One of Newcastle's western suburbs, Wallsend lies about 13km from the CBD and takes its name from a small town in Northumberland in England. Land in the Wallsend region, which is well watered by Iron Bark Creek and extensive wetlands extending toward Hexham and the Hunter River, was taken up in the 1820s and 1830s for agricultural settlement by several European families, some of whose descendants still reside in the area.
An earthquake in 1989 damaged many century-old buildings and several had to be demolished. However, Wallsend still retains the ambience of its coal mining village years with a sprinkling of early timber mining cottages still scattered throughout the town.
A few kilometres up the road to the north is the birdlovers' delight of the Wetland Ecopark where waterfowl and other native birds abound.
A short drive to the east from West Wallsend will take you to Blackbutt Reserve, smack at the centre of Newcastle's suburbia, an oasis of 182ha of bushland with barbecue areas, aviaries, native animals, duck ponds and sensory trails.
The bountiful charms of Lake Macquarie - four times larger than Sydney Harbour – lie just a short drive to the south.