Approaching the tunnel from the Adamstown side. (2009)
The Kahibah side of the tunnel under the Pacific Highway (2009)
A high quality rail trail through a range of landscapes from suburbia to dense bushland.
The rail trail is gently graded.
All busy road crossings have facilities to cross safely.
A major feature is the 180m long curved brick lined tunnel under the Pacific Highway.
Considerable effort has gone into preserving the history of the corridor with rail track being left in place where practical, and removed rail and sleepers used for features along the trail.
Adamstown - railway station
Whitebridge - Station street car park
Redhead - Colishaw St car park
Jewells - Railway Crescent car park
Belmont - Railway Parade
Adamstown to Whitebridge (6km)
The trail climbs on a slight gradient passing through the 180m brick lined tunnel under the Pacific Highway. It then runs through bushland in the Glenrock State Recreation Area.
From the south side of the Adamstown railway station head south west along Park Avenue to the roundabout to the start of the trail.
Follow the trail through the tunnel and then across Burwood Rd.
Whitebridge to Redhead (4.5km)
The restored station platform at Redhead is a major feature of this section. Here 'up' and 'down' traffic take different sides of the platform!
From Whitebridge the trail gently descends to Redhead through native bush.
From Collishaw Street it is only 1.5km down to the locally renowned Redhead surf beach.
Redhead to Belmont (5.5km)
This section is basically flat and the scenery predominantly coastal bushland, the highlight being the boardwalk across wetlands. The platform and surrounds at Belmont have had considerable landscaping making it quite a feature.
The rail trail finishes in Railway Parade, a few hundred metres from the picturesque Lake Macquarie harbour at Belmont.
Belmont is the best place along the trail to buy refreshments having a large range of place to eat and drink.
The railway opened in the late 1880's. It was used to transport coal from mines in the Lake Macquarie area to the Port of Newcastle. Evidence of some of the mines is still visible from the track. It was also used as a passenger service between Belmont and Newcastle with stations at Kahibah, Whitebridge and Redhead. The last passenger train ran in 1971 and during the 1980's as coal mines along the corridor began to close down the line ceased to be used in 1991.
The Newcastle City and Lake Macquarie councils bought the land of this former private coal railway to Belmont and opened the first section of the rail trail, Adamstown - Kahibah (Burwood Rd), in 2003. Stage 3 of the Fernleigh Track from Whitebridge to Redhead opened in 2009. Stage 4 from Redhead to Jewells Station was completed in mid 2010 and the completed rail trail to Belmont was opened in March 2011.
The councils are now planning to further enhance the trail with some toilets and interpretive signage.
The trail is managed by the Lake Macquarie Council and the City of Newcastle. Refer to their websites below to report issues.