The Great North Walk links Sydney and Newcastle along a 250 kilometres track. It would take about two weeks to walk in one go, but the goal for nine members of the Gloucester Environment Group was to walk the final two sections.
We started at the Yuelarbah trailhead in Glenrock State Conservation Area. Glenrock lagoon embraces the last surviving pocket of coastal rainforest in the area and follows a rocky narrow valley that opens out to the ocean. We saw a variety of sea birds and the remnants of railway tracks, 100 hundred and more years old, from the days of coal mining in the area. Glenrock was Australia’s first coal deposit site.
After morning tea, we continued on along the beach towards Merewether. Time for lunch and to contemplate a dip, but the wind had picked up and it was deemed too cold.
The Great War Memorial Walkway was next. This follows the cliff tops to Strzelecki lookout and provides expansive views along the coastline. It was built to commemorate the centenary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli and the start of steelmaking in Newcastle. Steel silhouettes of soldiers are engraved with names of locals who enlisted in World War I.
We didn’t quite make it to our final destination of Queens Wharf. Having checked out the Bogey Hole bathing pool, built by convict labour in the 1800s, the lure of an ice cream at Newcastle Baths was too strong. Our walk had covered woodland, beach and urban areas and certainly gave us an insight many had not previously explored.
The next walk will be on Saturday, February 16, starting in King George Park at 7.30am, and progressing to District Park and the Gloucester River bank. As part of the Environment Group’s 30th anniversary celebrations we will be viewing the various areas revegetated by the group and discussing the local flora and fauna. Contact Penny Drake-Brockman at email@example.com for details.
An anniversary dinner will be at 6pm, at the Avon Valley Inn on that Saturday. Contact Pippa Robinson on 6558 7428.