Best autumn activities in Lake Macquarie for families

Best autumn activities in Lake Macquarie for families

Autumn is the perfect time of year to get out and explore Lake Macquarie with the family. Need some inspiration? Here are some fun (and free!) ideas to get you started. 

Skate, scoot and ride

The flat terrain of Lake Mac makes it the ideal destination to skate, cycle and scoot. Some of the best wheel-friendly places include:

  • Fernleigh Track, which runs for 15 kilometres along an old rail line. The track takes you through Glenrock State Conservation Area, a top mountain biking spot that includes waterfalls, open forests and woodlands; Awabakal Nature Reserve, which has beautiful coastal heath and native forests; and Belmont Wetlands State Park, where you’ll find natural bushland, sand dunes and wetlands, with plenty of birds.
  • Warners Bay shared pathway, where you can tick off some of Lake Mac’s waterfront highlights along a 9-kilometre track, including the over-water Redbluff Boardwalk, the Speers Point Park variety playground and the Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie.
  • Charlestown skatepark (known locally as the ChIP Bowl), where you’ll find 1.2–3-metre bowls that are suitable skaters, BMX riders and scooter riders of all skill levels.
  • Swansea skatepark, with banks ranging from 0.9–1.5 metres. 

Skate Ride Scoot

Cast a line from the beach, boat or jetty

Lake Mac has some excellent fishing spots, which isn’t surprising given its 174 kilometres of lake frontage and 32 kilometres of coastline. Some of the best places to head with the kids to nab the catch of the day include:

  • Speers Point Jetty, where you can find bream, tailor and whiting.
  • Pelican foreshore, which is also a great place to pull out a picnic (nearby Naru Beach is good for whiting and bream too).
  • Murrays Beach foreshore, where you can cast off the jetty with stunning views of the lake and surrounding bushland. 

Line Cast

Explore Glenrock State Recreation Area

Glenrock has to be one of Lake Mac’s best spots to immerse yourself in nature, and is a perfect place to explore with the kids on foot or by bike.

The 6.8-kilometre return Yuelarbah Track is a real highlight. This will take you through coastal rainforest, past waterfalls and to Leichhardt’s scenic lookout, from where you can admire the beautiful Glenrock Lagoon, perfectly positioned next to a quiet beach. There are a few places to roll out a picnic too, and the kids can look out for local wildlife, such as lizards and echidnas. 

Glenrock Edit

Lace-up your walking shoes

Lake Mac has some great family-friendly walks, and in autumn (usually April onwards) there’s a good chance of spotting a whale off the coast. Some recommended walking tracks include:

  • Ken and Audrey Owens Walk, an easy 4-kilometre loop that passes through wetlands near Redhead Beach and includes boardwalks, bridges and observation platforms to look for whales (the track is suitable for prams).
  • Caves Beach Coastal Walk (also called the Wallarah Coastal Walk), which connects Caves Beach and the headland south of Pinny Beach, with awesome views of the cliffs and ocean (this one isn’t pram-friendly).
  • Bombala walking track, a short 1-kilometre track in the Glenrock State Conservation Area, which takes you through coastal forest before leading to the protected bay of Dudley Beach, where you can reward your efforts with a refreshing dip (there are some steps, so prams aren’t recommended).

Discover Lake Mac’s tidal rock pools

Kids will love exploring the wonders of the water at one of Lake Mac’s rock pools. Check out these favourites:

  • Swansea Heads rock pool – as well as having a big open park to run and play, Swansea Heads has a series of rock pools filled with all kinds of sea critters (if you’re lucky you might spot a starfish).
  • Moonee Beach rock pool – consider doing the 4-kilometre return walk to Moonee Beach, where an easy track through coastal heathland leads to a quiet beach and a protected rock pool area, complete with scuttling crabs.
  • Caves Beach – as the name suggests, this beach is known for its sea caves, and there are some fun pools hidden amongst the nearby rock flats.

Always remember to look but not touch!

Adventure with your furry friend

The family pooch need not miss out on all the fun, as Lake Mac is very dog-friendly. Try these spots if you’ve got a pup in tow:

    • Speers Point dog park is the premier doggy hang-out in Lake Macquarie. The 2.5-acre fenced area includes agility equipment and plenty of places for owners to sit (including shaded picnic tables) while the dogs bound and fetch.
    • Redhead Beach has a leash-free area between Second and Third Creek (keep in mind you will need a leash between First and Second Creek).
    • The Booragul off-leash area, part of the Booragul Foreshore Reserve, is a great option if your dog loves to swim. Dogs can run free from the car park at Booragul Jetty, and along the lake to Marmong Cove. 

Visit the Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie

Lake Mac’s award-winning Museum of Art and Culture (MAC) is a great place to teach kids about art. There are free kids’ activities, including art classes, run by experienced educators in the Art Space (be sure to book ahead), and families can enjoy high-quality, rotating exhibitions by local artists, including some incredible Indigenous art as part of the yapang collection. 

MAC includes a 5-hectare sculpture park, which can be explored as part of the Discovery Trail for families. You can enjoy a picnic in the park too, or grab a bite to eat at the onsite Sculpture Cafe by the lake. 

For more ideas on what to do with your family in Lake Macquarie, call the friendly team at Lake Macquarie Visitor Information Centre on 1800 802 044. We can send you a Visitor Guide and Map for free, or view online here.