Walka Water Works, Maitland

This page is a chapter in the book New South Wales.

[top]Description

Walka Water Works once supplied Maitland's water needs but is now only used for recreational activities. The reserve is relatively small and contains I wide range of habitats including open water, reed beds, open grassy areas, eucalypt woodland, lantana scrub, floodplains and agricultural land. This range of habitats supports a large variety of birds and a trip list of 50-90 species is always possible.

[top]Getting there

The works are just north of the Maitland CBD. Turn at the court house and head north along Oakhampton Rd, then left onto Scobies lane and left at South Willards lane. The carpark is at the end of this lane. There is a less known entrance from the west. Head west from Maitland on the New England Hwy and turn right at Aberglassyn Road. At the next roundabout turn right onto Waterworks road and drive to the end where there is a circular dirt carpark. Be sure to keep the two gates clear as these are often used by railway workers.

[top]When to go

Early morning and late afternoon are best. The reserve becomes quite busy on weekends.

[top]Amenities

There are toilets at the eastern end of the reserve and plenty of picnic tables and bbq facilities. There is a well maintained, 3km walking path around the lake which is popular with joggers and bike riders.

[top]Key species

Water birds can be sporadic depending on surrounding water levels. In drought years as many as 9 species of waterfowl and 3 species of Grebe can be seen on the lake, including Freckled, Blue-billed and Pink-eared Ducks. Great-crested Grebe are common and regularly breed in the red beds.

Spotless, Spotted and Baillon's Crake, Buff-banded and Lewin's Rail, Latham's Snipe, Black-fronted Dotterel and Little Bittern can sometimes be seen on the lakes edge.

The surrounding bush contains Scarlet Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Variegated Fairy-wren, Dollarbird (summer), Yellow Robin, Rose Robin (winter), Bar-shouldered Dove and Mistletoebird.

[top]Notes

The best time to visit is mid week when there are few people. For photographing waterbirds try finding a low vantage point along the kids train line.

A good source of local knowledge is the Hunter Bird Observers Club, click here.

[top]Maps & GPS

[top]Images

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