If you’re looking for a short bushwalk suitable for the kids, why not try the Kilaben Bay Nature Walk in Lake Macquarie? The walk winds through beautiful bush along a wide fire trail, and finishes at the lake’s edge at Kilaben Bay – the perfect spot for a picnic and a play by the water.
The walk starts directly across from Toronto Fire Station on Ridge Road at Kilaben Bay. Young fire truck enthusiasts might be lucky and sneak a peek at the fire engines on the way past. Be careful crossing the road here – it can be busy and the visibility of cars coming around the bend is not great.
The beginning of the walk follows Kilaben Bay fire trail through the bush.
The trail is gravel and is a little bit steep on the descent at the start, but soon flattens out.
Expect to see some big trees in need of a hug and be sure to stop and smell the wattle flowers along the way.
There are a couple of forks in the fire trail. We took the right hand fork each time and ended up at the lake.
The walk was a bit of an adventure when we visited – due to heavy rain the week before there were some MASSIVE puddles along the way.
In hindsight, we should have worn our gumboots. I think the mud made it all the more fun for the kids though, and we got to experience some new ‘wetlands’ that may not have been there the week before!
A little way along the fire trail, you will come to the banks of the lovely Kilaben Creek. This is the start of an area of boardwalks built by the dedicated Kilaben Bay Landcare Group.
The boardwalks make it a nice flat walk in this section – suitable for sturdy prams.
The walk ends at Kilaben Park, on the shore of beautiful Lake Macquarie. This was probably my kids’ favourite part of the excursion.
There is so much fun to be had at the lake – stones to skip in the water, rocks to peek under to check for crabs, trees to climb and wetlands to explore.
There is a park bench here, so it’s a nice spot to sit and relax while you watch the boats and pelicans come and go.
The walk is about 1.5km each way. If you are visiting with younger children who might struggle to walk there and back, you could start the walk at Kilaben Park and walk towards the Fire Station on the flatter section, and then turn around when the kids are getting tired.
Alternatively, if you are visiting with two adults, plan a car shuffle by sending an energetic adult back to get the car while the kids play at the lake.
Good to know
Distance: 1.5km each way
Bring: Water, swimmers in summer, snacks, gumboots if it has been raining!
Amenities: There are no public toilets along the walk, so go before you leave! Nearby toilets at Kilaben Bay Reserve Playground on Toronto Road
Getting There: You can either park on the side of the road near Toronto Fire Station, or at Kilaben Park on Kilaben Road – depending on where you want to start the walk. The walk is flatter at the Kilaben Park end, and more suitable for pram access, although there may still be some bumpy parts along the way where tree roots etc. cross the path.
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.