North Forest Nature Walk

North Forest Nature Walk

Features

60 minutes return
1.3 km

Or at a more leisurely pace 45 minutes one way.
Grade 2-4: Suitable for most ages. The track has a hardened surface that varies from gentle slopes to steep eroded sections.

  • Supervise children
Overview

Look back over the Angophora Reserve which contains a remnant stand of Charmhaven Apple trees (Angophora inopina), listed as a threatened species, [header feature picture], more usually found on the Central Coast of NSW around Wyong, but also occurs north of the Hunter River around the Karuah area.

On the way to the top, keep your camera handy as you walk through this dry ridge woodland, containing Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata), Bottlebrush Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea macronema) [picture at left], acacia and many other plant species.  Bottlebrush Grass Trees are an important pollinator plant. European honey bees and Stingless native bees love them.  They are an important plant within Aboriginal culture, with among other things, the nectar being used to prepare drinks and the gum for binding when basket weaving – see details at the link: Aboriginal Plant Use in SE Australia

Describing the area as a forest conjures up particular images of what the landscape might look like as we walk this track.

In the Awabakal language, there is no separate word for ‘Forest’. We traditionally don’t make a distinction like in English, says Liam Price from the Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre.  So for “forest” technically we would call that place: Watiyalung WatiyalungbaThis means Tree-Tree place. And because we don’t count numbers, to double up a word is to emphasise or make plural what we are saying. 

There are plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery and fantastic views at a number of vantage points. The track overlooks two watershed areas that run into Lake Macquarie—creeks to the north are part of the larger Winding Creek catchment and to the south, Wallaby* (Balbang) Creek feeds into Cockle Creek.

Balbang (Wallaby) have been observed grazing at night but are rarely seen during daylight hours.

The 1.3 km track (one-way) climbs in stages to the high point perched on the north end of the top ridgeline. We’ve named this Ocean View Lookout. And you can see why.  From there, in clear weather, visitors can see across Lake Macquarie City to Newcastle and the ocean, up to Fern Bay and down across Lake Macquarie or Awaba (which is Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake) to Norah Head. Return via the same track or continue on to the east or the south.

*Colloquial name

Wonta, in Awabakal language means: where is this place? (1)

Macquarie Hills: Kuraman Close off Delaware Drive or Hillview Crescent, or
Cardiff: Edge Street.

For a one way walk continue east from the Lookout to exit via Lucilla Ridge, at  the access gate Lawson Road next to number 65

NOTE: A random internet search for Munibung Hill –  which can be accessed from locations on the north, south, east and west – without providing more details, will most likely present a rather confusing map compared with the directions supplied here. When using a search engine such as Google maps it helps to specify an address, in this case Cnr Kuraman Close and Delaware Drive, Macquarie Hills or Hillview Crescent, Macquarie Hills.

(1) Source:  An Australian Language as Spoken by the Awabakal, by L. E. Threlkeld. 1892

There are no toilets, no picnic facilities and no disposal or recycling bins. The nearest are at Cardiff, Warners Bay, Speers Point and Boolaroo.

Dogs on leashes only. No trail bikes.  Please carry out what you carry in – don’t rubbish Munibung Hill. If you come across what other people have disposed of, consider picking it up and disposing of it thoughtfully. Help us care for the habitat of local native plants and animals. Thank you.

<< No signage other than Council and NSW Rural Fire Service notices.  Please observe these messages and bring them to the attention of others.

For your safety and personal care, even for a short walk on a fine day, carry a light pack with a weatherproof jacket, water (1 litre per person for every 3 hours of walking), some high energy food and a first aid kit.  Wear sturdy shoes or boots, a sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen. Insect repellent can also make your walk more comfortable and be sure to take a bag to carry any rubbish out with you.