley is loved by locals. It’s also close to Sydney, which makes for the perfect day trip. There are great cycling and walking trails and in spring they’re lined with purple, orange and yellow wildflowers, like acacias and banksias. There are rare plants here, found mostly in a special section of endangered habitat.
Bring some local Hunter Valley produce to the park and set up at pretty Astills picnic area. Then cycle along Deadmans mountain bike loop or Astills trail, which are both easy, flat and suitable for any fitness level.
Bring binoculars and a camera – you’ll find brightly coloured bush birds flying low enough for great photography. Birdwatchers who come to Werakata are never disappointed; the abundance of food in the park attracts the likes of the threatened swift parrot or regent honeyeater as well as several species of robin.
Astills Park and Trail:
Astills Picnic Area has sturdy tables under towering gums and grassy areas for children to run.
Take about 45 minutes for this easy and scenic 2km bushwalk along Astills trail. This loop walk begins and ends near Astills picnic area, so you can make a day of it and pack a picnic lunch.
Astills trail takes you through important habitat for rare and threatened birds. Local families love the fresh air and greenery which thrives on their doorstep, but bushwalkers and birdwatchers from all over NSW make the journey too. Don’t be put off by the Grade 5 for not having directional signage, you’ll still find this an easy track for all ages.
Some of the birds you’ll spot in the canopy include square-tailed kites and, at night, barking owls and masked owls. Meanwhile, your other friends along this walk will be brown tree creepers, speckled warblers, black-chinned honeyeaters and grey-crowned babblers, so it’s a great place to introduce kids to lots of new birds.
Opposite the Astills Picnic Area, and joins back to Lomas Lane. Enjoy natural scenery, including the endangered Lower Hunter Spotted Gum Ironbark forest. The trail takes approximately 30 minutes with a distance of 2km. It can be walked or cycled but please bring no dogs. Some of the birds you’ll spot in the canopy include square-tailed kites and, at night, barking owls and masked owls. Meanwhile, your other friends along this walk will be brown tree creepers, speckled warblers, black-chinned honeyeaters and grey-crowned babblers, so it’s a great place to introduce kids to lots of new birds.
Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland Walk
Take an easy walk through Kurri sand swamp woodland, a rare habitat full of special plants, wildflowers and trees; a treat for birdwatchers and bushwalkers.
Deep in the heart of Werakata National Park is Kurri sand swamp woodland walk, a great track for keen for bushwalkers wanting to explore an endangered ecological community.
A unique environment within the park, drooping red gums and small-flower grevilleas are a spectacular sight along the walk. You’ll also see acacias, lots of pretty purple common hovea, as well as delicate spider orchids.
This endangered ecological areas consists of local soils and plant species such as acacia and eucalyptus that grow in this district. 2km return and approx 30 minutes. A unique environment within the park, drooping red gums and small-flower grevilleas are a spectacular sight along the walk. You’ll also see acacias, lots of pretty purple common hovea, as well as delicate spider orchids. This walk is is especially beautiful when all the wildflowers bloom in spring. Keep an eye out for kookaburras, swamp wallabies, red-necked wallabies and lots of woodland birds.
Deadman’s Mountain Bike Loop
Continue from Kurri Sand Swamp Woodland Walk and take this 8km track which loops the Park and returns to the Astills Picnic Area. Perfect for a pleasant busk walk or mountain bike ride. An easy, flat ride, flanked by ironbark, spotted gum and flowering shrubs. You’ll likely spot speckled warblers, black-chinned honeyeaters and grey-crowned babblers. Cockatoos, magpies and kookaburras can also be seen along the track and are the perfect accompaniment to this vibrant setting. In spring and autumn, flowers like purple happy wanderer, yellow hairpin banksia, red mountain devil, and the lovely purple thyme honey myrtle splash colour atop the lush greenery.
KEEP IN MIND:
- It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat and drinking water
- Remember to take your binoculars if you want to birdwatch
- Drinking water is not available in this area so it’s a good idea to bring your own
- There is limited/no mobile reception in this park