So many times during this adventure we stopped, closed our eyes, and listened to the wildlife. The birds were definitely a standout. From the familiar cry of the black crow to the chattering sounds of our happy lorikeets. We have admired this piece of land from the water many times, but now it’s taken on a new perspective. The local Landcare group has invested enormously in the rehabilitation of the habitat and development of this stunning foreshore walk. As you weave your way around the tracks and cross over the many bridges, the Awaba Bay Foreshore walk will give you a sense of pride and responsibility. Discovering places like this sure does make you appreciate where we live.
Getting to Awaba Bay Foreshore Walk
You can start at either end of this walk, however, we started our walk at the northern end of The Ridgeway, Bolton Point. In between High Street and Courageous Close on the opposite side of the road, is the entrance to this walk. There’s a small off-road parking area and the start of the trail is well signposted. No dogs, bikes, trail bikes, fires, or camping is allowed. Awaba Bay is one of Lake Macquarie’s State Conservation Areas.
This walk is not wheelchair or pram friendly. It’s perfect for kids, however, there is a fair bit of walking, stairs and inclines. We took around 1 hour and 15 min to complete it. You’ll find plenty of places to stop and rest, although I don’t think kids will want to stop this adventure once you begin.
About the walk
One of the things we love about discovering new places is the adventure of exploring. Originally we thought this walk was a singular track. However, while walking down along the foreshore we could see another track higher up, so we followed this back. You’ll experience so many different habitats and ecosystems along the way. Head down to the foreshore and explore the low track first. Fossick around the shoreline, follow it all the way around as it comes back onto land.
You’ll cross loads of bridges, I think our son counted 11. Stop and enjoy the big rocks on the foreshore and don’t forget to bring your camera. Once you come back onto land from the foreshore, you’ll notice the environment starts to change as you enter the Awaba Bay Wetlands.
Awaba Bay Wetlands
Look out for the Green Waterhole Footbridge. Around this area, away from the lake (before you cross the bridge), you’ll find a semi-circle bench and information signs at the edge of the wetlands. It’s the perfect spot to sit and listen to the frolicking frog. There are many different species of frogs here. Each frog species makes its own sound but you’ll mostly hear the male frogs calling to attract a mate.
Over 17 species of birds have been recorded in this area, including the White-breasted Sea Eagle. We often see one from the boat perched high on the cliff. Get the kids to keep their eye out for one and see if they can spot it carrying any fish.
Hepplewhite’s family shack
If you continue over the bridge you’ll come across a historic shack still leased by the Hepplewhite family. Show respect and quietly pass by, however, if you do see a family member out fishing, as we did, stop and say hello. We had a lovely conversation with a family member, he showed the kids a whiting he’d just caught and shared some history of his childhood and a tale about Jo the fisherman who once lived down by the picnic table.
From here you can continue on up the fire trail to the Bolton Point Nursing Home and the main road, or you can begin your adventure back.
Taking the high trail back
Keep the frog listening area to your left and take the fire trail up the hill. As you approach the top you’ll see a trail off to your right. This is where your adventure back begins. Catch glimpses of the Lake from up high through the canopy, and weave your way along the trail. I absolutely loved the trees and all the variations of colour on the bark. Wattle was in bloom, then we came across a purple mushroom, and yellow fungi amongst the flora.
Follow the trail as it leads down into a fern forest. We found ourselves in disbelief we were still on the same walk with such a different eco-system. This track will take you back to the fork where you headed down to the foreshore at the start.
A family adventure
Whichever walk you explore in Lake Macquarie, always stop and take a moment to appreciate where we live. Respect our special places and protect them for future generations. Remember the Awabakal people and see their middens along the tracks. Lake Macquarie is full of history, let’s make sure our future generations get to enjoy it as well.