Sitting in a tract of bushland with plenty of walking trails and picnic areas, this council-run reserve has enclosures of native critters: koalas, wallabies, wombats and a cacophonic chorus of native birds. It's a short walk from Kotara train station.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Newcastle attractions

1. Merewether Aquarium

3.52 MILES

Not an aquarium in the traditional sense, this pedestrian underpass has been charmingly transformed into a pop-art underwater world by local artist Trevor…

2. Merewether Beach

3.58 MILES

South of the city centre, this magnificent, wide stretch of sand has excellent surfing conditions and is the home strand of the legendary Aussie surfer…

3. Bar Beach


This popular surfing break, 1.5km south of the city centre, is at the northern end of a long strand that's called Merewether Beach at its southern end.

4. Hunter Wetlands Centre

4.11 MILES

Transformed from a dump and abandoned sporting fields into a magnificent conservation sanctuary, this swampy centre is home to over 200 species of bird,…

5. Newcastle Museum


This attractive museum in the restored Honeysuckle rail workshops tells a tale of the city from its Indigenous Awabakal origins to its rough-and-tumble…

6. Newcastle Art Gallery

4.42 MILES

Ignore the brutalist exterior, as inside this remarkable regional gallery are some wonderful works. There's no permanent exhibition; displays rotate the…

8. King Edward Park

4.81 MILES

This magnificently landscaped ocean-side park offers sweeping views, lots of grass and plenty of shady spots for lounging around. The best views are from…