Hunter Wetlands Staff Login

Activities - discover, play, eat, shop; a fun way to support your wetlands centre!


Canoeing *

Experience the magic of wetlands from the water as you explore picturesque Ironbark Creek in your own two or three-person canoe. Paddle your way along the meandering 2km trail to the coastal rainforest shelter for a tranquil picnic lunch.

*Must have closed in shoes. A hat, sunscreen and insect repellent are strongly recommended.


Grab a bucket and net and discover the critters that live in and around our wetland ponds.  The magic combination of mud, bugs and water add up to make this is one of our best-loved activities. 

Orienteering- A Great Way To Discover The Hunter Wetlands Centre

Orienteering is a great way to get fit  and enjoy the natural beauty of the wetlands. It is a sport for all ages and abilities. It combines map reading, decision making and finding your way to checkpoints (called controls).
We now have an updated and marked out Orienteering Course. The course is based on a specially designed topographical map courtesy of Newcastle Orienteering Club.
Use our course as preparation for orienteering in the bush by trying out our permanent course.
When using our course, a compass is not essential. Comfortable exercise clothes, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and a drink bottle are recommended.
Go at your own pace: walking, jogging or running or a mix of all three.
Compete against yourself or others or just use it as a family outing in the great outdoors.
Visit the controls in a set order or any order of your choosing as you move around the grounds and record the relevant bird or animal name at the bottom of the map.
The only cost is the entry fee to the site - $5 general entry ($2 children in school holidays). Ask at Reception for the orienteering flyer, the map is inside.
- Download the Hunter Wetlands Orienteering Flyer
For further information about all things orienteering check out the NEWCASTLE ORIENTEERING CLUB website

Segway Tours

Discover the wetlands with the fun of a segway tour.  Go to Segway Tours for more information 


Our wetlands support a huge diversity of animal life year-round including birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and frogs. Some of our most popular residents include the Magpie Geese, Freckled Ducks, Egrets and much more.    They are all a vital part of the unique ecology of our site.

Click through to our online guides to learn more about our wetlands.

For prices and conditions Click here

Walking/Bike Trails *

Extensive walking and bike trails criss-cross the 45ha Hunter Wetlands Centre site. All of them are graded ‘easy’ walking and riding—how far you go is entirely up to you! Don’t forget to keep your eyes wide open for the fascinating array of birds, animals, reptiles and plants that make these wetlands such a unique and interesting part of the Hunter’s ecology.  Check out our hand-carved totem poles along the way—all uniquely designed to represent the animals, plants and natural interactions of each different habitat. Please keep to the tracks to protect our wildlife and reduce your impact on our site. Peddle around the Wetlands - bring your own bike. We no longer have bikes for hire.
*Must have closed in shoes. A hat, sunscreen and insect repellent are strongly recommended.

The five main trails are:

Sensory Trail:

Head towards the dam and demonstration ponds; before the boardwalk stop, listen, look, smell and feel on the Sensory Trail.

Freckled Duck Enclosure:

 Visit the Freckled Duck enclosure to see one the world’s rarest ducks. Often referred to as the ‘dinosaur duck’ these endangered, ancient proto-ducks came before ducks, swans and geese in the evolutionary chain. The males have bright red bill markings during breeding season.


From the Freckled Duck enclosure take the path between the Melaleuca Swamp and Moorhen Swamp; turn left and at the aboriginal heritage totem pole junction turn right and travel along the boardwalk which takes you over the Wetland Reed Marsh – a truly magical spot!  Head towards the end of the boardwalk and turn left and make your way along the Canoe Trail to the BBQ and picnic facilities at BHP Billiton Pond. Enjoy the fantastic view.

Egret Tower:

Climb the Egret Tower for a ‘birds eye’ view into the canopy of the Melaleuca Swamp.  In summer this haven for wetland birds attracts four types of Egrets which breed here in their thousands.

Rainforest Shelter: 

A more energetic walk/ride to the outer limits of the site; an ideal place to stop and rest or have some lunch.

ReptileTalks & Daily Bird Feeding

Magpie Geese feeding daily at 10.30am. Reptile talks weekends at 12.30pm and weekdays by prior arrangement. 

Guided ecotours*

We conduct a range of guided activities—including wetland walkabouts, canoe tours and bird watching—for a wide variety of groups, from wetland experts to local preschools. Hunter Wetlands Centre would love to create a wetland experience for your group of six or more people.  And don’t miss our special regular events. 
 *Must have closed in shoes. A hat, sunscreen and insect repellent are strongly recommended.

Wetlands Explorer

A fun activity for kids - collect your map from reception and follow the trail. In school holidays enter your completed form in the weekly draw for a prize pack


Discovery Playground

Don’t miss our fantastic and unique children’s playground—we guarantee that young wetland explorers will love it! Ideally situated adjacent to the BBQ shelter and picnic facilities on the far side of the BHP Billiton Pond, this modern playground is great for kids of all ages.


Spoonbill Cafe is open from 10am to 2pm daily

Picnics and BBQs

Hunter Wetlands Centre is hard to beat for a family picnic or BBQ.  Take advantage of our numerous picnic and BBQ facilities You can use our BBQ's for $5.00 hire (to cover the gas used - just advise reception that you plan to use the BBQ so the BBQ can be unlocked for your use) or  reserve the main BBQ area (for a small fee of $25) for those larger gatherings. 



Our Hunter Wetlands Centre Giftshop is stocked with a fantastic range of  eco-gifts from both local and national suppliers including local wetland art and Australian wildlife toys and books.  A great spot to look for birthday presents for those hard-to-buy-for kids and adults!










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