Great Lakes


Water sports and bushwalking

The beautiful Great Lakes region is a delightful destination for kayaking, fishing, boating, swimming and other water sports. Enjoy bushwalking in coastal national parks and two hours’ drive inland from seaside Forster, a popular town, is World Heritage rainforest.

  • Myall Lakes National Park
  • Boat beach, Seal Rocks, Great Lakes

Enjoy the magnificent Great Lakes

A diverse ecosystem teeming with wildlife, the Great Lakes – Myall, Smiths and Wallis – is a wonderful destination. From still lakes and estuaries to white sandy beaches and national park wilderness, the region is a haven for water sports, bushwalking and houseboat holidays.

Just a few hours’ drive north of Sydney, Forster offers a range of water activities such as dolphin cruises, fishing, sailboarding and scuba diving. Between May and November, go whale watching with Amaroo Cruises to see humpbacks on their annual migration.

Forster Main Beach has ocean baths, perfect for families. Another popular spot is One Mile Beach, which has barbecue facilities, and visit Wallis Lake for fresh local oysters. Booti Booti National Park is a peninsula between the lake and the sea. Two hours’ drive inland is Barrington Tops National Park.

A short drive south of Forster is Pacific Palms, a small town bordering Wallis and Smiths lakes and the ocean. You’ll find plenty of places for fishing, stand-up paddleboarding and surfing. In Wallingat National Park, take the trail to the breathtaking Whoota Whoota lookout.

Bulahdelah is 50 minutes’ drive southwest of Foster and is the gateway to the shallow lakes of stunning Myall Lakes National Park and The Grandis, the tallest known tree in NSW. Hire a houseboat and cruise the lakes in the national park, home to pelicans, sea eagles, kangaroos and koalas.

At Hawks Nest, on the southern shores of the Great Lakes, you can stroll along Hawks Nest Beach to the scenic lookout at Yacaaba Headland. From Hawks Nest, drive across the ‘whistling’ bridge to Tea Gardens for fresh local oysters and a wooden ferry trip with the chance of spotting wild dolphins.

  • Running on One Mile Beach, Forster

    Family Holidays

    The Great Lakes offer a number of sheltered beaches and lagoons ideal for families. You’ll find plenty of outdoor activities for the kids, too. Enjoy picnic spots at beaches and in national parks and spectacular views from Cape Hawke lookout.

  • Yacaaba Headland walking track

    Walking Trails

    Walk along the Bicentennial Trail at Forster or explore the coastal scenery from Yacaaba Headland Walking Track. The Dark Point Walking Track at Hawks Nest leads to Dark Point Aboriginal Place for a cultural and historical experience.

  • Long views of the North end of Burgess beach, Forster, Great Lakes area (couple strolling in distance), North Coast NSW


    Explore the diverse beaches around the Great Lakes. Take advantage of the great surf at One Mile Beach or find a tranquil spot to relax in Wallis Lake. Spend time with the family at a patrolled beach or choose one of the secluded bays in Pacific Palms.