A group of people are learning to navigate during a Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program


Have you ever wanted to go bushwalking but felt apprehensive about getting lost or unsure about the right equipment ?


One Day

Group Lesson

$145.00 +GSTpp



Private Lesson



15 yrs and up

moderately fit

inc transfers


If you join us on the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program, we guarantee to make you confident navigating in the bush. Or we will teach you again for free.

The Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program will provide you with the skills you need to be able to confidently go into the bush. Prime focus is on learning. That is to say on completion you should be able to either on your own or with a group of friends go out and safely find your way home again.

In other words part of being confident in the bush means you need to know where you are at all times.

It’s also important to realise that experience gained on the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program will enable you to explore many places that are off the beaten tourist track. Hidden places that offer outstanding bush and wildlife experiences.

The Newcastle bushwalking Skills Program is open to everyone that wants to get more out of their bush adventures.

Key points Newcastle bushwalking Skills Program

  • Comprehensive navigation training
  • Combine learning with a fun day out
  • Learn bushcraft
  • Learn the right equipment to buy
  • Engaging professional guides
  • Safety equipment included


A short drive south west of Newcastle is the Watagan Forest National Park. Generally speaking the park has an abundance of tracks and unique landscape features for us to practise our navigation skills.

We will be bushwalking and learning by osmosis, in other words actually navigating as we go.

Additionally, as you learn, you will also get to enjoy a day in the Australian bush that rewards with some breathtaking views, as well as some emotional and physical renewal.

Our Newcastle bushwalking Skills Program allows plenty of time for you to become fully immersed in all the natural beauty the National Park has to offer.

Being only an hour’s drive from the significant city,, Newcastle NSW also adds to the appeal of the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program.

Key points, about where we go

  • Close to a major city
  • A large variety of bush features for navigation
  • Great landscape for learning
  • Opportunities for emotional renewal
  • Physical renewal from mild exercise
  • Be at one with nature


The Walking Rivers Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program is very much a social event.

Spending a day discovering and learning with a determined group of like-minded people creates memories that last a long time as well as being a great day out.

Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program is more than just a day in the bush. It is also the feeling of accomplishment and achievement that, for many, is the attraction.

Furthermore, Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program also provides passive exercise, the best kind because you are exercising while doing something fun, rewarding and easy to love.

You will feel your body responding to even the lightest of demands made on it, and through this response know that you are alive.

For others, a highlight is just exploring new area’s where does that track lead, what’s over that hill, does that stream have a waterfall, etc

Whatever your reason, after joining us on a Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program I am confident you will not be disappointed.

Key points, activity highlights

  • Feeling of accomplishment
  • A day of achievements
  • The thrill of discovery
  • Challenging yourself
  • Enjoy some Passive exercise
  • Meet new friends


Our one-day Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program starts from our home base in Newcastle. We can, by arrangement, pick you up from your accommodation or residence.

The Walking Rivers bus travels from Newcastle out through Lake Macquarie and onto our start point.

We are as flexible as possible with our pickups to try and make it easy for you. Talk to us on an individual basis to arrange your pickup point. Of course, we will bring you back to your pick up location when your adventure ends.

Key points, about getting there

  • Convenient departure points
  • Only an hour away
  • Air conditioned comfort
  • Bluetooth your favourite music
  • Enjoy the scenery
  • Let someone else have all the worry


We have to say. When possible, we use locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables sourced from our nearby farmer’s markets. Furthermore, we also provide snacks just in case you get hungry while walking along. It is a Walking Rivers policy you will never go hungry, even after a day’s bushwalking in the fresh air.

Key points, about the food

  • special needs food catered for
  • plenty to eat
  • snacks and fruit
  • diverse menu
  • Tea or coffee
  • Tips about cooking in the outdoors


If you are at all nervous about your abilities to undertake the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program, remember you will not be asked you do anything that is outside of your skills level.

All you need is to be moderately fit and have a yearning for some safe and controlled learning.

Going on a fully guided adventure is very different to going it alone. Being conducted by professional, trained, qualified people allows us to go to many places that would be unthinkable on our own.

Additionally, we consider you to be part of a team overcoming all the challenges the bushwalk throws at us.

Finally, Walking Rivers has Insurance, comprehensive risk management and contingency plans in place. Additionally, safety procedures are in place that ensures you are free to not worry about anything too much other learning and having fun.


  • Professional guiding service
  • Morning tea and Lunch
  • National Park Fees
  • Bus travel both ways
  • Maps, compass and instruction


  • Accommodation
  • Flights, airport transfers
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Alcoholic or carbonated beverages
  • Personal items

Check the list of what we include, and let us know if you have any questions about anything relating to gear or the day.



The Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program will be a day filled with learning and adventure from the minute you climb aboard our bus.


WHEN: one day before leaving

WHERE: We will skype, message or telephone you to confirm our time and meeting place and bring you up to date if any changes are happening.

Our telephone call provides you with the opportunity to get answers to any questions you may have about the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program

8.00 start

We always aim to gather early to make sure we get the most from our day in the National Park as possible.
Once everyone is on board, we will make our way up to the National Park where our adventure begins.

On arrival in the park, we will have morning tea, get issued with a map of the area and then start our bushwalk. While walking, you will be involved in many engaging activities centered around bush skills and navigation. Additionally, you will experience the breathtaking views of the area.

12.00 Mid-day.
Will see us arriving at a fantastic hidden place in the bush for our lunch break that will not disappoint.

After our lunch and after exploring the lunch area we will be back onto our walking track for an afternoon of exploring and more bush skills.

Now its back on the bus and the trip home, tired but feeling well rewarded for our efforts.
Its a time to reflect on the day and share stories from the days’ adventure or to discuss some of the navigation skills that you will have learned through the day.


We endeavour to return to Newcastle between 4 and 5 pm, however, due to the number of variables in wilderness travel we recommend that you don’t plan any critical appointments that rely on us being back at this time. Fixed times and dates can cause unnecessarily stressful complications should our return be delayed by something out of our control. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your travel plans in more detail.


We want you to become a confident bushwalker. We try on the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program to cover everything you need to know but recognise you may have more questions so if you do call +61 438563307 or email [email protected]

Firstly, let me say on the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program we are very flexible and will only walk as far as people are capable. Generally its between 8 and 10 kilometers with only a couple of small hills to negotiate. Remember we stop often for breaks and navigation lessons

Because it is only a day day tour we can be confident of saying we can run it any day of the year on days that are free and between some of our bigger journey’s. Just call us and we will do our best to go on a day that suits you best.

No we do not go swimming on the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program

While height is not an issue being considerably overweight may be. We do not allow people over 120Kgs on any of our activities, this is an adventure activity and as such a medium level of fitness and agility is required. If you have concerns, please contact us directly ph 0438563307

No problem, we cater for vegetarians every day.Some of our guides are vegetarian. Before all of our Watagan National Park Discovery Tour trips, there is a pre-trip questionnaire covering medical and dietary requirements.Please call our office +61 438563307  if you have any concerns you would like to discuss further.

Like all wildlife, we can not guarantee to see them however they are very active in spring. In particular, during spring the males are aggressively seeking out the females.We recognize and photograph many more platypus during this time.

Our Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program is an adventure trip, so we do like people to have some fitness level as well as good health. You need to be reasonably agile and capable of climbing over rocks. More important is an adventurous spirit and a willingness to have a go.

Everyone who is participating on a Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program
will be asked to complete our medical questionnaire. Very few medical conditions will prevent you from taking part.
Our guides do need to be informed however in case something goes wrong and you need their assistance.
Bring two sets of medications one as a spare that the guide will carry for you just in case you lose yours. We will be a long way from outside assistance, so we need to take every precaution possible to be self-sufficient.
Pregnant women are not able to participate as the risk is too high.

Yes, you can. However, we do recommend a sports strap or tie. Because of the nature of the adventure, we can’t guarantee the safety of your glasses. If they are vital to your vision, then we recommend bringing a spare pair with you.

Yes, the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program has some awsome photo opportunities Also if you are bringing big cameras think about battery life as charging can often be difficult. Our guides have waterproof cameras that take reasonable good quality photos. We are happy to give you a dropbox link to our pictures at the end of the trip.

Tipping is not part of Australian culture. If you would like to show your appreciation, we would be more than happy with a good review on our website, or trip advisor.

Yes, please contact us on 0438563307 for information on group discounts.

No, you don’t. Everyone can enjoy the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program . We provide training as part of your trip and a full safety briefing prior to heading out. Any of our qualified guides will be happy to give you any extra personal instruction you may require if needed.

Walking Rivers  P/L  caters to all ages of adventurers. Although we do prefer a minimum of 12 years for the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program , we like to assess each case individually. Family tours are available for younger children, and those concerned with being in ‘their older years’ are welcomed to contact us to discuss their physical abilities.


During your participation on the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program you will , you will only need to bring a small day backpack, we supply everything else you need to have a great day

You will need one bag:

  1. Your bus bag, a small backpack or similar

Please remember the saying        “when bushwalking less is more”

Travelling on the bus

Your bag only needs to fit items you may wish to have with you while we are traveling.
For traveling, wear anything you feel comfortable in.

We do stop for toilet breaks  and also from time to time and if we are passing through a town we might have a coffee break. This is usually done by consensus.

Items for consideration to bring along

A small backpack sitting on the grass showing size of bag needed for bus tour to Barrington River Kayak tour
  • water bottle
  • snacks
  • lollies
  • book to read
  • sunglasses
  • reading glasses
  • travel pillow
  • travel rug
  • change of clothes to wear home

Our priority is protection from the sun it can be brutal i the middle of the day.

Small bottle of Sunscreen

Pay particular attention to face, neck, under chin, ears, backs of hands.


Ideally should be broad-brimmed and wind resistant. An excellent choice is a safari type of hat that covers your neck area. Baseball caps are not good bushwalking hats.


Should be attached to a strap. We recommend taking a spare pair.

Long Sleeved Shirt

Over a thermal top. Both shirt and thermal top material need to be the quick-drying synthetic material such as polypropylene/polyester fleece or blend. DO NOT WEAR COTTON.

T-shirts and jeans etc. are not suitable clothing for Kayaking.

For people with more money a long sleeved Rash shirt is ideal.

Long synthetic Pants

 A pair of shorts over the top of synthetic thermals are ideal for your legs.


Good sturdy Hiking boots are ideal but expensive therefore if you are not intending taking up bushwalking as a permanent hobby, a good pair of runners will do the job.

Rain Considerations.

We recommend at the very least pack a lightweight spray jacket with hood.
It can be preferable to have a waterproof and breathable material like Gortex.

Warmth considerations.

In cold conditions avoid apparel made from cotton. Cotton insulates using open air pockets in between the fibers. When cotton gets wet, these pockets fill with water, and the garment loses its insulating properties.
Fabrics such as wool, nylon, and polypropylene insulate with closed air pockets inside the fibers. Garments made from these materials will hold some of their insulating properties when wet.
Consider a Fibre pile/fleece or puffer jacket if cold weather is forecast.

Medication – please ensure

1) The name and expiry date of drug is on the container;
2) You have the detailed instructions for your dosage and frequency; 
3) Packed in a waterproof bag; i.e., sandwich bag or similar
4) Pack a full spare prescription in a separate container.

If you are flying, please pack all necessary medication in your carry-on luggage. It helps eliminate some stress should your checked bags be misplaced in transit.

Water bottle.

One litre Nalgene bottles are superior to all others for outdoor recreation.

Waterproof camera

Lightweight waterproof digital cameras (can be attached inside your life jacket with a lanyard);
GoPro or similar waterproof action cameras can produce excellent footage however they are savage on batteries. Consider how you will charge or bring
spare batteries and memory cards.


Minimal soap, toothpaste, and toothbrush, dental floss, feminine hygiene products.
Small comb/hairbrush, 2 disposable plastic razor.

Optional items for consideration

  • Beanie
  • Gloves either neoprene or fingerless sailing type
  • Insect repellant small roll on
  • Book to read
  • Reading glasses
  • Binoculars
  • Down jacket
  • Travel boardgames
  • Cards

Please avoid wearing jewelry.

We would just feel bad if you lost something precious to you. Leaving it at home is the safest place for it to be.


We supply a range of teas and coffee as well as juices. You are welcome to bring alcoholic beverages. Please note however that we do expect our guests to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly.


It is against the law in Australia to smoke in National Parks. If you are a smoker, please consider nicotine patches as an alternative solution for the time you are on the river.

Leave no trace

Everything we take into the National Park we must take out. Including toilet waste. Don’t worry we have a system for dealing with everything. Your guides will go through it all with you.


The images you see below have all been taken during the Newcastle Bushwalking Skills Program