The glorious spring weather combined with lockdown makes it a great time to get your steps up this September. There are many walking challenges running during the month that will not only have you getting in your 10,000 plus steps a day, but also supporting a worthy cause.
Why not get your friends, family or colleagues together and start a challenge – it's a great way to stay fit and socially connected!
Sign up for The Better Challenge and walk 90km during September to support The Kids Cancer Project, or register for STEPtember and challenge your friends and co-workers to step for people living with cerebral palsy.
If you're not able to raise money that’s ok too - there are plenty of other ways to track your daily steps such as the Stridekick app.
Regardless of your LGA, our region is full of beautiful walking tracks and trails where you can get your steps in while watching spring blossom. Here's a few ideas to get your stepping underway…
Anzac Memorial Walk
A stunning 450m tribute to our region's ANZAC's and Newcastle's steel making heritage, The ANZAC Memorial Walk is a bit of a thigh burner! Add it to the start or end of your Bathers Way walk, a six kilometre walking track that hugs our coastline. With stunning water views at every turn, there's possibly no better spot to soak up some spring vibes and get your step count in.
Blackbutt Reserve has over 20 kilometres of walking trails that are still open for essential exercise, making it the perfect destination to get those steps in. Trek your way around the 182 hectares of undulating natural bushland and spot some native animal and bird life on your way. Find out more on the Blackbutt Reserve website.
The Fernleigh Track is an attractive and popular shared pathway along the route of a former rail line between Adamstown and Belmont. The best part is, there are several access points making it suitable for both those who live in the Newcastle or Lake Macquarie LGA.
Get your steps in on the paved, 15km gently graded track taking in coastal, wetland and bushland environments. The path is suitable for people of all fitness levels. It starts near Adamstown Station and passes through the suburbs of Kotara, Kahiba, Whitebridge, Redhead and Jewells before terminating near Belmont TAFE.
Find out more about the Fernleigh Track.
Go off the beaten track and discover the Kooragang Wetlands, located on the north half of Koragan Island and known locally by its historic name Ash Island. The 15km of boardwalks and walking tracks are a great place to see restoration fisheries, shorebird, frog and rainforest habitats. You'll be so taken by the scenery that your steps will add up in no time!
For details visit the Kooragang Wetlands website.
The Shipwreck Walk is a pleasant 2km walk along the Stockton breakwater at the north side of Newcastle Harbour. Take in the views across to Newcastle, and if you're keen to get your step count higher you've got the option of heading in either direction from the breakwater - along Stockton Beach or past Pitt Street Reserve towards Ballast Ground Park. You could even do a loop!
Tramway Track (Wallsend to Glendale)
The Tramway Track is a shared pathway that connects Lake Macquarie residents to bike routes that can take them to the John Hunter Hospital, the University of Newcastle and Tighes Hills TAFE; and Newcastle residents with Glendale TAFE. It's not just for bikes though, and is a great route to get those steps in. The gentle gradient of the walk makes it suitable for all fitness levels.
Find out more about the Tramway Track.
And remember, under the current COVID restrictions you can go anywhere in your local government area (LGA) for exercise, but if you have to cross into the neighbouring LGA, it can only be a maximum of 5km from your home. You must also be carrying a face mask with you at all times. See the NSW Government website for more information.