Art and culture in Lake Macquarie

Your guide to art and culture in Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie has an abundance of art and culture to appreciate. So make a day (or days) of it and browse top-class exhibition spaces, outdoor sculptures and historical remnants on a cultural tour of the city.

Museum of Art and Culture, yapang (MAC)

The Museum of Art and Culture, yapang – best known simply as ‘MAC’  – is an award-winning museum that sits at the centre of the city’s cultural scene. Better still, the museum bags an absolute waterfront position and has an impressive sculpture park and cafe on the grounds. 

MAC attracts high-quality exhibitions (some permanent, some rotating) and also runs workshops and experiences for kids and adults. 

Even if you don’t identify as an art buff, give MAC, yapang a try – you might be surprised.


Dobell House 

Dobell House is the former home and studio of renowned Australian artist Sir William Dobell, who spent much of his life living in Lake Macquarie. His old white house, located in beautiful Wangi Wangi, is state-heritage listed and contains original furnishings and memorabilia. Wander through to learn more about the artist’s life.


Rathmines Theatre, nawayiba and Rathmines Heritage Centre

Rathmines Theatre, nawayiba is a groovy cultural space where you can enjoy live music, theatre performances and classic films right by the lake.

The adjacent Rathmines Heritage Centre hosts exhibitions that share the history of the Rathmines RAAF base and Lake Macquarie during World War II. The war history is fitting given Rathmines Park, located across the road, used to be home to the southern hemisphere’s largest and longest-serving seaplane base during World War II. 

Rathmines Heritage Centre


Visit SEEN@Swansea to catch a range of exhibitions that delve into Lake Macquarie’s history and share stories from the community. The space attracts some impressive acts, including travelling exhibitions from institutions like Australian Geographic and the Australian Museum. The kids can enjoy family-friendly shows on topics such as dinosaurs and reptiles, often run as part of a school holiday program.

Many exhibitions can be viewed via a gold coin donation.


Creative Lake Sculpture Trail

Take a wander along the Lakefront Sculpture Trail from Eleebana to Warners Bay to check out a fun collection of outdoor art by the water. The sculptures are by national and international artists and include a cartoon-like sculpture called The Ascetic, and Soloist – a lone, hooded figure sitting by the water. There are plenty of grassy spots and tables to sit on along the flat two-kilometre track, so it’s a great spot for a family outing.


Redhead Shark Tower

The six-metre-high Redhead Shark Tower is a unique surf lifesaving icon by the sea. The structure was built during the Great Depression in the early 1930s and is thought to be the only remaining structure of its kind along Australia’s east coast. These days it makes the perfect spot to snap a pic for the ‘gram.

Fernleigh Track (Lake Macquarie’s Rail Trail)

The Adamstown to Belmont train line once transported coal from the mines in Lake Macquarie to the Port of Newcastle, but, these days, it’s a popular spot for runners and cyclists. The wide, shared pathway has informational signage that shares stories of the railway’s past, and the track passes former stations and other relics of the old line.

The 15-kilometre track passes through cool forests, magnificent sand dunes and dense wetlands, making it hard to believe you’re never far from civilisation. If you don’t want to tackle the whole trail, you can join the track at multiple access points, including Burwood Road at Kahibah, Station Street/Hudson Street at Whitebridge, and Railway Crescent at Jewells. You’re welcome to bring four-legged mates along, so long as your pup stays on a lead.

Download the Fernleigh Track guide.


Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima (MAP)

Lake Mac’s Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima at Speers Point Park is a premier art and performance space. In fact, it’s slated as the first of its kind in Australia. The $3.5 million multi-arts facility hosts contemporary exhibitions by national and international artists, encompassing digital art and audio presentations. You’ll also be able to catch live music, theatre performances and markets.

Warners Bay Theatre, baramayiba

Warners Bay Theatre, baramayiba is a recently refurbished venue, home to live music, dance, opera, film screenings and more. The venue is only a short stroll to the restaurants and bars along Warners Bay foreshore, making this the perfect location to take in dinner and a show.

For more ideas on what to do in Lake Macquarie, view our Visitor Guide and Map online here.