Kantalong (Spotted Gum) Walk

Kantalong (Spotted Gum) Walk


30 minutes one way

Grade 2-4: Suitable for most ages. The track has a hardened surface that varies from flat to gentle slope to steep eroded sections.

  • Supervise children, there are unprotected track edges.

You’ll want to take your camera on this wonderful walk. A great leg stretcher, this walk through the upper reaches of the Munibung Creek catchment to the north and the greater North Creek catchment to the south, provides a glimpse of the superb views to come, once you reach the north end of the top ridgeline.

The 1.1km one-way track climbs gradually through mixed forest and woodlands with a variety of tree species such as Sydney Red Gum or Smooth-barked Apple (Angophora costata) in the lower sections [picture at left] along with Spotted Gum (Corymbia maculata) [feature image – header] further into the walk.

On the side track entering from Lawson Road (Lucilla Ridge), there is a remnant patch of Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra). Aboriginal families harvested the seeds of Kangaroo Grass, collecting them in wooden bowls. The seeds were used to produce flour which was mixed with water and cooked to make damper – more at the link: Aboriginal Plant Use in SE Australia.     Australian Aboriginals were: The worlds first bakers. (Source: Presentation by Bruce Pascoe, author Dark Emu).

There’s more to walking in the bush than just ambling or jogging along. The earth beneath our feet is more than inert dirt. There are geological indicators that help us appreciate how this land came to be and how she reveals herself to us, if, we are prepared to look and listen. From the Macquarie Road location there are examples of the Awaba Tuff (‘tuff’ is consolidated volcanic ash). Once walkers reach the steeper incline areas the geology becomes the Great Northern Seam.  Just before the final climb note the Bluff face of conglomerate sandstone. When we reach the crest we’re in a Teralba conglomerate area (Source: Newcastle Coal Measures – NSW Department of Mineral Resources).  See the illustration at right … 

The track gets narrower towards the end, dropping away to steep creek valleys on both sides. It’s worth the effort.  From Ocean View Lookout, in clear weather, you can see across Lake Macquarie suburbs to Newcastle and the ocean, up to Fern Bay and down to Norah Head.  Return via the same track or continue on to the west or the south.

NOTE: Making the minerals in the soil available to plants are many mircro-organisms such as Mycorrhizal fungi (mycorrhiza) which are found in all soil where plants grow. They form large networks of fine filamentous growth throughout the soil. They associate with plant roots; some even burrow into the roots to create an even greater association with plants.  There’s a lot going on that for the most part we are unaware of, but non the less of great importance for the forest to be healthy and fully functional, and by association, us.  Take a deep breath and soak up the wonderful world of every part of Munibung Hill you select for your next experience.  Keep an eye out for fungal fruiting bodies – see the website gallery for examples.  Don’t disturb them.  Buy the edible varieties, in the form of mushrooms, at the shop or local farmers market.

Custom map created for MHCS by David Bretreger

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

Macquarie Hills – Three ways. Enter from:
1. Macquarie Road – near number 169, Newcastle Buses no. 29 bus stop is nearby;
2. Blaxland Road or
3. Lawson Road – at the access gate next to number 65

Lakelands – Two ways. Enter from:
1. Grasmere Way, or
2. Ambleside Drive, behind number 2 Hawkeshead Way

Cardiff South – Two ways. Enter from:
1. Knight Street then walk through the reserve, or
2. Haddington Drive, to connect with the reserve leading to Macquarie Road

*Be aware: there are a couple of steep badly eroded sections within the last 200 metres of the central track before reaching the ridge at the top.

Note: A random search for Munibung Hill –  which can be accessed from locations on the north, south, east and west – without providing more details, will most likely bring up 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, such as one of those listed above.

(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 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.