The Hickson Street walking track in Merewether is simply sublime. Offering panoramic views of Glenrock and the southern coastline, the walk winds its way down to the sandy expanse of Burwood Beach. With rock pools to explore and boulders to climb, it’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy a breath of fresh ocean air.
If you didn’t know it was there, it would be easy to miss this spectacular walk from Hickson Street, Merewether. The walk starts underneath the towers at the top end of Hickson Street. The path isn’t obvious from the road, but if you walk between the towers you will see the track and a sign marking the start of Glenrock State Conservation Area.
The first part of the walk meanders along a dirt path through the bush. Suddenly, the bush opens up and gives way to a huge, panoramic view of the southern coastline.
This section has been beautifully landscaped, with wide sandstone steps leading down to a lookout area covered in artificial grass.
The area is used as a launching spot for hang gliders when the winds are right, but when we visited a few families were sitting enjoying the views with a picnic. It’s hard to describe how magnificent the views are from this spot – the photos don’t do it justice.
PLEASE NOTE: As the gliding pad area was paid for and is used by the Newcastle Hang Gliding and Paragliding clubs, please take care and do not sit on the grass or be in the vicinity of the grass when there are hang gliders/paragliders around. They require space to take off and it is difficult and potentially dangerous for them to stop to avoid children who might run across the launch pad. Please supervise your children and hold on to their hands in this area if hang gliders/paragliders are around.
When you’re finished taking in the views at the lookout, head down the winding steps to Burwood Beach.
The track is well constructed, with sturdy metal steps and platforms making it a fairly easy descent (although toddlers would probably need to be carried).
At the bottom of the hill you will find some information boards about the area, and a picnic bench.
Burwood Beach is a lovely, quiet spot with rock ledges to explore.
When we visited, the tide was fairly low and there were crystal clear rock pools.
If you feel like exploring the rock pools, it would be a good idea to take water shoes with you. Some of the rocks are a bit slippery and there are a few oysters around.
From this point there are a couple of options. The easiest and shortest option is to head back up the hill, the way you came. It is a fairly big hill, so younger children may need a bit of help.
Alternatively, if you are in the mood for adventure and the tide is low, you can walk north along Burwood Beach, towards Merewether. Make sure to check the tides before you set out – at high tide you won’t be able to get around the headland.
If you choose to continue towards Merewether, be prepared to do some rock scrambling! This was fun for the kids and great climbing practice.
After a short while, you will come to a low concrete wall that you can walk across. This is not difficult, but be careful with younger children. On the other side of the wall, you will find the Merewether Baths!
We stopped at the Merewether Surf House Café to have lunch and an ice cream after our adventure, and then walked back up the hill to the car via Lloyd Street (which connects to Hickson Street via a stairway between numbers 16A and 20). It’s a bit of a hike back up the hill, so if you are doing the walk with two adults, it might be easier to send an adult back for the car.
We did the full walk with two 4-year-olds (and had a break in the middle before we headed back up the hill). The full walk is probably best suited to kids aged 4 and up. Younger children could do the Hickson Street to Burwood Beach section with some help, but the track isn’t suitable for prams or scooters.
Good to Know
Distance: The track from Hickson Street down to Burwood Beach is about 500m. The walk from Burwood Beach to Merewether Surf House is about 1.2km (one way). The walk from Merewether Surf House back to Hickson Street is about 1.2km (one way).
Bring: Hat, sunscreen, swimmers, towel, water shoes and drink bottles.
Dogs: Not allowed on this walk
Amenities: There are no amenities at Hickson Street or Burwood Beach. Make sure you bring a water bottle and use the toilet before you leave home. There are toilets and refreshments available at Merewether Surf House.
Getting there: Park on the side of the road next to the towers on Hickson Street at Merewether.
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.