Exploring Glenrock

Exploring Glenrock


Just 10 minutes from the Newcastle CBD (and walking distance from Merewether Beach if the tide is low), Glenrock State Conservation Area is THE place for outdoor enthusiasts.

Take your mountain bike and explore the scenic cycling trails, walk the rainforest and waterfall tracks, launch a hang glider off the cliffs or enjoy a spot of fishing.

Here's how to best explore Glenrock:

Family friendly trails

Burwood Trail (1.5km return): Enjoy a tranquil forest setting filled with spotted gum, ironbark and white mahogany trees. It’s the perfect walk for families, birdwatchers and history buffs. This easy trail begins on Scout Camp Road, above the Scout Camp (track entry opposite the water tank). 

Hey horse riders...You can use this trail too! It joins into a network of other horse friendly trails in the park.

Yuelarbah Trail (approx. 5km return): This popular track is pedestrian only and a great short trail option. Commencing from the Yuelarbah Trail car park, the picturesque track leads you along Flaggy Creek, through wet gullies and coastal rainforest. On the way to Glenrock Beach you’ll pass two waterfalls and Leichhardt’s lookout which offers excellent views over Glenrock Lagoon.

As the forest gives way to bush scrub, round the last few corners where you’ll end up at the Lagoon itself with the beach a short walk beyond. Standing on this beach, you’d never know that world known and local hot-spot Merewether Beach is just around the next head or that the CBD and suburbia is a short drive away. Return via the same route to appreciate the bush from another perspective.

Did you know: This track is part of the Great North walk that stretches 250km from Newcastle to Sydney.

Hickson Street Lookout

The short walk through the bush from your car will place you at the stunning Hickson Street Lookout – a popular spot for weddings and sunset picnics and a launch pad for gliding-sports.

The relatively new staircase will take you directly down to the beach – woohoo! Just try not to think of the thigh burn waiting for you when it’s time to go back up those scenic stairs...

Mountain bikers

With 14km of purpose-built bike trails and 20km of linked management trails in the northern section of the park, Glenrock is THE place for mountain bikers.

The tracks follow a windy ride through open forest and woodlands and, in combination with the trail network, provide access to Burwood Beach, Leichhardt’s lookout and the waterfalls.

The trails are graded – green circle for beginners, blue square for intermediate and black diamond for advanced, so there is bound to be one that suits your level. 

Serious trails, for those up for the challenge

Snakes and Ladders: Get your legs pumping as you ascend the Snakes and Ladders Trail - this popular track is narrow and winds back and forth and joins Gun Club Road (access from Baileys Management Trail).

Hills, hills, hills: Find your way to Gun Club Road or the Baileys Management Trail and do some hill sprints. And by hills, we mean hills!

The Witch Loop: Coming in at just under 10km, this loop is called the ‘Witch’ for what we consider obvious reasons. We’re impressed that someone discovered and refined it and that Newcastle Flyers took the time to create a map of the route for other keen hikers and trail runners.

Getting into Glenrock
  • Via Hickson Street: Park the car and enter the bush near the water tower (the track is almost directly beneath it) and this will take you to the beautiful open space and launch pad that overlooks Glenrock. From here, descend the stairs to the beach and begin your adventure. Alternatively, take the entry about 50m to the right of the path mentioned above to get into the guts of the park.
  • Via Merewether (beach): If the tides are on your side, you can walk from Merewether Beach directly to Burwood Beach and approach trails from there. Always check the tides and plan your trip so you don’t get stuck at the other end.
  • Via Burwood Road, Kahibah: Perfect for the Yuelerbah Trail. This car park can get busy during peak times so be sure to look out for pedestrians and cyclists. If you’re looking for the Scout Camp Road entry, turn left not far after the Yuelerbah Trail car park.
  • Via Gun Club Road, Highfields: This entry point is popular with mountain bikers and it’s not uncommon to see this parking area busy by 7am on a Saturday morning! If walking into the park from here, keep an eye and ear out for upcoming riders.
Our tips
  • Let someone know where you’re going and take your mobile phone
  • There are no drinking fountains in Glenrock so take enough water (and snacks!) for your adventure
  • Mountain Bikes are permitted on most tracks - keep an ear open for them so you aren’t caught unaware on the sometimes-narrow paths
  • Dogs are not permitted in Glenrock State Conservation Area. If travelling with your puppo, check out our 5 pet friendly parks and beaches blog
  • Want to learn more about the area? You can't go past a guided tour with the team at Geo Trail and Nature Tours.