Best Cessnock LGA Walks To Do With Kids

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Get out of the house during lockdown and go for a walk with your kids. We’ve put together a collection of family walks in Cessnock and the Hunter Valley. We’ve chosen a variety of walks. Some are best for families with younger kids while others are best suited to families with older kids or with extensive bushwalking experience.

Bridges Hill Park

Go for a walk around Bridges Hill. Park down near the playground and head for a walk up the steps to the top of the hill. From here you can walk around the top of Bridges Hill.

Suitability: Kids will need to be able to walk up steps to top.
For more information, read our article about Bridges Hill Playground.

Poppethead Park

Go for a walk in Kitchener Heritage Poppethead Park. Look for the poppethead used in the Aberdare Central Colliery. This historical site is now a recreational area with a playground, picnic areas and a walking trail. You can walk around the dam on the Poppethead Dam Walk. Be prepared that some of the trail can be underwater after it rains so wear gumboots.

Distance: 1.6km flat walk around the dam
Suitability: Good for kids. Not so good for prams if it’s muddy.

Yango Walking Trail in Yengo National Park

You can do various walks in Yengo National Park. Go for a hike on the Yango walking track. It’s a 6km former logging track through pristine wilderness, including rainforest, and offers outstanding views. The track is a bit rough. Might be best suited for families with bushwalking experience or older kids.

Distance: 6km loop
Suitability: Bit rough and steep on sections. Grade 4 NPSW.
For more information, read the NPSW website about Yango walking track.

Circuit Flat Walking Track in Yengo National Park

Another walk in Yengo Park is the Circuit Flat walking track. This 5.5km loop goes from Mogo campground to Circuit Flat Bridge – the fourth-oldest bridge in Australia, built by convicts in 1831. The track undulates steadily through coastal heath and dry sclerophyll forest and is considered a Grade 5 walk as it has occasional steepness with hills. Might be best suited for families with bushwalking experience or older kids.

Distance: 5.5km loop
Suitability: Bit rough and steep on sections
For more information, read the NPSW website about Circuit Flat walking track.

Finchley Cultural Walk in Yengo National Park

Enjoy some scenery on your walk. Follow the Finchley Track to the Finchley lookout. This short cultural walk gives people a real understanding and respect for one of the best Aboriginal sites in Australia, the Finchley Aboriginal engravings.

Distance: 1km return
Suitability: Easy walk with no steps
For more information, read the NPSW website about Finchley walking track.

Rock Lily Walking Track at Olney State Forest

Enjoy a rainforest walk on the the Rock Lily Walking Track. This walk starts from The Basin camping area and features rock lilies, geebungs and ferns. The track starts in a deep rainforest gully and passes by numerous rock overhangs as it climbs into dry eucalypt forest, then follows a short section of the Great North Walk back to the start. Dogs are allowed in NSW State Forests.

Distance: 1.5km return
Suitability: It’s a short walk with an incline to the escarpment before the track descends.
For more information, visit the Forestry Corporation website.

Pines Walking Track at Olney State Forest

For a short walk in The Pines Picnic Area, head out for a stroll along Pines Walking Track. The track follows Dora Creek and you can see pockets of moist eucalypt forests, rainforest and a lovely rock pool. Dogs are allowed in NSW State Forests.

Distance: 1.1km loop
Suitability: Easy
For more information, visit the Forestry Corporation website.

Abbotts Fall Walking Track at Olney State Forest

Head out for a wander at Olney State Forest. You can walk along Abbotts Fall Walking Track. It starts from Pines Picnic Area, in dry eucalypt forest and winds its way downhill through moist gullies of bluegum and rainforest, to Abbotts Falls Lookout before climbing out again into the drier forests around the Pines Picnic Area. Returns via German Point Road. Dogs are allowed in NSW State Forests.

Distance: 7.3km return
Suitability: Grade 4 walk. Limited signage.
For more information, visit the Forestry Corporation website.

Boarding House Dam Walk in Watagans National Park

Enjoy a walk with kids starting at Boarding House Dam picnic area in Watagans National Park. You can enjoy a bush walk, crossing over a beautiful wooden bridge to an amazing 120m green moss wall that overlooks and leads you back around to the other side of Boarding House creek. The entire circuit spans only 700m in total, making it a perfect nature walk for all ages, particularly the little ones. Boarding House Dam picnic area and walk is in northeastern section of Watagans National Park. Note that there is a current safety alert that Watagan Road is not suitable for 2WD vehicles.

Distance: 700m circuit
Suitability: Suitable for those with younger kids. However, please supervise as there are muddy parts and steps.
For more information, read our review about Boarding House Dam walk

Gap Creek Walks in Watagans National Park – CLOSED

Get out for a day of bushwalking in the Watagans with a selection of walks and lookouts. Head to the Gap Creek Day Use Area. It marks the start of the Gap Creek Falls Trails. The track begins with the Gap Creek Walking Track which is a 20 minute mostly flat return walk. It provides a taste of hiking through the Watagans without too much effort. In some spots, the path narrows and you’ll have to climb over vines while in other places, the trail opens up. You’ll come to a fork in the trail near a large overturned tree. You can go left and continue on the Gap Creek Falls walk (450 metres) which is a steep walk on the way back or go right at the tree to the Gap Creek Forest Walk (400 metres).

The three walking tracks from Gap Creek picnic area are currently closed due to storm damage and a planned major upgrade to Gap Creek Falls walking track. Work is currently underway and will continue until the end of October 2021.

Distance: Various distances
Suitability: Gap Creek Walking Track is flat. However, Gap Creek Falls Walk requires effort to walk down to falls and then back up.
For more information, read our review about Gap Creek walks

Turners Walking Track in Watagans National Park

A short but steep walk, the Turners Walking Track in Watagans National Park is best for families with older kids or bushwalking experiences. It’s an old logging track with wilderness views and great birdwatching. Starting from Boarding House Dam picnic area, this challenging track winds steeply through rainforest, before giving way to open eucalypt forest.

Distance: 1km one way
Suitability: Steep and challenging. Grade 4 walk.
For more information, read the NPSW website about Turners walking track.

Great North Walk in Watagans National Park

The Great North Walk runs from Sydney to Newcastle but there’s a section which runs through Cessnock LGA which falls within the Watagans National Park along Georges Road in the northern section of the park. Here, you can enjoy astonishing views to the north from Narrow Place lookout out over Quorrobolong to Ellalong, Cessnock and Kurri Kurri and a section of bushland alive with wonderful birdlife. The walk is best suited to experienced hikers.

Distance: 10km one way
Suitability: Classified as Grade 5 with limited signage and short steep hills.
For more information, read the NPSW website about Great North Walk Watagans National Park

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