Lockdown is still upon us. Current COVID-19 regulations limits us to exercising in our local government area (LGA) or neighbouring LGA if it’s within 5km of our house.
During outdoor exercise time, take your dog on an adventure and try a walk you haven’t done before. We’ve put together a collection of our favourite dog-friendly walks in the Newcastle LGA.
Just remember to show courtesy to other path users, always walk your dog on a leash unless you are in a leash-free area, carry poop bags and always pick up after your dog.
Bar Beach to Merewether
This beautiful coastal walk is a popular one. It starts at Bar Beach where there’s plenty of parking. It’s a flat, easy walk until the walk heads up the hill to Dixon Park, where it becomes flat again towards Merewether. Keep an eye out for dolphins. There’s a local pod that swims between Merewether and Newcastle Beach. During whale-watching season you can spot whales off the coast. Stop at Dixon Park reserve and let your dog have a run leash-free. Leash free times here are sunrise to 9am and 5pm to sunset.
Distance: 1.95km one way
Blue Gum Hills
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park at Minmi/Fletcher is a lovely large bushland park which was rehabilitated from its open cut mining site into a community park. There are some great walking tracks throughout the park including the easy 2.5km Heritage Walking Track which takes you past coal mining infrastructure. Along the way you’ll spot the large 1870’s brick tower of an original ventilation shaft from the old mine. The dirt paths wander through bushes and trees and you can hear birds chirping away. On-leash dogs are permitted away from picnic areas and children’s play areas.
Distance: The Heritage Walking Track is 2.5km
A former rail line with a tunnel, the 15 kilometre Fernleigh Track is a popular walking/cycling path connecting Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. It has multiple entry and exit points, which means you can tackle as little or as much as you like – from a quick stroll to a longer adventure. Controlled dogs on a short leash are permitted on the track away from picnic areas and children’s play areas. The track is dotted with points of interest, including natural and historical information, and shady benches. To abide by current COVID-19 regulations, turn back at Lake Macquarie City Council border at Kahibah.
Distance: 15.5km one way
Dogs on-leash are allowed on the grassed areas and walkways in Jesmond Park. A large, serene park in a bushland setting, you’ll see the beautiful Jesmond Rose Garden at the front of the park and you can follow the signposted walking tracks all the way up to the John Hunter Hospital, although it is uphill so a good level of fitness is required.
King Edward Park
For a more challenging walk try a walk around King Edward Park. With spectacular views of the city and coastline, you’ll pass manicured gardens and the beautiful King Edward Park Rotunda. You may even spot some whales during whale season. At the top of the park is a great leash-free area where you can throw a ball or frisbee for your dog or rest while taking in the stunning views.
Nobbys Breakwall Walk
Head out to Nobbys Breakwall. It’s a flat, paved walk from Nobbys SLSC to the end of the breakwall. Along the way you’ll see views of Newcastle Harbour, Stockton sand dunes and out to the ocean. Keep an eye out for seals as you’ll sometimes spot them on the rocks. After your walk let your dog have a play at Horseshoe Beach. On weekends, you can walk with your dog up to Nobbys Headland. It’s open from 8am to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Distance: 1.5km one way
Stockton Foreshore Walk
If you want a longer walk, follow the Stockton Foreshore Walk. North of the harbour, the Stockton shared walk/cyclepath stretches from Stockton Bridge all the way around the peninsula to the Stockton breakwall carpark. You’ll get fantastic views of Stockton Bridge, the harbour and Nobbys Headland and the path runs through the Ballast Ground off-leash area. At the breakwall end of the path is Pitt Street Reserve, another huge, shaded off-leash area.
Distance: 7km one way from Stockton Bridge to Stockton Breakwall
Stockton Shipwreck Walk
To see reminders of Newcastle’s maritime history, take your dog for a walk along the Shipwreck Walk along the northern breakwall in Stockton. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, many ships were shipwrecked as they tried to navigate entry into Newcastle Harbour. Today, it’s a fun walk combining history with scenic views.
Park in the car park at the end of King Street, at the start of the breakwall. After your walk, if you follow the path south from the carpark you’ll be in Pitt Street Reserve and your dog will be able to have a run and play in the leash-free area.
Throsby Creek Walking Loop
Take your dog for a wander around Throsby Creek through the suburbs of Carrington and Maryville. What was once treated as a stormwater drain, Throsby Creek is now a thriving place filled with natural wildlife and people. Start your walk at Carrington Foreshore. There is a large, grassed area fronting Throsby Creek that is perfect for dogs and puppies to have a leash-free run before and after your walk. Head west along Throsby Creek. Along the walk you can take a shortcut through the mangroves. If you continue along the walk you’ll walk around to Maryville.
Distance: 2.5km from Carrington to Cowper Street Bridge, Maryville
Wallsend to Glendale Tramway Track
A former steam tram route, The tramway track has a steady shallow 3% gradient which was necessary for steam trams. Keep an eye out for horses, ducks and the occasional kangaroo. The track starts at the corner of Cowper Road and Lake Road in Wallsend and finishes at Frederick Street in Glendale. To abide by current COVID-19 regulations, turn back at Lake Macquarie City Council border at Glendale.
Distance: 3.9km one way
Also, check out Where to Let Your Dog Off Its Leash in Newcastle.
Meg was born in the Newcastle area and grew up around working dogs. She is Mum to two energetic children, six chickens and an eight-year-old kelpie collie cross named Jasper. Jasper’s favourite activities include long runs, swimming and chasing kites.