Lake Macquarie Area
Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake is a perfect getaway. The beautiful Lake Macquarie is ideal for water sports and next to stunning ocean beaches, including the famous sea caves at the aptly named Caves Beach near Swansea. There are national parks to explore and fun festivals to enjoy.
The heritage is exceptional. At the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery admire works by famous painter William Dobell, who lived by the lake, and outstanding indigenous artists. Catherine Hill Bay is a heritage mining township with a landmark old coal jetty, a lovely beach and shipwrecks to dive.
Getting to Lake Macquarie is easy. The shimmering waterway is less than two hours’ drive north of Sydney and a short drive south of Newcastle. You can fly into Newcastle Airport and rent a car, and trains from Sydney stop regularly on the western foreshore at Morisset and Fassifern, near Toronto.
Dotted around the lake and oceanfront is accommodation to suit various budgets, from campsites in holiday parks to beach houses, heritage cottages, motels and luxury resorts. You can even pitch your tent near the pretty Gap Creek Falls in the magnificent Watagans National Park, a short drive inland.
Wander the spectacular coastline on the Coastal walking track in Wallarah National Park, just south on Swansea on the narrow peninsula. Keep an eye out for majestic humpback whales between May and November and pods of dolphins throughout the year. You can spot dolphins in the lake, too.
Boating and fishing are popular - the lake is teeming with bream, tailor and other species. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are great fun. You can hire various boats and boards, and even learn foilboarding. The Jetbuzz jet boat zooms across the lake with heart-racing spins and power brakes.
Cycling around the lake foreshore is a delight. Bring your own bicycle or hire one and pedal on a network of shared paths. The Warners Bay foreshore is part of a 9km route that includes the impressive Red Bluff boardwalk over the lake and the giant spiral slide for kids in Speers Point Park.
Nearby is Belmont, home to the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club on picturesque Belmont Bay. There are plenty more adventures such as tandem skydiving from the small Belmont Airport. You’ll also find delicious waterfront restaurants and cafes in Belmont and elsewhere in enchanting Lake Macquarie.