Starting from a small park in Charlestown you will follow the Great North Walk through a few reserves and along a Burwood Beach, past the heads to Merewether Beach. Exploring bush around Glenrock lagoon on the Yuelarbah Track, including the Leichhardt’s Lookout are highlights. From this lookout the track leads down past the edge of the lagoon then along the sandy beach, past Merewether ocean pools. This walk describes a side trip to the scout campsite beside the lagoon for those who have organised to camp there.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Charlestown Park track head to Merewether bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Charlestown Park track head to Merewether bushwalking track
Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
2 hrs 45 mins
Short steep hills (3/6)
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Moderate level of bushwalking experience recommended (4/6)
Forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)
Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
4.5km of this walk has gentle hills with occasional steps and another 2.1km is flat with no steps. The remaining (1.4km) has short steep hills.
Quality of track
3.5km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 2.2km follows a smooth and hardened path. Whilst another 2km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely and the remaining 170m follows a clear and well formed track or trail.
Around 4.6km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 3.3km is clearly signposted.
6km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience and another 1.4km requires some bushwalking experience. The remaining (1km) requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience.
Around 7km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 1km is affected by forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather events that may impact on navigation and safety.
Around 6km of this walk is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats), whilst the remaining 2.4km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).
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'Charlestown Park', by the Pacific Highway in Charlestown, offers a picnic table, shelter, barbeque and war memorial. Charlestown Park is also known and signposted as 'Anniversary Grove'.
End of Milson Street Path: Easy - Wheelchair accessible - road
Length = 751 m
Time = 13 mins
Climb = 6 m
Descent = -20 m
From Charlestown Park, this walk follows the 'Newcastle' sign across the Pacific Highway at the traffic lights. The walk then turns left to cross 'Dudley Road' and follow the GNW arrow post along the foot path towards the service station on the Pacific Highway. Just before the service station, this walk turns right to following Charles Street gently downhill for about 100m, then takes the first right onto Smith Street, and then immediately turns left into Mulbinga Street. The walk follows Mulbinga St gently downhill for about 300m, turning left onto Moto St heading gently uphill for about 100m before turning right onto Milson Street. This walk follows Milson St gently downhill for about 40m, until coming to the end of the street. where there is a small timber footbridge (on the left).
End of Milson Street
Int of Flaggy Creek track & Guna Street Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 707 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 2 m
Descent = -15 m
Veer left: From the end of Milson Street, this walk follows the GNW arrow post down over the grass and across the timber footbridge. The walk continues through the forest, and over the next 150m, heads along a few sections of timber boardwalk and crosses a small bridge with a handrail, to then cross Flaggy Creek at a metal bridge with handrails. Just after crossing the bridge, this walk turns left, following the GNW arrow post at the three-way intersection. This walk follows the track, keeping Flaggy Creek to the left for about 500m, until coming to an intersection  with Guna Street.
Int of Flaggy Creek track & Guna Street
Yuelarbah carpark Track: Moderate - bushtrack,footpath,footpath
Length = 1.73 km
Time = 31 mins
Climb = 31 m
Descent = -42 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this follows the GNW arrow post across Guna Road then follows the track east, back into the bush. The walk follows the track for about 200m then crosses the usually small creek. The track continues for another 160m and then crosses the now-a-bit-wider creek. The wide track gently winds through forest for about 600m before crossing the creek again on the timber boardwalk and bridge with handrails. The walk then continues to follow the track for a further 170m, to head up the timbers steps and cross a smaller timber bridge. The track continues gently uphill for another 170m, until coming to a T-intersection with the sealed shared Fernleigh Track. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the shared Fernleigh Track footpath gently uphill, initially keeping the railing on your right. The walk follows the sealed path for about 110m to find Burwood Rd and a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights. Here the walk crosses Burwood Rd and comes to an intersection, marked with a 'Great North Walk' sign. Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Great North Walk - Newcastle' sign gently downhill along the footpath, keeping the safety barrier and Burwood Rd to your right. After about 70m, the path leads across a bridge (over Flaggy Creek) and then after another 30m, the walk turns left into the signposted 'Yuelarbah car park'.
Yuelarbah car park
Alt = 63 m
Yuelarbah car park on Burwood Rd, Kahibah is the starting point to a number of walking and MTB tracks within the Glenrock State Conservation Area. There is a sheltered information sign with historical and natural heritage information. There are about 25 parking bays, and a mobility parking bay[fac=8225].
Yuelarbah car park
Int of Yuelarbah track AND Glenrock scoutcamp track Walk: Easy - footpath
Length = 580 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 13 m
Descent = -33 m
Veer left: From the Yuelarbah car park, this walk follows the 'Yuelarbah walking track' sign down along the sealed footpath, between the timber bollards[fac=8226]. The footpath has a handrail on each side and initally zig zags downhill before joining the timber boardwalk. The elevated boardwalk has (1m high) handrails and leads through the bush for just shy of 100m, where there is a small step down[fac=8227] on to the gravel track. The walk continues gently downhill along the wide gravel track for 100m to pass a faint rough track (on the left, that leads to a picnic table [fac=8228]). This walk stays on the main wide path as is gently undulates mostly dowhill for another 400m, then coming to a 3-way intersection, marked with a 'Yuelarbah Track' sign (and track on the right) just before a large foot bridge.
Int of Yuelarbah track & Glenrock scoutcamp track
Int of Yuelarbah track AND powerlines Walk: Easy - footpath
Length = 200 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 6 m
Descent = -14 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Yuelarbah Track' sign down and across the large foot suspension bridge, over Flaggy Creek. On the other side of the bridge, this walk leads gently up to a T-intersection with a wide track. Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the track gently downhill, initially keeping the bridge and Flaggy Creek on your right. The walk heads down along the footpath, past the bench seat and down a few timber steps for about 150m, until coming to an intersection under the power lines, just past the 'Yuelarbah Track' sign.
Int of Yuelarbah AND powerline tracks
Leichhardts Lookout Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 289 m
Time = 6 mins
Climb = 9 m
Descent = -12 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Yuelarbah Track' sign under the power lines and down the timber steps, while keeping the creek on your right. The walk heads past the NPWS post and follows the track for about 60m, to then follow a section of timber railing with views over the waterfall (on the right). Then the walk continues gently downhill for about 130m, until coming to a three-way intersection with a track, marked with another 'Yuelarbah Track' sign (and a bridge visible on the right). Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the rocky track moderately steeply downhill, towards the timber bridge. At the bottom of the timber steps, this walk crosses the timber bridge over Little Flaggy Creek. Here the walk leads up some timber steps then winds moderately steeply up along the track for about 70m, coming to a three-way intersection beside the raised timber platform, signposted as 'Leichhardts Lookout'.
Alt = 32 m
Leichhardts Lookout is within the Glenrock State Conservation Area. This lookout is a timber platform, looking east across Glenrock Lagoon and out to the ocean. Leichhardts Lookout is named after Ludwig Leichhardt a Prussian naturalist and explorer who, in 1842, described the view down into Glenrock Lagoon as well as other important geological sightings in the area. More info
Int of Yuelarbah AND Glenrock Beach Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.26 km
Time = 27 mins
Climb = 47 m
Descent = -75 m
Continue straight: From 'Leichhardts Lookout', this walk follows the track east from the beside the lookout, whilst keeping the valley to your right. The track leads quite steeply down the timber steps and soon passes down between the cleft in the rocks. The walk continues down the steep steps beside the rock face then down the staircase with a handrail. From here, the track continues down the steps for another 150m, crossing two small timber bridges to where the track begins to flatten out. Here the track leads more gently along the side of the hill, crossing 5 more small timber bridges over the next 900m before leaving the dense forest and getting a view of the beach beside the large 'Great North walk' sign. The walk now follows the GNW arrow post gently downhill for about 80m to the large sandy beach, just beside Glenrock Lagoon (on the right), to find a GNW arrow post at the bottom of the vegetated bank (on the left).
Glenrock Lagoon & Reserve
Alt = 5 m
The Glenrock Lagoon is within the Glenrock State Conservation Area and has a rich history. It was named for 'Glen' meaning narrow valley and 'rock' because of the rocky nature of the valley. The site was first occupied by the local aboriginals of the Awabakal Tribe, who were known to roam and hunt in the Glenrock Lagoon, with evidence near the mouth of the lagoon. The Awabakal Tribe had a large sacred cave, which was filled with paintings, however, these paintings are now gone. Glenrock was the site of the first coal deposits found in Australia. Deep in the valley, there are remnants of the early Colliery. Coal was mined at Glenrock for over 100 years - a good example of this is Smelters Beach, just north of the lagoon exit, which contains historic rail tracks in the cliff side. The Scout camp was established here in 1932, with a 99 year lease and continues today.
Glenrock Beach (north of lagoon)
Glenrock Scout Camp Optional sidetrip: Track: Hard - beach,bushtrack
Length = 708 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 15 m
Descent = -9 m
Turn sharp right: From the GNW arrow post, this walk follows the main beach south (while keeping the ocean to your left) for about 70m. There is a possibility of getting wet feet when crossing the lagoon outlet stream, depending on conditions. Once past the lagoon (on the south side), this walk comes to a faint intersection with the scout camp access track (on your right). Veer right: From Glenrock Beach, this walk follows the sandy track inland, keeping the lagoon on your right. After about 280m, this walk passes the 'This is Scout property' sign and then walks over the large grassed area for about 100m to the camping area beside the camp kitchen. From here, the walk continues gently uphill over the large grassed area (towards the cluster of buildings) for about 150m, until passing around a locked chain gate with an 'Emergency Assembly Point' sign, just beside the caretaker's house (on your left). (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then continue straight to continue along this walk.)
Glenrock Scout Camp
Alt = 16 m
Glenrock Scout Camp, off Burwood road and within the Glenrock State Conservation Area is owned and operated by the Scouting Association of Australia. The scout camp is located by a beautiful lagoon and is close to the ocean. The scout camp is a great place to stop and relax, with self guided walks and nature trails available close by. At the scout camp there is a public telephone, locked toilets (available upon request), water and sheltered picnic tables. The scout camp has indoor accommodation available. The Overman's Cottage is a large simple cottage, with sleeping on mattress's on the floor and costs $80/day plus $8/person. Also available is the Mac Crumb Room, which is for adults only, has 8 bunks and has a self contained kitchen and toilet. The Mac Crumb Room costs $80/day plus $10/person. Camping is for Scouts only. Please contact the Hunter and Coastal Regional Office (02 4929 1760) for information and to make a booking. The on site resident is also available (02 49447303). . ' >More info
Glenrock Beach (north of lagoon)
Int of Burwood Beach & Hickson St track Track: Hard - beach
Length = 999 m
Time = 18 mins
Climb = 21 m
Descent = -22 m
Veer left: From the GNW arrow marker, this walk follows the wide beach north, keeping the ocean on your right. This walk follows the beach past attractive cliffs and historical remnants of the coal mine (on the left), then several side tracks, over about 800m to come to an intersection with a timber formed track and information signs(on the left). The walk continues straight along the beach for another 230m until coming to another intersection with a track, beside the sheltered information sign (up the hill to the left).
Int of Burwood Beach & the Hickson Street track
Merewether Baths Track: Hard - beach
Length = 1.05 km
Time = 22 mins
Climb = 43 m
Descent = -39 m
Continue straight: From the intersection (below the information shelter), this walk follows the beach north, while keeping the ocean on your right. The walk soon heads over a series of attractive rock platforms at the base of a large cliff and headland, and after about 1km, comes to the Merewether Ocean Baths. If there is a light to moderate onshore breeze, then you might also enjoy the view of some hanggliders and paragliders flying above. Take care along the rock platforms, especially during high tides and high seas - during particularly high tides this section may become unsafe to pass.
Alt = 8 m
Merewether Baths, located off Henderson Parade in Merewether, have a long history of swimming for the people of Newcastle. The baths are open to the ocean and therefore conditions will be variable. There are toilets, some shelter and seats available here. The baths are open year round (subject to maintenance and cleaning) and are patrolled from 9am to 5pm from 25 September 2010 to 25 April 2011. The current baths were opened in 1935 , to replace the original baths just to the north. Both the original and newer baths are used year round. More info
Merewether SLSC Walk: Easy - footpath
Length = 372 m
Time = 6 mins
Climb = 5 m
Descent = -6 m
Continue straight: From the 'Merewether Ocean Baths', this walk follows the slightly elevated footpath gently uphill, keeping the ocean and beach to your right. The walk continues to follow the footpath for about 300m, passing a large picnic shelter and some bench seats until coming to Swell cafe, under the Merewether Surf Life Saving Club building, just near the intersection of John and Henderson Parades.
Alt = 8 m
Swell cafe is located right on the beach (with the Merewether Surf Lifesaving Club above it) and just off John Parade in Merewether. Swell cafe offers fresh juices, cafe food, a toilet and water. More info
Fire Danger This walk passes Greater Hunter fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago) Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Region: Hunter & Mid North Coast Park feesCamping Current Park Closure information for Glenrock State Conservation Area Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Closed areas: Yuelarbah track is closed from the lookout to the beach until further notice Yuelarbah track is closed from the lookout to the beach until further notice. The bridge midway along the track is deemed unsafe and will remain closed until a replacement of the bridge is completed. Access to the beach may still occur via the management trail and/or the Burwood track and Leggy Point Loop. For more information, please contact NPWS Lower Hunter area office on (02) 4946 4100 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.