Charlestown, Redhead, and Dudley

Bushland, beaches and retail therapy

The bustling retail centre of Lake Macquarie, Charlestown sits high above the coastline overlooking Dudley Beach and the rugged Glenrock State Conservation Area. Pick up new swimwear before you head to the beach – or grab a bite to eat ahead of a bushwalk – at Charlestown Square, the largest shopping and entertainment centre in the Hunter region.


From Charlestown it’s a 10-minute drive to the Glenrock State Conservation Area, a coastal sanctuary of rainforest, waterfalls, beaches and significant Aboriginal sites. Follow the Bombala walking track to search for fossils in the rock platforms of secluded Dudley Beach, hone your birdwatching skills in the interior bushland or strap on your helmet and launch yourself onto the Glenrock mountain biking trails.


Keen to keep pedalling? Extend your bike ride by following the popular Fernleigh Track shared pathway from Glenrock State Conservation Area to Redhead. Or jump in your car for the short drive to the iconic Redhead Beach – perhaps stopping along the way to immerse in the heathland of Awabakal Nature Reserve between Dudley and Redhead during the wildflower season, which runs from July to October.


Gaze up at the dramatic headland above the patrolled northern section of Redhead Beach before plunging into the surf for an invigorating swim. Towel off and explore the Ken and Audrey Owens Walkway, a network of boardwalks and pathways meandering for four kilometres through the coastal shrub along Redhead Beach. Continue down the sandy shoreline as long as you like – it stretches south for more than 14 kilometres, taking in Nine Mile Beach, Belmont Wetlands State Park and Blacksmiths Beach.