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Newcastle's Queen's Wharf to Glenrock Lagoon: North End of the Great North Walk

Begin Australia's most accessible bush walk from Newcastle harbour passing an impressive obelisk and historic cathedral
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.5 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  QUEEN’S WHARF TO GLENROCK LAGOON: 7.2 km (easy walk for all)
Start your walk at the Newcastle Queen’s Wharf. Walking south over the... more »

Tips:  This is a lovely walk anytime. Swimming on the beaches is year-round fun and there are also public (saltwater pools) with their own... more »

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Points of Interest

At one end of the Great North Walk you can see the ‘William the Fourth’ and cruise on the first Australian-built coastal steamship — the ‘William the Fourth’. Moored at Queen’s Wharf, available for historical cruises around Newcastle Harbour.

2. Newcastle Harbour & Shipwrecks

More than one hundred ships have been wrecked just here, along Stockton Beach and the Oyster Bank. Many wrecks are now part of the main breakwater, which was begun in 1898. The most famous wreck was the ‘Adolphe’, captained by Mr Layec, was arriving into Newcastle’s port from Antwerp on 30 September 1904. Around 9 am on that day, the two tugs, ... More

This museum recreates the former Castlemain & Wood Bros Brewery in this museum was a major Bicentennial project. Exhibits cover the industrial and technological heritage of the Newcastle region, including its social history, lifestyle and environment. Located at 787 Hunter Street (+61 2 4962 2001). About 1 km from the Great North Walk.

Australia’s only ‘at war’ fort. Built in 1882 on a hilltop on the south-eastern headland, which is at the entrance to Newcastle Harbour. Located just over 1 km east of Newcastle Station that is at one end of the Great North Walk.

5. Ship Inn- Historic wall plaque

The first hotel in Newcastle - the Ship Inn - was built in 1823 at the end of Watt Street. The licensee, James Hannell, moved his premises to this location in 1846. The "Ship" was a famous meeting place for Newcastle power brokers and community pressure groups. For example advocates of the incorporation of the borough of Newcastle met in the... More

Christ Church Cathedral is the largest provincial Anglican cathedral in Australia. It was built in what is now termed ‘Federation Gothic’ style. Anglican worship in Newcastle goes back to 1804 when Governor King instructed Lieutenant Menzies as follows:
‘You are to cause the prayers of the Church of England to be read with all due solemnity... More

7. Historic House Newcastle

Newcastle harbour was sighted by Captain Cook - he wrote in his journal about what is now known as Nobby's head, in 1770 as a ‘small clump of an island’. Newcastle was settled very soon after Sydney because of the discovery of coal near Glenrock Lagoon. Many houses date back to the mid 19th century and some offer impressive views of the harbour ... More

8. GNW Sign Post Shepherds Hill

Shepherd’s Place at the top of Nobbys Road just before you enter the Fort Scratchley. The story is that back in 1801 Lieutenant-Colonel W. Patterson wrote a report referring to the hills south of Newcastle's harbour:
‘Those hills are so much alike to what I have seen sheep feeding on in England that I have named them Sheep Pasture Hills.’
Since ... More

The Newcastle obelisk was erected in 1850 following a storm of protest after an earlier landmark, or rather sea-farers mark, a windmill for flour grinding built in 1819, was demolished from a prominent hill close to the harbour. Ship-owners successfully petitioned for this vital navigation aid to be replaced, resulting in the erection of this... More

10. King Edward Park fountain

This fountain was erected at Newcastle’s main railway station to provide drinking water for passers-by in 1879. With the coming of a town water supply in 1888, this purpose was no longer a reason for the fountain to remain at the station, so it was moved to the beautiful King Edward Park.

11. Bogey Hole

The oldest swimming baths in NSW date from around 1820 when a natural pool was enlarged by convict labour under the direction of soldiers and on the orders of Major James Thomas Morisset, Commandant of the Newcastle settlement from 1819 to 1822. Its original size is estimated as 15 feet (about 5m) long, seven feet (2.2m) wide and six feet (2m)... More

12. Bathers Way

This part of the Great North Walk is known locally as ‘Bathers’ Way’ with excellent community notices about its history and culture. Follow the history of early Newcastle right up to present day whale-watching with the help of these informative signs.

From the top of Cliff Street walkers have fantastic views both east across Merewether Beach and... More

13. Whale Watching

In 2008 the City of Newcastle officially adopted a migrating whale whom they named Wittilliko, which means ‘to sing’ in the Guraki language. Hundreds of humpback whales swim along this part of the coast of eastern Australia every year. In fact, they swim both ways: north from Antarctica, where their main source of food, tiny krill abound, to... More

14. Murdering Gully

The real reason for the haunting name and the true history of Murdering Gully are lost but there are many stories. One says here that a Glenrock coal miner was leaning over a waterfall back there trying to catch water for tea. He overbalanced and fell off the edge. His mates rushed down to find him but when they did find the body hours later his... More

15. Glenrock Lagoon GNW sign post

Lieutenant John Shortland reported coal deposits near what is now called Glenrock Lagoon while pursuing a group of convict escapees in 1797. He landed near the mouth of the Coal River, in the vicinity of what is now Newcastle, and, as its 'discoverer', claimed the prerogative of naming it, which he did so after Governor Hunter.