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1 Wetlands Place,

Shortland NSW 2307


(02) 4951 6466
Cafe: 0403537211


Discover, play, eat, shop; and support your Wetlands Centre!

There’s always lots to do and see at Hunter Wetlands Centre and it changes with the seasons.

Take a walk or ride your bike around the site; book a tour or go canoeing. Bring your camera and photograph some of our amazing wildlife. Kids can have fun at the Discovery Playground, try dipnetting and meet some of our birds and reptiles. There are also special events like School Holiday programs, Easter Fun Day and art exhibitions.

Eat at our Café, bring a picnic or use the BBQ facilities. Check out our Giftshop.

There’s something for all ages and levels of fitness at the Wetlands. 

NEW: Guided Walking Tours on Tuesdays (10.00am) & Saturdays (10.30am) – see details below)


 Can’t walk as far as you would like but you don’t want to miss out on a wetlands experience? Book a buggy tour!

60 minute tour (includes entry)
$17.50 adults
$10 children (under 16)

20-30 minute tour (includes entry) minimum charge $15
$12.50 adults
$7.50 children (under 16)

Bookings essential
49516466 or email


Everyday at 10:30am our local flock of Magpie Geese get fed. Join us for this unique wildlife experience.


Nature Play

Adventure around Bramble Pond and discover our nature play activity stations. Climb over our 5m lizard, play in the bush house and fly around our bird friends. What will you discover?


Grab a bucket and net, make a gold coin donation and head for the jetty. Discover the critters that live in and around our wetland ponds.  The magic combination of mud, bugs and water add up to make this one of our best-loved activities.

Canoe Hire

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 rainforest shelter for a tranquil picnic lunch.

Canoe Hire (2 hours) is $10 per paddler. $3 for non-paddling child. This does not include Wetlands entry fee ($7.50). Note: Children must be 4 or over to go canoeing!

Canoes are launched between 10.00am and 1.30pm tides permitting (see below)

Bring your own canoe launch fee $10 plus entry.

Closed in shoes are mandatory for anyone going canoeing. Insect repellent, hat, sunscreen and water bottle are strongly recommended. All participants must sign a waiver and undertake a safety briefing before their canoe is launched. Life jackets and a map are provided. 

Our canoe trail is tidal so is not operational at low tide. You can check tides at the Hunter River at Hexham https://tides.willyweather.com.au/nsw/hunter/hunter-river–hexham-bridge.html  to give you an idea of the tide at the Wetlands. There needs to be at least 0.5m of water at low tide for canoes to clear the bottom. If you are unable to access this website phone Reception on 02 49516466 to check tides.

Canoeing is also a fun activity for a group – school groups (over 10 years), OOSH groups or businesses can book our canoes for a great team-building experience.


Check out our resident reptiles in the tanks at the Visitor Centre. Timmy Turtle, Little John the Croc and Kenny, the python and their friends live upstairs in the Visitors Centre. Downstairs you can see Russell and Nudge, the Blue Tongue Lizards, an eel and a selection of frogs including Green and Golden Bell Frogs.

In school holidays we often have a Reptile Ranger on duty so you can ask questions and maybe even get to touch one of our reptiles.

Preschools, schools, OOSH groups, nursing homes and other groups can include a Reptile Encounter in their visit to the Wetlands or book a Wetlands on Wheels visit where we bring the reptiles to you. There is a fee for these services.


Tuesdays 10.00 am & Saturdays 10.30 am (30 – 40 minutes)

Guided walks take visitors on a journey of history and conservation; offer a fascinating look at the flora and fauna of the Hunter Wetlands site; and provide a rich experience to foster a greater understanding of the importance of Wetlands.

Cost: Free with entry fee

Guided Walking Tours for Groups
Groups of 6 or more can book a guided tour. Special interest tours – native plants, birds, photography can be booked – charges apply.
To book a tour email conference_centre@wetlands.org.au


​Open 9:30am – 2:30pm –  Monday – Sunday

The Cafe is now open under new management (Sinclair’s Events).

Come in and relax on the verandah and watch the birds on the pond while you enjoy morning or afternoon tea or lunch – great food & coffee,  peaceful  atmosphere and  friendly staff.

  • Blackboard Menu
  • Special diets catered for
  • Luscious desserts
  • Kids meals and snacks

Book your table today by calling us on 0403537211


With over a thousand birds sighted at the Wetlands every month, there is a different bird to see every visit.

Find out more about birdwatching.


An amazing way to discover our beautiful 45 hectare site, NSW Segway will take you on a Segway journey through varied terrain with lots to see & explore with a trained guide. The Segway Eco Xperience is a unique, sustainable and environmentally friendly method of transport.

Fun, entertaining and unique with the added bonus of a ‘light footprint’. Our Segway Adventures take you ‘off road’ and are suitable for both first time and experienced riders.

For all tour bookings please visit www.nswsegway.com.au or call 0249 437223


Orienteering is a great way to get fit and enjoy the natural beauty of the wetlands. It is an activity for all ages and abilities. It combines map reading, decision making and finding your way to checkpoints (called controls).

Find out more about Orienteering at the Wetlands.


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 Pond, this modern playground is great for kids of all ages.

Venue Hire

What a unique location to hold your next function or event!  Hunter Wetlands Centre has a range of venues available for hire. We’d love to discuss your next corporate function, conference, party, wedding or special event with you.

Find out more about venue hire.


Art in the wetlands is alive and on display through the native fauna and flora that abounds. The Hunter Wetlands Centre offers a unique experience for artists, photographers, musicians – anyone with a creative spirit – to immerse themselves in this peaceful landscape.

Find out more about Arts.


There are so many different ways to volunteer at the Wetlands. Join over 150 volunteers and community groups involved in maintaining and improving the Wetlands today.

Find out more about volunteering.


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!

Walking & Bike Trails

Extensive walking and bike trails criss-cross the 45 ha 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.

Closed in shoes, a hat, sunscreen, water bottle and insect repellent are strongly recommended. 

Guided tours can be booked 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.



Open 7 days, with affordable entry prices, the Hunter Wetlands Centre is a great place for the whole family to visit.