For picnickers, bushwalkers, photographers, bird watchers and those interested in local history- and your dog can come too!
Your visit is free – no charges apply
Some basic [rustic] facilities are provided for visitors eg BBQs, picnic tables, ‘bush’ toilets
30 mins from Cessnock south via Quorrobolong Rd, Sandy Creek Rd, Heaton Road- then unsealed road in forestry areas
Hunter Lookout is one of three lookouts in Heaton State Forest, in the State Forests of the Watagan Mountains. Minutes away is the McLean’s Lookout, further along the same unsealed forestry road. The Heaton Lookout is further in the Forest on another mountain spur.
Breathtaking, expansive views of the Hunter Valley, Pokolbin Range and the mountain ranges of the lower Barringtons can be seen from Hunter Lookout. The lookout area has parking and has a backdrop of wonderful bush, full of birdsong, and open space for picnics.
The Heaton forest was named after Richard Heaton, a timber cutter who came to Australia as a convict. Heaton State Forest is bordered by Awaba and Watagan State Forests and the Watagans National Park.
The Great North Walk runs through the Heaton State Forest and you can walk [or drive] from the Hunter Lookout and Great North Walk loop is a 5.6km, grade 4 Circuit hike. The hike takes approximately 2 hrs 30 mins to complete. This loop track starts from the Hunter Lookout picnic area and follows the Great North Walk around the edge of the ridge via the Macleans Lookout Rocky Creek gully and the cliffs around the eastern edge of the ridge. Along this walk are great views across the valley and much of the Hunter to the north. On the return, the walk passes the pines plantation and the Rocky Creek camping area.
The near-by State Forests of the Watagan Mountains (Awaba, Heaton, Olney, Ourimbah, Watagan and Wyong State forests) have won the Gold Award for Adventure Tourism in the Hunter Central Coast Tourism Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014, earning their place in the Tourism Hall of Fame.