Family Walks: Yuelarbah Walking Track to Glenrock Lagoon
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If you are looking for a walk to do in the Newcastle area with kids, then take a short drive to Glenrock National Park
in Kahibah. It is a 554 hectare state heritage-listed park, within the traditional lands of the Awabakal people. A popular walk to do in the national park is called the Yuelarbah Walking Track - with the word Yuelarbah
believed to mean “footsteps in the sand” by the local indigenous people.
The Yuelarbah Walking Track
is particularly popular with families as the first 600 meters has a concrete path, making it pram and wheelchair friendly for the first section of the walk. If you walk a section of the track to Glenrock Lagoon/ Beach and walk back, it is just a 4-kilometre return walk - perfect for families with older children who can walk that far (with many steep, uphill sections). There is free parking at the entrance to the walk off Burwood Road in Kahibah, with 10 or so car spaces (including two disabled car spaces) and more parking along the side of the road past the entrance. From the back of the car park, you will see the sign pointing you down the ramp towards a long boardwalk and concrete path. As you walk along, listen out for the beautiful calls of the bellbird and whip bird, as they hop from branch to branch overhead.
Look for the Yuelarbah Walk signage at the back of the car park
A 2 kilometre walk to Glenrock Lagoon and Beach, so 4 kilometres return
My husband, daughter and I visited the national park for the first time in winter 2023 and we were surprised by such a natural beauty, just minutes from local shops and houses. We stopped at Flaggy Creek Bridge and looked down to the small waterfalls spilling over the wide expanse of smooth rocks. Further along the track, we watched locals' "bouldering" up the rocky cliff faces - hanging onto small finger holds in the rock, with a mat underneath to catch them if they fell. The track then became harder to walk along with rock steps and uneven ground before the bridge to Little Flaggy Creek Falls. We walked along in silence, enjoying the peace and birdlife of this popular family walk.
Flaggy Creek bridge
Little Flaggy Creek Falls bridge
It didn't take us long to reach Leichardt's Lookout
, which was a wooden platform with signage explaining the indigenous history, coal mining history and local flora of the area. There was also seating and a view which looked all the way down to Glenrock Beach and Lagoon - our destination.
If you plan to continue past, the lookout and down to the lagoon, be aware that there were steep staircases, rocky paths, Figtree roots to trip over and rough ground, overall. Our daughter is 12, so she was keen to keep going on this adventurous family walk, but I wouldn't recommend it for smaller children as there is a lot to trip over and it is a steep walk coming back up!
View of Glenrock Beach and Lagoon in the far distance from Leichhardt's Lookout
Stop at the lookout and then continue down the steep stairs
The walk down to the lagoon and beach had small bridges, shady canopies, cockatoos in the trees and fig trees towering over the path. It only took us 35 minutes from the car park to get down to Glenrock Beach and Lagoon, so it was surprisingly quick. The beach opened up before us and we couldn't wait to explore around the lagoon and the large pebbles on the beach, which had been washed up on the shore.
If you decide to continue along the Yuelarbah Walking Track, just follow the path behind the beach all the way to Merewether (see here
for details) or you can walk along the beach and around to Merewether Ocean Baths. For us, however, we were happy to have a picnic at the beach, look for interesting pebbles and build a stone tower. Whilst we were there, we were fortunate to see two dolphins glide by the beach, frolicking in the waves.
Remnants of a coal mine railway track and stacked stones at Glenrock Beach
Walk along the beach and look for pebbles and shells
After an hour or so exploring the beach, we then walked back the way that we came - which was a lot harder walking up
the stairs to the lookout! As we walked back, we met a lot of family groups coming down the track and many locals spending time by the river. For the people of Newcastle, Glenrock National Park is a natural beauty which you can explore by mountain bike
If you have some adventurous kids, why don't you go exploring the Yuelarbah walking track this weekend?
* Please note that there are no toilet facilities anywhere along this walk.
* Another way to enjoy the Glenrock National Park is to visit Hickson Street Lookout in Merewether, which has a paragliding pad for taking off and landing.
Spend some quality family time at Glenrock National Park
222601 - 2023-07-16 21:21:24