Hunter Wetlands Centre – Family Day Out in NSW

Hunter Wetlands Centre
Stroking a bearded dragon at the Hunter Wetlands Centre, NSW, Australia.
Little man – and daddy – now want a bearded dragon as a pet after having their first encounter, of many, with on at the Hunter Wetlands Centre.

On a sunny Saturday morning, we decided, at the last minute, to have a trip to the Hunter Wetlands Centre, and we were glad we did. It’s a fabulous place.

Greeted by a super helpful lady on the reception desk, we were told all about the best walks for us, what was happening and activities that we could do. A quick look around the reptile tanks (and toys!) at the main entrance and we headed out onto the trails.

There are several kilometres of trails around the wetland centre, all pram friendly, with little man’s favourite trail of the morning being the Sensory Trail – lots of smells and textures from various plants, and different footpaths to feel underfoot. Little man also took great delight in spotting birds, butterflies, dragonflies and even the odd lizard scooting off into the undergrowth.

We had a quick pitstop at the Spoonbill Cafe, fuelling up on cappuccinos, a cheeky bowl of chips and ice-lollies to finish, all whilst soaking in the gorgeous view and blue skies.

A great ending to our morning at the centre was the reptile talk. Huge thanks to Kye (hope the spelling is correct!) for his really informative and cheery talk, which we were told was his first ever – a huge well done, we loved it! In addition we got to touch a blue tounged skink, bearded dragon and snake necked turtle. The ranger then came to bring out the centre’s snake. Again, a really informative talk and then we all got to have a hold – eeek!

We underestimated the time we’d spend there, and only gave ourselves a few hours, which was a mistake as it’s a great place to actually spend a full day out. You might wonder what you can fill a day with at a wetland centre, but you really can. This area has been so well thought out and has plenty for the kids to do. At the entrance you can borrow pond-dipping nets for a donation, there are several self-guided walks, you can hire canoes and bikes, and don’t forget, in addition to the Spoonbill Cafe, you can also fill the esky with food and cook up a storm at the dedicated BBQ spot – right next to the fabulous kids’ playground. A gift shop with prices starting at 50c, is also very helpful to parents!

You can find various leaflets at the main entrance describing the self-guided walks, types of birds and reptiles, maps and activity programmes. If it’s school holiday time, there’s an activity programme too, in addition to regular event such as Segway Tours on a Sunday. There’s even free mossie spray at reception, should you want it. For the small price of $5 for adults ($2.50 for little ones), you get access to approx 110 acres of wonderful wetland and wildlife. Spend double the entry price and you get a a yearly membership and free entry – bargain. Get yourselves down there!

Ranked in the top 20 things to do in the Newcastle, NSW area, click here to head over to TripAdvisor and have a look at the reviews and pictures from other visitors of the Hunter Wetlands Centre .

For further information on the centre and its events, please visit their website:

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