International border closure from COVID-19 means our travel plans are put on hold. Lake Macquarie, a city in New South Wales is the ideal weekend getaway to fix your travel bugs with experiences that can rival the world’s most famous hotspots without costing an arm or a leg and with less travel time.
Lake Macquarie lies only half an hour north of Sydney that can allow you to relax, recuperate and revitalise from the bustling city life.
Surrounded by the Watagan Mountains and Caves Beach, the city pulses with life. At the epicentre of it all lies the lake itself, the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere, twice the size of Sydney Harbour. With a small-town brimming with eclectic people and culture, there is something at Lake Macquarie for everyone.
Love the Lake
Had planned on visiting the turquoise lakes of Lake Louise? Once you experience Lake Mac’s crystal-like waters there is no such thing as FOMO. Lake Mac offers a range of water activities such as kayaking or paddle boarding where you can slice your way across the vast expanse of the lake’s deep blue in complete tranquillity.
For those looking for less involved activities, then you can opt to for boating, sailing or cruises. Some of the tour packages offered like CoastXP’s will not just give you the chance to take in the shimmering lake but also allow you to go coastal sightseeing or whale watching.
If water is definitely not your element or you just want to wind down before the day’s end, then head to Belmont. Located on the eastern shores of the Lake, grab a coffee or dinner at the town centre during golden hour as you watch the sky and water meet in the gorgeous purple and orange hue.
If your holiday plans were to journey through the Andes Mountains instead, then don’t worry the Watagans Mountain at Lake Mac is equally as brilliant.
A bushwalk in the Watagans National Park’s allows you to experience both a cultural and natural experience as you witness the light rays seeping through the dense rainforest that is complete with waterfalls, aboriginal engraving sites and more.
Hiking enthusiasts would be delighted to know that the Watagans National Park offers 20 hiking trails. Each trail ensures a different experience across the mountain where you will be able to witness the unique flora and fauna such as the gorgeous Illawara flame trees. Or enjoy the breath-taking view from Monkey Face lookout that offers a view down over Martinsville Valley.
For families and those who are seeking to take in fresh air without the rigorous activity, they can head to the Boarding House Dam to enjoy a picnic under the rainforest canopy with the soothing backdrop of a creek and dam.
AAA Horse Riding offers you an experience to live out your cinematic dreams with horseback rides through the picturesque foothills of the mountain. Choose from 1hr, 1 ½ hr, 2hr rides or ½ day treks and full day treks that will allow everyone of all ages and experience to participate.
Chill by the Beach
Forgo Brazil’s Copacabana Beach and sink your feet into the silky sands of Lake Mac’s beaches instead.
Blacksmith’s beach offers an experience for the whole family with an ideal place for fishing due to the beach being protected by a breakwall; a grannie pool for kids; or take the Newcastle Surf’s School surf lessons.
For more, experienced surfers, head out to Catherine Hill Bay to surf on the rolling waves. Snorkelling and scuba diving are popular here too. While you are there, hit up the heritage town and instantly feel like you are blasted to the past.
When the tides are low, venture off into the extensive network of sea caves at Caves Beach where you can discover rockpools and a hidden beach.
Or just take a peaceful walk across the nine-mile-long coastline.
Round out your day at the beach at Caves Coastal. Nestled in the Caves Beach Dunes, you can enjoy a stunning spread of the freshest and best local produce while listening to the waves softly lap against the shore as the seawater dries on your skin.
For more on Lake Macquarie, visit: www.visitlakemac.com.au