Belmont Wetlands State Park offers short, family-friendly walks through beautiful coastal bushland and wetlands. It’s a fascinating walk as a bushfire destroyed one of the walking tracks in August 2019. Now reopen for visitors, it offers an insight into the way our resilient Australian bush recovers and regenerates after a bushfire.
There are many walking trails through the Belmont Wetlands State Park, stretching from the main entrance off Kalaroo Road at Redhead, through to Belmont Lagoon. This article focuses on two of the short walks which are suitable for younger children – the Wildflower Walk, and the Gilbey Loop Walk. Each walk offers different scenery and things to look at.
The Wildflower Walk
To access the Wildflower Walk, park alongside the Fernleigh Track on Railway Crescent, and head south-west along the Fernleigh Track towards Belmont. A short way along the track you will arrive at the start of the Wildflower Walk (which is signposted and heads to the right of the Fernleigh track).
The Wildflower Walk was originally planted by volunteers and park staff with over 40 species of native flora. However, in August 2019, a bushfire tore through the park and destroyed the track.
Thanks to the hard work of park staff and volunteers, the walk has now re-opened and offers an amazing insight into the impact of bushfire and the regeneration of the land.
Despite the fire, many of the native plants and flowers have bounced back and can be seen along the track in between the blackened tree trunks.
Traditionally, the wildflowers were at their peak in spring – so there may be even more to see in the coming months.
The Wildflower Walk is about 1.5km one way. It’s an easy, flat walk, but is quite sandy – so probably not the best for strollers.
There is an optional ‘Blackbutt Loop’ along the way, which leads to a couple of huge old Blackbutt trees.
The Blackbutt Loop is only about 240m long and is a nice diversion on the walk back.
The Gilbey Loop Walk
The Gilbey Loop Walk offers very different scenery to the Wildflower Walk. The start of the walk meanders through beautiful coastal bushland, and into lush vegetation with green ferns and incredible, tall eucalypts.
As you get a little further into the walk, you will enjoy serene views of the Jewells wetlands.
I did this walk with my 5 year old son, who absolutely loved it.
There are some ups and downs along the track (definitely not suitable for a stroller), and it is a little bit tricky to work out which way to go in some parts – so take your sense of adventure with you.
The Gilbey Loop Walk is only 1km, so it’s a good length for pre-schoolers and up. This walk is accessed near the main entrance to the Park. The start of the walk can be a bit tricky to spot – once you have parked your car you need to go back out the driveway entrance, and the start of the walk is to the left of the entry road.
Good to know:
Distance: Wildflower Walk – 1.5km one way; Gilbey Loop Walk – 1km.
Bring: Sunscreen, insect repellent, hats, water bottles (although there is a bubbler at the Railway Crescent car park) and your sense of adventure.
Dogs: You can take your dog with you, as long as they remain on the lead and under your control at all times. Make sure you take dog bags to clean up after them.
Getting There: The main park entrance is off Kalaroo Rd, Redhead. Parking is available on Railway Crescent or just inside the park entrance off Kalaroo Rd, Redhead.
For more information, visit the Belmont Wetlands State Park website.
Alex moved to Newcastle with her family in 1998 and has called Newcastle home ever since. Alex is a mum to two busy boys who keep her on her toes. She has worn a few different hats over the years but is currently working part-time as a practice manager for an engineering consultancy. Alex loves travel, indoor plants and exploring rockpools at the beach with the kids.