Swansea beautifully captures the sun-kissed magic of the surrounding Macquarie Lakes region. Close to ocean beaches, famous sea caves, Wallarah National Park and the historic mining village of Catherine Hill Bay, you’ll enjoy activities that will set you paddling, exploring and diving into the azure attractions of this region.

Couple enjoying a surf at Catherine Hill Bay, Lake Macquarie, North Coast

Aquatic adventures & beach life

Surrounded by water, Swansea is a great place to spend the day sailing, surfing and fishing. Take a trip to Blacksmiths, Cavesand Catherine Hill Bay beaches, all with picnic tables and barbecue facilities. Caves Beach is just south of Swansea and named after the ancient sea caves you can explore at low tide at the southern end.

Sea caves at Caves Beach, Lake Macquarie

North across the Swansea Bridge is Blacksmiths Beach, a popular family beach. You can walk along a wheelchair-accessible pathway to Grannies Pool, a shallow tidal pool at the lake entrance. The beach is an easy bike ride from Swansea, and there’s a network of shared paths that hug the shores of the lake.

Catherine Hill Bay is a little further south and named after a two-masted schooner shipwrecked in the area in 1867. Weatherboard coal miners’ cottages still stand in the heritage-listed beachside township, lending it a step-back-in-time atmosphere. The old coal-loading jetty is a landmark, and the bay is great for snorkelling and diving.

Coastal walking track at Wallarah National Park, Lake Macquarie

Walking & national parks

The coastal walking track in Wallarah National Park connects Caves Beach with a rugged headland just south of Pinny Beach, a dark sandy strip with excellent surfing and fishing. The ocean views along the 5km-return trail are spectacular – keep an eye out for humpback whales between May and November.

Kayaking at Naru Beach in Lake Macquarie, North Coast

Adventure seekers

For high-speed thrills, JetBuzz Watersports will take you jet-boating to experience the adrenaline rush of fishtails and spins. You can also hire kayaks and stand-up paddleboards from JetBuzz and explore the lake using paddle power. Take a deeper dive with Snorkel and Dive Safari and explore abundant marine life around the artificial reef.

Getting there & where to stay

Swansea is a 1hr 45min drive north of Sydney and about 40min south of Newcastle. Trains run regularly from Sydney to Newcastle, which takes around 2hr 30min, or you can fly into Newcastle Airport. Accommodation in the region includes resorts, houses and villas to rent, and beachside holiday parks.