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1 Wetlands Place,

Shortland NSW 2307


(02) 4951 6466/ 4951 5974
Cafe closed Sunday 19 June 2022 : 0403537211


HWCA is a not-for-profit, self-funded community owned and operated organisation. Your entry fees are essential to help maintain this remarkable wetland haven for both wildlife and people.



4 to 15 years


0 to 3 years



16 years and over


Senior/Pensioner Concession


Family (2 x General Entry + 2 x Children)


Family (1 x General Entry + 3 x Children)


Group (10 persons & over)

$6.00 each

Carers assisting disabled (Carers card needed)


Entry to Visitor Centre & Cafe Area


Entry is paid for at the time of entry.

Closed in shoes, hat, sunscreen and insect repellent are strongly recommended. Closed in shoes are required for some activities.



Hunter Wetlands

412 Sandgate Road,

Shortland, NSW 2307


The Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia is only 10 minute drive from Newcastle and 2 hours from Sydney.

See directions below or get directions from your exact location here.


From the Foreshore at Newcastle, travel along Wharf Rd, then into Honeysuckle Drive and turn right at the traffic lights onto the Pacific Highway.  The Highway then turns into Hannell St (Carrington) and Industrial Drive (Mayfield).  At the end of Industrial Drive (Mayfield), turn right at the traffic lights and follow the directional signs towards Maitland along the Pacific Highway.  At the next set of traffic lights turn left (at Sandgate Cemetery) into Wallsend Road (Sandgate).  Follow Wallsend Road until you come to a roundabout and the Hunter Wetlands Centre is just on the right (Shortland).


Travel along Newcastle Road (Lambton), with Jesmond Park (on your left hand side), turn right at large roundabout onto the Link Road (Jesmond).  Continue north and follow the exit sign towards the Hunter Wetlands Centre. At the roundabout on Sandgate Rd, take the second exit and into Wetlands Place and the Hunter Wetlands Centre.


Follow the Pacific Hwy (Raymond Terrace and Heatherbrae) and over Hexham Bridge.  Turn left at the traffic lights and head towards Newcastle.  Continue through to traffic lights at Sandgate and turn right onto Wallsend Road (at Sandgate Cemetery which is on your right), follow through until you come to a roundabout and the Hunter Wetlands Centre is on the right (Shortland).


Follow New England Hwy through to Hexham which changes to Pacific Hwy at Hexham.  Continue to travel straight ahead and turn right at the set of traffic lights  at Sandgate (the Sandgate Cemetery is on the right) turn right onto Wallsend Road, follow through until you come to a roundabout and the Hunter Wetlands Centre is just on your right in Shortland


Take the Wallsend exit off the freeway, follow the Link Road through to the roundabout at Wallsend, continue straight ahead, turn right at the next roundabout onto Newcastle Road (Wallsend), continue straight ahead through the traffic lights at Jesmond.  Turn left at large roundabout onto Link Road, follow the signs to Hunter Wetlands Centre exit, at the roundabout go straight ahead into Wetlands Place.  Look for the large sign with the Freckled Duck and the Magpie Goose!


You can get to the Hunter Wetlands Centre with Newcastle Transport. The route 47 stops at Marton St at Sandgate Rd and is approximately a 6 minute (500m) walk from to the Wetlands entry to enjoy a few hours in nature.

If you are travelling from the CBD, you can connect with the route 47 at the bus stop on Hunter Street at National Park Street. If you are travelling from elsewhere in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area you can use the routes 11, 12, 23 or 24 to connect with the route 47 at Stockland Jesmond. Plan your public transport journey at http://newcastletransport.info

Plan your trip now with TripPlanner.


The closest train station to the Hunter Wetlands Centre is Sandgate Station (Astra Street, Sandgate). This stop is located on the Hunter Line which links Newcastle, Maitland and Dungog. From the train station it is an easy 1.2 kilometre walk (18 minutes) to the Hunter Wetlands entry or a very short taxi ride.   Other nearby stations include Warabrook and Hexham but these are not in walking distance.

Plan your trip now with TripPlanner.


The Hunter Wetlands Centre has a number of accessibility features for the mobility impaired including:


  • free car parking
  • sealed disability parking and set down zone
  • lift to ground level from the visitor centre
  • wheelchair ramp access from the car park
  • wheelchair accessible toilets
  • hard-surfaced compacted gravel paths
  • mown grass paths
  • ramp access to the meeting rooms
  • hearing and guide dogs are welcome by prior arrangement.



The Wetlands is a great place for groups of any age to visit. Whether you’re interested in canoeing, orienteering, Australian native plants or just taking a leisurely walk, the Wetlands has something to offer all members of your group.

Group entry (minimum 10) $6 pp 

You can organise your own program or we would love to create a wetland experience for your group of ten or more people.


Wetlands Environmental Education Centre is a Department of Education school located at the Hunter Wetlands Centre, offering excursion programs for primary & secondary school students focusing on Environmental and Sustainability Education.
Contact: 49558673 or visit website

Preschools or playgroups

Do your own thing – go for a walk; enjoy the discovery playground and some dip netting OR contact us and we can plan a guided program that could include shelter building, reptile encounter & guided walk.

Contact: 49516466 or email Val

Creative arts groups

The Hunter Wetlands Centre offers a unique experience for artists, photographers and musicians to immerse themselves in the tranquillity of this idyllic haven in the Hunter and develop their artistic passion. Special programs available.

Contact: 49516466 or email Mark


Community Groups / Clubs

We conduct a range of guided activities—including wetland walkabouts, Australian native plant tours, 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 ten or more people.
Contact: Email Frances


The Hunter Wetlands Centre now has a lift and a wheelchair accessible buggy. Morning tea and buggy or walking tour packages available.

Contact: Email Frances


Hunter Wetlands is home to many native mammals, fish, birds, insects and plants.  We ask our visitors to help us protect and conserve this unique site by following our simple guidelines:

  • Stay on the marked pathways.
  • Be considerate of our wildlife – too much noise makes some of the birds uncomfortable.
  • Photography for personal use is encouraged. Any commercial/stock library photography must be agreed in advance and is subject to a fee.
  • No dogs or other domestic pets are permitted on site with the exception of trained assistance dogs. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT FOX BAITING IS CARRIED OUT FROM TIME TO TIME. Please check with reception before bringing your assistance dog on site.
  • DO NOT feed the birds. Birds should never be fed bread – they will eat it, but it is not good for them (bread is junk food for birds).