About this walk
This walk covers part of Tomaree National Park.
Be mindful that the bus back to Newcastle leaves very infrequently. Make sure you don't get stranded in Nelson Bay without transport.
Thanks to Nick Breen for his help documenting this walk.
It takes about 8 hours to complete the full 28 kilometre walk, with plenty of breaks and photography stops.
A brisk walker can do this much faster, but consider that there's a lot to see along the way.
Getting there and back
Get the train and bus to Nelson Bay using transportnsw.info. Plan your return trip from Nelson Bay at transportnsw.info.
Along the way
From the bus stop follow Donald Street past the carpark.
Turn left at the intersection with Stockton Street.
Cross Government Road and continue down the steps to the harbour.
Follow the path along the harbour to the right.
At Neil Cross Rotary Park, continue along the side of Victoria Parade.
Turn left at Little Beach and follow the path through the park.
At the intersection to the lighthouse, follow Beach Road to the right.
Continue past the holiday park and cross the reserve past the gate to the beach.
From the end of the reserve, follow the beach to the right.
Switch to the footpath along the beach about halfway down the beach.
At the end of the beach, cross the car park and find the gate to Tomaree Mountain.
Optionally, from the carpark follow the walking track to Tomaree Mountain.
Follow the signs to the summit, or optionally the gun emplacements.
Folow the loop around the summit of Tomaree Mountain and return down the staircase.
From the carpark, follow Zenith Beach Loop Road to the left.
At the second carpark find the trailhead to the Tomaree Coastal Walk.
Follow the firetrail past the side trails to the beaches.
Cross Box Beach Road and continue along the firetrail on the other side.
At the intersection of trails, turn left down Ocean Beach Trail.
Follow Ocean Beach Trail to the dunes.
Climb the dune at the end of the trail and continue towards the Fingal Spit.
Resist the temptation to cross the Fingal Spit and turn right to follow the beach to the surf club.
Follow the trail off the beach at the surf club.
Optionally to halve the distance, follow the bike path right from the surf club back towards Shoal Bay.
At the corner of Marine Drive and Government Road, don't follow the road to the right, but continue straight on along the firetrail instead.
The firetrail end on on Kerigan Street. Continue straight on down this street, following its curve to the left.
Kerigan Street joins Fingal Street and this leads back Nelson Bay's harbour. The bus leaves from the parking lot behind the arcade.
Turn left past the surf club and follow the footpath along Fingal Beach.
Follow Marine Drive left along the beach.
Enter Barry Park through the gatre on the left side of Pacific Drive.
Follow the sign down the boardwalk on the right side of the park past the toilets.
Continue along the trail and across the boardwalk.
At the intersection follow the trail left past a low fence.
Follow the trail markers down the coastal walk.
At the waste water treatment plant, cross Boulder Bay Road.
Follow the trail past the waste water treatment plant on the other side.
Continue past the two fire trails intersecting the trail.
Follow the coastal walk markers down the trail.
At the end of the trail at the carpark for Big Rock, follow the the track left to the beach.
Follow Big Rock Trail to the ocean.
Return back down the trail to the carpark.
From the carpark follow the 4x4 part of Big Rocky Track away from the beach.
Continue past the second carpark for normal road vehicles.
Enter the gated Skid Pan Trail on the right.
At the intersection turn right down the Anna Bay Boreline.
Follow the left fork to continue down the Anna Bay Boreline.
Before the steep hill, turn left to coninue following the Anna Bay Boreline.
Take the intersecting Meteorological Station Trail left.
At the fork follow the Meteorological Station Link Trail left.
Follow the sandy trail around the bend.
Immediately after the bend take the intersecting trail to the left.
Cross the Gan Gan Powerline Trail and continue up the narrow bushtrail.
The bushtrail ends at a trailhead along Tallean Road.
Follow Tallean Road to the right around the suburban street.
Take the staircase on the left side of Tallean Road down Talmora Lane, past the cemetery.
Turn right after the cemetery and follow Stockton Street.
Follow Stockton Street left at the next roundabout towards the shops.
Turn left at Donald Street to find the busstop back to Newcastle.
What to bring
- Check the national parks website for possible detours, closures and restrictions.
- Install an OpenStreetMap app for Android or iOS and preload the area.
- Download the GPS data if your device can import it.
- Print out this map and get a better one from a visitor information centre if possible.
- Be sure to leave enough charge in your phone's battery for emergency calls.
- Bring plenty of water, comfortable shoes, a hat and SPF 30 sunscreen.
- Also bring a light windbreaker/raincoat in case you get caught out in the rain.