If you’re looking for a flat, family-friendly coastal stroll, head down to Redhead in the Lake Macquarie area to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the Ken and Audrey Owens walkway. The walk includes a network of paths alongside Redhead Beach, through coastal vegetation and wetlands.
February 2022 Update: The 500-metre pathway has been completely reconstructed with a new raised deck installed along its entire length. Seats to be installed along the way in the coming months.
We started the walk at Webb Park Playground on Beach Road at Redhead. You can park your car in the car park here and then head off down the boardwalk track towards the beach.
This section of the boardwalk path is cool and shady, with coastal trees growing right over the top of the boardwalk.
Our 5-year-old adventurer loved it, and felt like he was going through a tunnel in the trees. There are some bench seats along the way for a little rest stop.
Watch out for wildlife at the sides of the track. When we visited, we found a turtle right alongside the boardwalk (it did seem a little lost, although there are wetlands nearby). We have also seen snakes on previous occasions, so best to keep an eye out.
As you approach the beach, you will come to an intersecting path. Head right to continue along the main section of the Owens walkway. This part of the walk continues parallel to the beach through sandy dunes.
There are lots to look at here – keep an eye out for birds, lizards and of course beautiful ocean views.
A little further along, there is an access point to the beach. My 5-year-old enjoyed climbing up the big sand dune and then balancing on the half-buried fence railing on the beach.
There is so much space to play and run around here, and there are stunning views north to the headland, and south along Nine Mile Beach. This area of the beach is also an off-leash dog exercise area, so there were lots of dogs about.
There is a tranquil lagoon alongside the beach track, and you can step right up to the water’s edge.
The lagoon is teeming with wildlife – we spotted water birds, tiny fish and huge dragonflies. Back on the main track, there is a lookout over the rushes of the lagoon. There are some bench seats here for a rest stop along the way.
Continuing on a little further, you will come to Cain Street Reserve. There is space here to put down a picnic blanket, and there are plenty of trees to climb.
The last section of the track is a concrete path alongside mangroves and wetlands. There are some wooden bridges over the wetlands, which are great for watching ducks and other water birds.
This was a real highlight of the walk for my son. If you want to access this section without doing the whole walk, you can drive to the end of Cain Street, near the Barnes Lane intersection, and join the path there.
The walk is flat the whole way and is suitable for a pram (except for the path to access the beach).
With the updated boardwalk, this area is now suitable for kids on scooters or bikes and for those pushing strollers. The main section of the walk from Webb Park Playground to the duckpond is about 2.5km return. If this is a bit far for little legs, you could just do a section of the walk from either end.
There are toilets at Webb Park Playground, but we didn’t spot any at the other end of the walk. There is a bubbler located just off Cain Street, at the start of the duckpond section of the walk.
Good to know: There is a car park at Webb Park Playground, or street parking at the other end of the walk at Cain Street, Redhead.
Distance: The main track is approximately 2.5km return.
Dogs: Dogs are permitted on the Ken and Audrey Owens walkway.
Accessibility: Even with the installation of the new boardwalk, this is not designed as a fully accessible walkway. Lake Macquarie City Council advises that though there aren’t any steps along the walkway, there are slopes and inclines due to the nature of the dunes and topography. So Lake Macquarie City Council couldn’t unfortunately bring it to spec with the requirements of a fully accessible walkway.
Bring: Bring water bottles, mozzie spray, suncream and binoculars if you’re visiting in whale watching season. If you want to go down to the beach, you could bring some beach toys and towels etc (but be aware that Nine Mile Beach is not patrolled so it may be best to swim at Redhead near the Surf Club).
Getting There: You can access the walk from Webb Park Playground on Beach Road, Redhead, or at various points along Cain Street, Redhead.
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.