Need some fun places to go with your kids? Check out some places where you can enjoy panoramic views. Here’s some of our favourite lookout spots.
Anzac Memorial Walk
This 450 meter cliff top walkway at Bar Beach is one of the top places for a view. It features incredible 360 degree views of Newcastle from the coast to city. As it’s a tribute to Anzacs, it features history panels with information about different aspects of the conflict as well as listing the geographic place names of various conflicts. The walk is also pram and wheelchair accessible from the Strzelecki Lookout section enabling you to travel all the way to the viewing platform before looping back.
The white obelisk is one of Newcastle’s oldest navigational markers visible to sailing vessels along the coast. Now, it’s a popular park and lookout with expansive beach, harbour and city views. It’s accessible via steps at Tyrrell Street at The Hill.
For sweeping views back to Newcastle, visit Nobbys Headland. The Lighthouse Grounds are open from 10am to 4pm every Sunday. Entry to the site is free. It’s a 10 minute walk (550 metres) from Nobbys Beach carpark to the gate. From the gate, it’s a 5 minute (220 metres) uphill walk to get to the Signal Master’s Cottage. It’s all paved so suitable for those pushing prams or strollers.
Another place for ocean and city views is at Fort Scratchley. There’s views up and down the coast and is a popular place for whale watching. While you’re at the Fort, wander around the grounds of Fort Scratchley. General admission to Fort Scratchley is free. Fort Scratchley is open six days a week, 10am to 4pm (closed Tuesdays).
At 412 metres high, Mount Sugarloaf is one of the highest points around the region. Mount Sugarloaf can be seen across Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. Just look for the hill with the radio and TV transmitters. It’s an easy drive up to Mount Sugarloaf located in West Wallsend. Just follow George Booth Drive out until you reach Sugarloaf Road and follow it all the way to the top parking lot. It’s then a short but steep 10 minute walk up the path to reach the summit. As you reach the top, you’ll need to ascend steel steps and then rock steps so prams and strollers are no good for this walk. If you’re bringing a baby, use a carrier instead. From the top, you’ll see views of Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, and the surrounding Hunter areas.
If you’re up at Port Stephens, don’t miss walking to the top of Tomaree Headland at Shoal Bay. It’s best suited to older kids who have stamina to walk to the top. It’s a steep walk to the summit of Tomaree Headland which is 161 metres high. The path consists of paved areas and a series of metal steps. It’s a 2.2km return journey and can take up between 90 minutes to 2 hours for the trek. From the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Port Stephens including views of Zenith, Wreck and Box Beaches, Fingal Island and Point Stephens Lighthouse.
Gan Gan Lookout
If walking up Tomaree Headland isn’t doable, visit Gan Gan Lookout in Nelson Bay for a panoramic view of Port Stephens and surrounds. This is one of Port Stephen’s highest and most accessible lookout so it’s ideal for families. There are actually two vantage points, one south and one to the north. To reach the lookout, drive up to Lily Hill Road and follow the signs. Up at the top, stroller-friendly paths lead to viewing platforms and spectacular vistas.
Queens Wharf Tower
For harbour and city views, climb up 180 steps of the 40 metre Queens Wharf Tower on Newcastle Foreshore. This controversial phallic shaped tower won’t be around for much longer. It’s scheduled to be demolished in late 2018.