Enquiries & newsletterIan Donovan0490 667
ActivitiesJohn Simpson0400 364
Upper Hunter groupWendy Wales0437 147
Port Stephens groupSue Olsson0488 440
Friends of Tomaree NPSue Olsson0488 440

About the Hunter Region

Hunter Region

Extending between Lake Macquarie, Myall Lakes, Barrington Tops, the Liverpool Range, Wollemi and Yengo, the Hunter Region includes an incredible variety of natural environments and scenery. Placid coastal lakes, subalpine uplands, extensive wilderness areas, grassy woodlands, many types of rainforest, internationally-listed wetlands and two World Heritage areas, there’s an awful lot to see. Community action to protect the Hunter’s natural gems, particularly Barrington Tops and Myall Lakes, was a major impetus to the formation of NPA, which can be traced back to an important meeting of activists held in Newcastle in October 1956.

As well as containing some of Australia’s finest natural areas, the region is also nationally important for its economic activity. There are significant environmental pressures from resource extraction, infrastructure corridors, urban expansion, invasive species and intensive recreational use. NPA has been active in the Hunter for over 65 years, undertaking a variety of conservation and outdoor activities. Activities are open to all members and visitors.

Outdoor activities

Liloing, Williams River, 29 Feb 2004. Photo: John Simpson.

Explore the natural wonders of the Hunter Region and beyond with a great bunch of people. Learn about the bush and share your knowledge with others. Have fun and enjoy the outdoors.

We regularly visit well-known national parks, as well as many other interesting but lesser known places. There is usually something on offer every week or two (mid summer excepted). Activities include:

  • day walks
  • overnight pack walks
  • mountain bike trips
  • weekend camps
  • field surveys
  • bush regeneration.

Activities range in difficulty from easy to hard, and will suit people of all ages with a reasonable level of fitness. Many are suitable for families. One of our highlights is a weekend on Broughton Island every second year (make sure you book early).

Visitors are welcome before joining. To receive a regular newsletter with the latest Hunter Region activity program, sign up here.

Upper Hunter group

The Upper Hunter group has a regular walk on the 4th Sunday of each month (mid summer excepted), as well as occasional mid-month walks and weekend camps. There’s some amazing country to be explored that few people have visited or even heard of. Many in the group have a strong natural history bent (and can whip up a good cake too). All activities are included in the full Hunter Region program. Contact Wendy Wales for more information, or to register for a monthly walks email.

Port Stephens group

Our Port Stephens group holds regular day walks (mainly Wednesdays) exploring Port Stephens icons and lesser known diverse gems, nearby areas, and a few further afield. Walks vary in difficulty, some for stronger walkers, others are slower facilitating our keen photographers. We try to find great places, often with special blooms. Come and join us, our walks are included in the full Hunter Region program. Contact Sue Olsson for more information, or to register for a fortnightly walks email.

Friends of Tomaree NP

The Friends of Tomaree NP group carries out regular bush regeneration and weed control in Tomaree NP, in conjunction with NPWS. Projects are predominately landcare-style, managing bitou bush and other weeds, as well as threatened species surveys and care of special plantings.

Zenith Beach, Fishermans Bay, Wreck Beach…… yes, Tomaree definitely has the most glorious places to do bush regeneration! Join us mornings in North Tomaree on the 1st Tuesday, 2nd Saturday and/or the 3rd Thursday each month, or at Fishermans Bay 1st Saturday or 3rd Tuesday each month. Contact John Peel / Sue Olsson to find out more or to get involved and register. You do not need to be an NPA member to participate — of course you’re welcome to join.

Awabakal Wildflower Walk

We’d love to see you next September on our annual guided wildflower walk. Share a morning ramble with botanical experts, nature photographers and ecologists, exploring the spring wildflowers of the Awabakal Nature Reserve, near Dudley. All members of the public, all ages are welcome. Easy walking along sandy tracks. Contact John Simpson for details.

What’s living in this patch?

Wildlife, plant and fungi surveys are held from time to time. Knowledge gained can contribute enormously to the political case for protecting an area. We are currently undertaking at least 2 koala surveys each year in the Upper Allyn valley, in areas proposed for addition to Barrington Tops NP. See the latest activity program for details. Have fun and learn how to detect the presence of koalas and many other wildlife species. Recognise major plant and fungi groups. No prior experience necessary. Contact John Simpson for details.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up-to-date with current conservation issues, events and outdoor activities in the Hunter Region through our regular email newsletter. To subscribe, please contact Ian Donovan. Contributions also welcome.

Conservation activities

Our conservation activities seek to protect the natural values of the Hunter for future generations to enjoy. Policies and decisions by government agencies, local councils and industry are not always for the best, and achieving better outcomes for nature relies on written submissions, meetings with local MPs, letter and email campaigns.

We frequently respond to regional plans, major development projects and reserve management plans, and have prepared many proposals over the decades for new or expanded national parks.

Download: Proposed additions to Barrington Tops National Park If you would like to assist with this work, please contact Ian Donovan.