Warners Bay

The air in Warners Bay smells like salt and sunscreen. Curving around the shore of Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake, the sparkling Lake Macquarie, the town is a hub for watersports and outdoor activities, with plenty of tasty cafes for when you need to refuel.

The shared path along the waterfront Esplanade runs for 9km from Lions Park in Eleebana to the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. At the southern end is the impressive Red Bluff Boardwalk which juts out over the lake and is hundreds of metres long. There are three viewing platforms along the way.

Friends enjoying stand up paddle boarding at Naru Beach in Lake Macquarie, North Coast

The path is perfect for walking, cycling and rollerblading. Bring your own bicycle or hire two wheels from the self-service Automatic Bike Hire station or Lake Mac Kayak and Bike Hire. The kids will enjoy a picnic at the Lake Macquarie Variety Playground in lovely Speers Point Park, where the giant spiral slide adds to the thrills.

The views from the foreshore attract thousands of runners every August for the Lake Macquarie Running Festival, a half marathon, 10.5km fun run and 4km kids scamper. The spectacular scenery makes waterfront promenade between Warners Bay and Speers Point one of the best running courses in Australia.

Friends sitting at Brennans Cafe in Warners Bay, Lake Macquarie, North Coast

You’ll find plenty of fun things to do on the lake, like sailing, kayaking, fishing and stand-up paddleboarding. Thrill-seekers can also learn to ride a hydrofoil board, which skims few feet above the water while being towed by a speedboat or propelled by a billowing kite. The magnificent Watagans Mountains form a striking backdrop.

Looking for more? Head indoors and roar around the track at Extreme Karts Warners Bay. Visit stunning ocean beaches and explore the magnificent national parks, just a short drive away. Then stop for a top-quality latte at Brennans, Q & Co or Hippo Espresso.

Warners Bay is just over two hours’ drive north of Sydney and around 30min from Newcastle. You can also take the train up the coast or fly into Newcastle Airport from Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Accommodation options in the region include motels, apartments and holiday parks.