Top 10 things to do in Lake Macquarie

There’s plenty to see and do in the Lake Macquarie region. Here are our top picks.

Spend a day on the lake

It goes without saying that the best thing to do in Lake Macquarie is to visit its namesake, which is Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake. Even better? Get out on it. 

For a chilled out experience, hire a houseboat from Lake Macquarie Houseboats. These luxury houseboats have everything you need, including cooking facilities, a TV, USB ports, linen and a quality sound system. You don’t need a boat licence to hire one and you can use your time to go fishing and swimming, or simply kick back and relax with water views and a book.

If you’re short on time or would rather leave the role of skipper to someone else, you can head onto the water with Lake Macquarie Sailing Tours. These tours take you across the lake to Pulbah Island, where you can stay onboard and admire the scenery, or explore the island and go for a swim. Along the way you can enjoy a platter and non-alcoholic beverages while learning about the history, culture and flora and fauna of the Lake Macquarie area.

Alternatively, on a thrill ride with Jet Buzz Water Sports you can hoon across the lake at high speeds, getting your heart rate up with 360-degree spins, fishtails and power brake stops. This has to be one of the most fun ways to experience Lake Macquarie. Jet Buzz offers boat, kayak, and SUP hire too.


Explore the caves at Caves Beach

Looking for a top Instagram spot in Lake Mac? Caves Beach is your location. At low tide, a series of natural caves dug deep into the cliffs reveal themselves and you can wander in to explore. You can also swim and surf at Caves Beach. 

After visiting the beach, stop by local favourite Boffee Coffee for morning tea, or try the seaside Caves Coastal restaurant for lunch.


Escape to the Watagan Mountains

For a wilderness escape, go for a bushwalk in the Watagan Mountains. Here you’ll find calming rainforest just an hour from Newcastle and can choose from a number of trails. Gap Creek Falls is a highlight, with an incredible 40-metre-high waterfall. The last part of the hike to the waterfall on the 1-hour circuit is quite steep, so if you want an easier option, enjoy the forest by taking the Forest Walk circuit. You can camp in Watagans National Park if you want to make a weekend of it. 


Wine and dine in Warners Bay

You’ll find some of Lake Macquarie’s best dining in Warners Bay. There’s a huge selection of cafes and restaurants, not to mention gorgeous lake views. 

Build up an appetite with a walk along the foreshore, taking your time to admire the outdoor sculpture gallery, then stroll along the jetty. (Or, if you want to cruise all the way to Speers Point, hire an electric bike from Beam (hires are app-based) and take in the beautiful scenery on the shared pathway.)


Get sandy at Redhead Beach

Redhead Beach is the most popular patrolled beach in Lake Macquarie. The beach has a striking rocky headland, freshwater creeks and an iconic shark tower. This long stretch of sand is the perfect place for a beach walk and a section of Redhead Beach is dog friendly. 


Get a bird’s-eye view of the lake

Thrill seeker? If yes, book yourself an unforgettable experience with Sky Dive Newcastle. Newcastle’s only beachside skydive will let you take in epic views of Lake Macquarie as you plunge from up to 15,000 feet. When the weather is right you can land right on the beach.

As an alternative, you can get your adrenaline rush on an aerobatic thrill flight with Red Bull Air Race champion Matt Hall of Matt Hall Racing. You can choose from a number of packages that let you loop, barrel roll and tumble in the company of a former RAAF fighter pilot.

If jumping out of a plane or falling from the sky in one feels a bit much, you can appreciate the same views on a scenic helicopter flight with Skyline Aviation. The Lake Macquarie sunset helicopter flight is especially beautiful. 


Spend a morning or afternoon at Speers Point Park

Lake Macquarie Variety Playground is one of the best playgrounds in the Hunter region and caters for kids of all ages and abilities (the 12-metre climbing tower and spiral slide is a highlight). 

Even if you don’t have kids, you can enjoy the large open parkland, which has plenty of great spots for a picnic and quality barbecue facilities. Sometimes there are large events and markets held here too. 

The park also includes two cafes – Harry & Lola’s (located inside the Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima) and Table 1 Espresso.


Embrace your cultural side at world-class art venues

Lake Macquarie’s Museum of Art and Culture, yapang (MAC) is positioned on the waterfront at Booragul. Here you can admire high-quality permanent and rotating exhibitions and attend a range of events. MAC, yapang also offers adult art classes and plenty of activities for kids. The onsite Three Bears Cafe overlooks the Sculpture Park and has water views from the balcony, making it a great spot to grab lunch or a coffee.

On the other side of the bay you can check out the world-class Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima (MAP) in Speers Point Park. Like MAC, this cutting-edge facility also hosts contemporary art exhibitions and performances.


Ride the rails on the historic Fernleigh Track

Lake Macquarie’s Fernleigh Track is the most popular shared pathway in the region. Set along a historic railway corridor, this 15 kilometre track is perfect for a bike ride, walk or run. Along the way you can view former stations, relics of the route’s past, and interpretive panels, which share the track’s history. One of the most iconic portions of the track is the 180-metre railway tunnel that connects Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. Surrounded by thick forest, this attractive arched tunnel has been featured in several television commercials. 


Shop ‘til you drop at Charlestown Square

Enjoy some retail therapy at the Hunter Region’s largest shopping centre, Charlestown Square. There are more than 240 stores and you can also catch a movie, go tenpin bowling, hit the Timezone, or play a round of mini golf. There’s also a large selection of restaurants and fast food options to choose from.



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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