Lake Macquarie is one of Australia’s largest coastal salt water lakes, four times the size of Sydney Harbour. It is a fabulous aquatic playground for boating, skiing, fishing, swimming and more and includes more than 90 villages between the coast, lake and mountains.
This is such a vast area, with so many things to do and see, and so close to Sydney!
Top 5 things to do and see
1. Caves Beach
The caves at Caves Beach rate a first mention. Accessible from the southern end of Caves Beach at low tide, an area carved out by the sea with multiple caves, water channels and rock pools. You can even walk through some of the caves. You could literally spend hours here sitting in the shade, or the sun, climbing over rocks and discovering all the life within the rockpools. They are spectacular and easily accessible.
2. Water sports
Water sports epitomise what Lake Macquarie is about, whether you want to surf or swim at the ocean beaches, or focus on activities in the lake itself. There are huge flat sand bars providing safe swimming for children, or those who don’t like waves, great snorkelling, kayaking and boating, whether in a power boat or sailing. There are sailing clubs dotted about the lake and plenty of scuba dive and fishing shops to hire or buy the right gear if you don’t already have your own. Jet boat rides and deep-sea fishing charters are also available. (Don't forget your fishing accommodation in Lake Macquarie
Whether you want to eat out at one of the fabulous waterside eateries, or catch your own produce, Lake Macquarie just about has it all. Fishing for bream, whiting, flathead, massive and gorgeous blue-swimmer crabs, local drift oysters, prawns and more. Just by spotlighting on the water in the evening you can see a massive amount of sea life.
Cycle and walking tracks cover a lot of the distance around the Lake Macquarie waterfront, perfect for a family outing to watch the boats or fishermen at work. There is a pathway connecting Warners Bay with Speers Point and Booragul. There are pathways around Swansea and Belmont as well as a number of nature reserves including Green Point Nature Reserve, Wangi Wangi Point State Recreation Area and walks along the clifftops at Caves Beach.
5. Village life
Eastern shore: Swansea, Belmont, Caves Beach, Catherine Hill Bay – an historic mining village which has an old coal-loading jetty jutting out into the sea.
Western shore: Wangi Wangi – Dobell House, a gallery and museum originally the home of Sir William Dobell, Wyee, Morisset, Toronto: home to the annual Lake Macquarie Classic Boatfest each Easter.
Northern shore: Warners Bay, features diverse boutique shopping, lakeside restaurants and cafes.
From a family getaway
to a romantic escape
, there literally is something for everyone at Lake Macquarie. The only issue will be that there always seems more to see and do, so be sure to plan repeat visits.
When to go?
The summer months are popular at Lake Macquarie, needless to say, however spring and autumn are likely to be less busy and still allow you to experience life on and off the lake.
How to get there?
90 minutes north of Sydney along the F3 freeway. For east Lake Macquarie use the Budgewoi, Swansea/Charlestown exit. For west Lake Macquarie use the Morisset, Toronto or Cardiff exits.
Trains also depart from Sydney and Newcastle to Wyee, Morisset, Fassifern and Cardiff.
How long to go for?
Go for a weekend, but you’ll want to stay a week. Or, you could check out different parts of the area with a series of small trips. However long you want to stay you really won’t be lacking for something to do.
Where to stay
Lake Macquarie tourism puts out an annual booklet that covers a whole range of things to do and see in the area, their website is www.visitlakemac.com.au.
The main tourist information centre is in Swansea, right on the Pacific Highway and easy to find.
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