This excellent, multi-purpose nature reserve just outside the Newcastle CBD provides an idyllic blend of nature-based activities and attractions of interest for young and old alike. A forested area spanning an extensive 182 hectares, Blackbutt Reserve mixes nature trails and walks with a range of wildlife exhibits for getting up close with native wildlife. All your Aussie favourites are covered here, from koalas, to kangaroos, to wombats, possums and more, while it's also home to a huge array of bird life. Visitors are able to purchase a bag of feed to hand-feed the animals; just watch out for the emus who can be quite enthusiastic in pecking a mouthful of food! In addition, families will find plenty to do here as the Reserve boasts a number of public picnic facilities, BBQs, an excellent treetop walkway and playgrounds to keep the little ones occupied. There's also a large duck pond in which turtles can often be seen, and for the more energetic plenty of walking trails exist that range in length from a short 800m up to a more robust 2.4km. Add it all up and you've got Newcastle's best spot for a picnic that can be experienced in a few hours, or for an entire day.