If you’d like to bask in the sunshine and explore the outdoors while working on your fitness, these running trails and outdoor gyms are the answer for you! Newcastle draws visitors in with its beautiful beaches, but there’s much more to explore while you’re here.
Here are 11 running trails and outdoor gyms in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie that you can visit:
1. Speers Point Fitness Trail
There’s a new six-station fitness trail along the Lake’s edge at Speers Point open and ready for action. The stations are spread across 1.5km, with stairs, parallel bars, sit-up benches, leg presses and more.
2. Warners Bay Foreshore
Starting at Eleebana and finishing around the lake in Booragul, this trail is mostly flat and covers 9km. The path is adjacent to the shoreline of Lake Macquarie, so you’re guaranteed superb views! There are bubblers and rest areas scattered around the trail, and cafés around Warners Bay if you want to take a break. There’s also a 380 metre long elevated boardwalk with a couple of seats for taking in the glorious view of the lake.
3. University of Newcastle (Callaghan Campus)
For students, or those that are around the area, split over oval #2 and #3 at the Callaghan campus of UON, this outdoor gym has a wide open space and lots of equipment.
With a bench, chest press, dip bars, leg press, pull up bar, stretch station, lat pull down, leg raise, and push up bar, you can easily complete full workouts here.
There’s also an actual gym, swimming pool and basketball court inside The Forum if the weather turns bad.
4. Volleyball at Nobby’s Beach
If it’s a nice day, grab some friends, take a ball, and head to the beach for a fun game of volleyball on the beach. There are sometimes balls left with the lifeguards but it’s probably best if you bring your own. Don’t forget sunscreen! It’s good for the days when the surfs a bit too rough, or you haven’t quite worked up the courage to take a dip in the cool water.
5. Blackbutt Reserve
If you’re after something different, and you’re confident in your fitness and up for a challenge, you should try Blackbutt Reserve. In addition to the playground and picnic areas, not to mention the adorable animals, it’s also a fitness test for serious runners. Blackbutt Reserve features around 20kms of hilly terrain.
6. Wallsend to Glendale Shared Path
It’s positioned along the old tram line, which is now smooth and concreted. The trail is 3.3km each way, so is a great track to get fit. Do a time trial to test your fitness and see how it changes if you continue to return to this trail.
7. Redhead Beach Run
Remember to take plenty of water and your phone as there are no bubblers of cafés along the way. Running on sand is a sure way to get toned calves. You’ll more or less have the beach to yourself and be surrounded by serene ocean views. Redhead Point marks the southern end of the rocky Newcastle shoreline, and the beginning of Nine Miles of sandy beach.
8. The Bathers Way
Probably the most popular running trail in Newcastle, but don’t let that intimidate you! Start at Merewether Baths and head north, passing the beautiful beaches, continue up Memorial Drive, then continue down through the lusciously green King Edward Park and onto Nobby’s Lighthouse. If that’s too much, then only do sections at a time. If you’re after a bigger challenge, turn around and do it again!
9. Newcastle Harbour and Honeysuckle
This completely flat trail is 3km one way, and has you running along Newcastle’s busy harbour and through the growing Honeysuckle Precinct. There are cafés and bars scattered along the trail if you need a rest. If you’re after a bigger challenge, keep running out to Nobby’s Breakwall.
10. Glenrock State Conservation Area
Glenrock State Conservation Area is just minutes from the Newcastle CBD and features more than 30kms of running trails.
The Yuelarbal track is one worth mentioning, it’s a 6.8km trail crossing waterfalls, wet gullies and coastal rainforest before finishing up at Glenrock Lagoon. There’s loads of rough surfaces so you should be cross country fit to attempt these trails. Click here for more information on all of the tracks.
11. Fernleigh Track
This trail is one of the Hunter’s most popular shared pathways and is for people of all fitness levels. The pathway follows a disused coal haul rail line between Adamstown and Belmont, providing a scenic walking or cycling track through luscious bushland and wetland areas.
The 15km route passes through the suburbs of Adamstown, Kahibah, Whitebridge, Redhead, Jewells and terminating adjacent to Belmont TAFE. The track traverses some trails already mentioned, including Glenrock State Conservation Area, Awabakal Nature Reserve and the Belmont Wetlands State Park.
Click here for more information on access points to the trail.