An insider’s guide to your family holiday in Lake Macquarie

Want to know the best things to do in Lake Macquarie with kids? Something a little different, perhaps? Then look no further.

Enjoy Lake Macquarie’s incredible beaches

When the weather is warm and the kids are buzzing for some beach time, head down to one of Lake Macquarie’s patrolled beaches (patrols begin at the start of the September/October school holidays and end in April).

Our top picks are Blacksmiths Beach, where you can swim and walk along the breakwall; Catherine Hill Bay Beach, which is located on the shores of a historic village; and Redhead Beach, where tall cliffs tower over the sand, providing shade and a magnificent backdrop. Blacksmiths and Catherine Hill Bay have barbecue facilities.

The best beach for non-swimmers (or little swimmers whose fingers have started to turn into prunes) is Caves Beach, which turns into a magical place to explore at low tide. As the name suggests, there are a number of caves that you can explore, plus many rock pools where kids can look for sea creatures. 

Hot tip: Granny’s Pool at Swansea is one of Lake Mac’s best places to swim, especially for kids. This shallow, tidal pool is perfect to splash around in, and there’s an accessibility path for prams and wheelchairs.

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Run wild at the Speers Point park

This vast parkland is hugely popular with families. It’s a great location for family gatherings and relaxed barbecues, and there’s plenty of room for the kids to run, cycle and play ball games. 

A highlight of Speers Point is the Lake Macquarie Variety Playground, which is touted as one of the best playgrounds in the Hunter region. The playground caters to kids of all ages and all abilities, and the 9-metre spiral slide and pirate-ship climbing structure are always a hit.

There are two cafes in the park – Harry and Lola’s (located inside the Multi-Arts Pavilion), and Table 1 Espresso. The park also hosts markets, including the Homegrown Markets on the first and third Sunday of the month, and large events.

Hot tip: Head to the park early to grab a prime spot at Table 1 Espresso (located next to the playground), as this cafe guarantees to have something the kids will enjoy.

Speers Point Playground


Become an adventurer at Watagans National Park

Watagans National Park is a beautiful place to hike and bike, and there are a range of trails that take you through different types of forest. Here you can spot many birds and animals, and admire tumbling waterfalls and shallow rockpools. You can camp too.

The walk to Boarding House Dam is an easy 20-minute loop from the carpark and kids will love the 110-metre-long moss wall. Another easy walk, which is just over one kilometre long, is the Pines Trail, which meanders through towering eucalypt forest and rainforest. 

Hot tip: Pack the bikes and visit the Awaba Mountain Bike Park, which is located within the Watagan reserve. This park is a great place for kids to learn how to mountain bike with trails suited to all levels. The ‘development’ trail is perfect for beginners.

Boarding House Dam Web


Hit the water

Lake Macquarie is the perfect destination to get out on the water, whether it be to swim, fish or paddle. You can hire equipment like stand-up paddle boards and kayaks, plus boats, including barbecue boats and pontoon boats (which don’t require a boat licence) from Lake Mac Watersports

If the kids are up for an adventure, you can go on a fast boat with Jet Buzz Watersports. These tours get the adrenaline pumping with high-speed slides, 360° spins, fishtails and power brake stops.

Hot tip: Make a weekend of it and check into Rafferty’s Resort. This resort is a playground for kids, offering kids’ club activities, outdoor pools, tennis courts, and family-friendly dining.

SUP SWA


Be entertained on dry land

As well as having beautiful natural attractions, Lake Mac packs plenty of fun activities for kids on the land too. 

Visit Dullboy’s Social Co for bowling, putt-putt, dodgem cars and karaoke; watch a movie at the historic Lake Cinema in Boolaroo; or play arcade games at Timezone at Charlestown Square.

Hot tip: Charlestown Square shopping centre offers a range of kids’ activities, as well as outdoor restaurants and plenty of shops, so it’s a great place to visit for the whole family.

  Dullboys Social Co


Attend one of Lake Macquarie’s family-friendly events

Lake Macquarie is known for hosting some epic events, covering everything from speed-boat races, live music, car shows, amusement rides and workshops. No matter what time of year you visit, there will likely be something happening that the family can get involved in.

Some of the most popular events each year include the Let’s Fish Lake Mac fishing competition; Float Your Boat  – a competition for boat owners, who dress their boats in lights and take part in a flotilla parade; the Living Smart Festival, which includes sustainability and multicultural events; the Lake Mac Festival, where you can enjoy live music, kids’ activities, a big-screen movie and spectacular fireworks; and the Lake Mac Christmas carols.

Hot tip: Sign up to the Visit Lake Mac newsletter to stay up to date with events in Lake Macquarie and visit the Lake Macquarie City Council’s events page to plan ahead.

Fast and Loud Lake Macquarie

For more ideas on what to do with your family in Lake Macquarie view our Visitor Guide and Map for free online here.

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