EXPLORE // Puckey’s Estate Nature Reserve
Get back to nature with this easy walk less than 10 minutes from the Wollongong CBD.
We loved heading back to nature [so close to the city] on this easy walk through Puckey’s Estate Nature Reserve. It’s flat with some gorgeous boardwalks and bridges at the southern end of the walk, plenty of spots to sit and just be along the way, the coast on one side and the lagoon on the other, surrounded by gorgeous trees.
Here’s what you need to know if you want to pop the sneakers on and head there yourself.
Family Friendly :: Yep! Suitable for all ages, and it’s pram-friendly and bike-friendly too.
Easily accessible :: For sure. If you’re entering from the southern end, park at Stuart Park Playground car park. If you’re hitting the walk from the north, park in the Fairy Meadow Surf Life Saving Club car park.
Dog Friendly :: Yes. We met loads of doggo’s and puppers. Good to keep them on the leash in the nature reserve and if they fancy a run around afterwards, the off-leash area for dogs on Fairy Meadow Beach is easily accessible from the northern end of the walk.
Stairs :: Nope – yay!
Length :: 3km loop.
Time :: Allow a full hour for a cruisy wander or step it out in 30 minutes.
Where do you start?
We parked at the northern end of the track at Fairy Meadow Life Saving Club. There was plenty of spots in the car park there. If not, you can park over on Squires Way north of Elliotts Road. There were two entrances at the northern end. One is right next to the playground at the club and is where the Puckeys Estate Reserve signage and map is, the other is about 20 metres back along Elliotts Road. Both tracks meet up into the one about 250 metres into the walk. We took the main entrance track.
If you’re accessing the walk from the southern end, you can park at one of the car parks in Stuart Park, North Wollongong then head to the north eastern part of the park where it meets Squires Way and cross the road bridge that goes over Fairy Creek – there’s a pedestrian pathway so it’s safe. You’ll see the signage at the entrance which leads you into a series of boardwalks that takes you into the reserve and hugs the lagoon.
Now, you can stay within Puckey’s Estate for the entire walk. That’s what we did. We went north to south and then turned around at the southern entrance and retraced our steps. It’s fun doing it this way because you’re in the shade most of the time, it’s cool to see it from a different angle – you’ll notice trees, birds and angles you never noticed coming the other way – and it keeps you close to the coast and within nature.
You can do a loop if you like by starting at one end of Puckey’s then popping out either onto Squires Way (if you started at the north) and turning right, then turning right onto Elliotts Road. Or simply doing it the other way. The shared pedestrian and cycle pathway along both roads is wide and safe.
What do you see?
Lots of stuff! The twinkling lagoon and LOTS of birds. There are information signs along the way telling you what sort of species to look out for, with info on the background of the Nature Reserve and the ongoing care, maintenance and educational programs that happen within this beautiful spot.
We also saw stacks of families heading out for rides and walks, and we spent a lot of time saying hi to a whole lot of cute doggo’s who were out for walks with their hoomans.
We also tucked off to the beach via the track at the northern end of the walk and had some time down at the beach, watching more doggo’s chase waves in the off-leash area on Fairy Meadow Beach. So much fun.
Who would love this walk?
Loads of people! Nature lovers, bird watchers, photographers – plenty of flora and fauna to capture here, bike riders, dog owners, runners, the list goes on.
We loved how flat and accessible it was and said hi to a cool dude on his motorised wheelchair who was closely followed by his wife on an E-Bike. Awesome!
We also liked spending a good hour surrounded by trees, dappled sunlight, beautiful birdlife and then popping out in suburbia less than ten minutes from the CBD.
Oh, and a final tip! Take your Aerogard – we copped a few mossie bites to the ankles.