Visitor improvements in Glenrock State Conservation Area

Glenrock State Conservation Area is a 554 hectare state heritage-listed park nestled between the suburbs of Merewether and Dudley in the heart of Newcastle, within the traditional lands of the Awabakal people.

Burwood beach near Hickson street lookout, Glenrock State Conservation AreaThe park conserves a variety of natural and cultural values and is a popular destination for mountain bike riding, hang-gliding, paragliding, bushwalking, horse riding, trail running, orienteering, surfing and many other activities.

A new plan of management has been developed, which includes information on important park values and provides directions for future management. Public exhibition of the draft plan of management closed 6 February 2023.

A subsidiary mountain biking plan has also been prepared. This plan has been developed to ensure the conservation of the park's environmental, cultural and social values while providing new opportunities for environmentally sustainable mountain bike riding.

Visitor improvement projects

As part of the NSW Government's biggest investment in visitor infrastructure in national parks, National Parks and Wildlife Service is delivering a number of visitor improvements in Glenrock State Conservation Area.

A number of projects have been delivered, or are scheduled, in Glenrock State Conservation Area between 2020 and 2023 with a total investment of $2.32 million from the NSW Government.

Upcoming projects

  • Dudley Beach Road re-seal
  • Yuelarbah Walking Track surface improvements are ongoing
  • Additional parking in the Yuelarbah Walking Track precinct – due for completion end of 2023
    • a proposed overflow car park on Scout Camp Road aims to ease congestion at Yuelarbah car park and address pedestrian safety issues. The project will provide improved access to Yuelarbah Walking Track, Glenrock's mountain bike network and the Leggy Loop/Scout Camp Road area, particularly during peak visitation periods.
  • Mountain Biking Upgrade and Maintenance Program – due for completion by mid-2023. Upcoming tracks improvements and estimated completion dates are:
    • Cliff Jumps (March 2023)
    • Double Barrel (March 2023)
    • Seismic (April 2023)
    • Easy Way Out (April 2023)
    • Big Dipper (April 2023)
    • De Luge (April 2023)
    • Six Shooter (May 2023)
  • Repair of the Hickson St Walking Track, damaged at the Burwood Beach interface due to storm damage.

For the latest information on temporary track closures and project updates, refer to Alerts on the National Park and Wildlife Service website.

Recently completed projects

  • Maintenance of Glenrock State Conservation Area mountain bike network – ongoing
    • works included re-establishment, maintenance and repairs to degraded high risk sections and improved safety
    • improved tracks include Seismic, Cliff Jumps, and Kenny's Track between Scenic Drive Easement Trail and Baileys Paddock, BJ's, IT Happens, Double Barrel, Twisties, Big Dipper, Easy Way Out, High Roller, Suess, Snakes and ladders, Hang Ten.
  • Dudley Beach Visitor Facilities Upgrade – completed October 2022
    • improved accessibility and pedestrian safety concerns with construction of a new surf viewing platform, picnic shelters and optimised car park
    • a new southern beach access trail was resurfaced
    • a new staircase and beach access constructed from the northern end of the car park.
  • Yuelarbah Walking Track surface improvement – completed May 2022
    • surface improvement to provide improved access to the top section of the walking track
    • upcoming surface improvements on the lower section of the track are planned for late 2023.
  • Yuelarbah Walking Track Upgrade – completed September 2021
    • improved visitor experience and safety at the section of track below Leichardt's Lookout by replacing timber steps and stairs. The upgrades aim to improve accessibility, reduce maintenance requirements.
  • Maintenance of Yuelarbah Walking Track boardwalk and pedestrian bridge – completed June 2021
    • maintenance and repair work to Yuelarbah Walking Track elevated boardwalk and pedestrian bridge over Flaggy Creek. Works included timber replacement, new screening, oiling and repairs. These works addressed key safety concerns and will ensure ongoing operation of one of Newcastle's most popular walks.
  • Maintenance of Glenrock State Conservation Area mountain bike network – ongoing
    • improved tracks include Seismic, Cliff Jumps, and Kenny's Track between Scenic Drive Easement Trail and Baileys Paddock – completed 2021.
  • Leggy Loop, Debs Parade and Goulburn Street track improvements – completed July 2020
    • improved access for the community addressing safety, erosion and environmental issues.
  • Hickson Street Walking Track Upgrade – completed May 2020
    • improved access via an elevated walkway to Burwood beach and renewed gliding launch pad and event space.

The work will be carried out by qualified contractors and National Parks and Wildlife Service staff. To ensure visitor safety during construction, short-term closures will be necessary.

Notification of the closure date will be on the National Parks and Wildlife Service website.

Residents and visitors can also phone the local National Parks and Wildlife Service office on 4946 4100 for updates on the track conditions.

Prior to construction works commencing, an environmental assessment will be undertaken to identify any likely impacts on the natural or cultural environment. The assessment will outline any measures that may be needed to avoid or lessen these impacts.

Our national parks are managed to protect their unique values and provide for sustainable visitor use and enjoyment. This includes providing and maintaining visitor experiences, infrastructure and facilities.

Glenrock State Conservation Area is a highly visited park that provides access to pristine beaches and spectacular coastal views for recreational users. The high level of pedestrian use and mountain bike traffic is impacting on the tracks and surrounding environment as the soils are susceptible to erosion.

These projects will decrease the impacts on park values, assist with the maintenance of visitor infrastructure and facilities, and improve visitor safety and experience in Glenrock State Conservation Area.