Rich in history and popular among locals, the Fernleigh Track is a widely held shared pathway, built along a former railway line between Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.
Walkers and cyclists can absorb the history of the track through numerous railway relics. Old sleepers, signage and former stations have been adapted to create interpretational features and welcoming rest areas. Prior to being a railway, the Fernleigh Track was home to the indigenous Awabakal people for an estimated 6000 years.
Travelling from the wetland environment of Belmont past an ancient sand dune system, through quiet forests and into urban Newcastle, the track takes a spectacular journey through various coastal environments.
Facilities along the pathway include numerous access points, public toilets, drinking fountains and parking, with cafes and local shops close by.
Why not explore the full Fernleigh Track or try one of the five main sections;
Belmont to Jewells – 3.3 kilometres: Leading from the landscaped former rail platform at Belmont, the Fernleigh Track begins its journey through a wetland forest of paperbarks and swamp mahogany. This area is particularly attractive in winter when the rough-barked eucalypt trees produce cream-coloured flowers. This trail also features a 200 metre-long elevated timber boardwalk travels over the Belmont Wetland State Park.
Jewells to Redhead – 2.4 kilometres: Predominantly flat, this section continues through the coastal heath environment. Attractive to walkers looking to take an easier paced walk, this trail is exposed to constant sea breezes and features a range of beautiful flora.
Redhead to Whitebridge – 4 kilometres: Commencing at Cowlishaw Street, Redhead the track provides ample ocean views as it steadily climbs up and away. The local shops are also within sight, a handy spot for walkers who are looking to get supplies or take a break.
Whitebridge to Kahibah – 2 kilometres: The stretch from Whitebridge to Kahibah traverses through the leafy forests of Glenrock State Conservation Area. Blue gums provide dappled shade along the gentle downhill slope.
Kahibah to Adamstown – 3.6 kilometres: Starting at Burwood Road, Kahibah this short track consistently slopes downhill, continuing through Glenrock State Conservation Area and crossing Little Flaggy Creeks. Home to many interesting animals, walkers can keep an eye out for possums, bandicoots, echidnas, rosellas and more.