Except for a few years in my early twenties, I have lived in the Hunter for most of my life. A few weeks ago, I finally, finally (!) spent some time at Walka Water Works. Walka Water Works is a popular picnic and walking track located just outside of Maitland, NSW. The pump house located within the grounds is one of the best preserved industrial buildings in the Hunter. Built in 1887, it was the first water plant in Australia to have a water filtration system. The trail winds it’s way through bushland around the edge of the lake.
Walka Water Works walking trail at a glance
Distance: 5 km return
Duration: 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours
Track: Well formed gravel paths, excellent signage
Australian walking track Grade: 2
Start: S Willards Lane, Oakhampton
Finish: S Willards Lane, Oakhampton
Nearby trails: Columbey National Park walking and hiking trails
Bookings/Permits: Not required
Other information: Picnic, toilet and playground facilities available. Arrive early, particularly on weekends.
Information on how walking trails are graded can be found here.
The fastest and shortest route around the lake is just under 4kms. This can be extended by taking either the Bush Trail or Nature Trail.
The trail is well-formed and primarily gravel. The local parkrun club meets here each Saturday morning at 8am to complete a 5 km circut.
Walka Water Works is home to more than 140 species of birds. There are great places to stop, sit and view the lake or do some bird watching.
Walka Water Works is a fantastic place for a picnic lunch. Be sure to take your supplies with you. There is a great children’s play ground and plenty of space to run around or kick a ball.
More information on Walka Water Works, including maps and a detailed guide to whats on is available here.
Located just outside of Maitland, in the suburb of Oakhampton, the roads to Walk Water Works are well signposted (although the signs can be small and hard to see!).
Other great hiking and walking trails
We spent many weekends and summer holidays exploring ‘The Lakes’ when I was in primary school. But it has only been in the last few months that we have found