How to spend a weekend in Lake Macquarie

How to spend a weekend in Lake Macquarie

Lake Mac is one of the best places for a weekend trip from Sydney or to stop into on a road trip along the NSW coast. Here’s how to make the most of 48 hours in Lake Macquarie. 


Start your day with a visit to the interconnected sea caves at Caves Beach. And by start of the day, we mean early – the sunrises over the water here are spectacular. (Just make sure you check the tide, as the caves are only accessible at low tide.) Bring your cossie if you fancy a wake-me-up ocean dip. 

caves rw

After your early start, pop into Boffee Cafe for breakfast and a coffee. This buzzy local opens at 6.30am on weekends and 6am on weekdays.

After breakfast, head 10 kilometres south to Catherine Hill Bay (known locally as ‘Catho’). Settled in 1865, this is Lake Macquarie’s oldest continuous settlement, and history can be seen via the original miners’ cottages and famous 100-year-old pub. Head to the coast from Catherine Hill Bay to enjoy a beach fringed by bushland and to check out the Wallarah Jetty, which once supported the area’s coal mining industry.

Backtrack to Caves Coastal Bar and Bungalows for lunch. This casual yet stylish restaurant is tucked in amongst the dunes and has fantastic views of the rugged coastline. Enjoy super fresh seafood or tuck into a wood-fired pizza. 

After lunch, continue north, crossing the Swansea Channel to reach Blacksmiths Beach. This sheltered beach is popular with families and makes for a top swimming spot, thanks to the protection offered by the Blacksmiths Breakwater.

Alternatively, visit the Belmont Golf Club right by the ocean. The 18-hole course is open to the public, but bookings are required. If the weather turns, there’s a tech centre and golf simulator to help you perfect your swing. 

Come nightfall, stick around in Belmont to dine on the waterfront at the Belmont 16s sailing club or Lake Macquarie Yacht Club. Belmont 16s has three walk-up bars and five dining outlets to choose from (not to mention 180-degree views of Lake Macquarie) and Crusoe’s on the Lake at the yacht club serves quality pub meals with equally stunning views. 


Grab your morning coffee and breakfast at boutique cafe Maddz on York. Here you’ll find lots of pretty cakes and tasty brekkie staples, like eggs benedict and French toast. While you’re in the area, take a stroll through Teralba to browse the boutique shops along the strip. Once a busy mining area, Teralba has redefined itself as one of Lake Mac’s creative hubs.

On the other side of Toronto Road is the Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie (MAC), which includes an impressive sculpture park (it’s a great spot for a picnic). MAC is positioned on five hectares of waterfront parkland and showcases a range of high-quality exhibitions.

  MAC Coffee

Directly in front of the museum is the launch point for Lake Macquarie Cruises, where you can enjoy an on-board steak and seafood barbecue with a ‘Lunch on the Lake’ cruise. 

If you’d prefer to appreciate the scale of the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere (i.e. Lake Mac) from the sky, book a scenic flight with Joy Air. Floatplane flights depart from Raffertys Resort and Warners Bay. 

In the afternoon, drive around the perimeter of Cockle Bay to explore Green Point Reserve. If you enter from the Belmont side, a flat path leads to the pretty Green Point Foreshore (an easy 20-minute walk each way), or if you come in from Valentine, you can follow a more challenging trail that weaves around cliffs and valleys, with beautiful lookouts over the water. The circuit from Valentine to Belmont, or vice-versa, is seven kilometres. 

Green Point Reserve

In the evening, enjoy dinner at Warners Bay Foreshore. Here you’ll find many waterfront dining options, including Canon (good for wood-fired pizza, craft beer and cocktails), The Grand Pavilion (which serves flavour-packed Indian curries) and Brown Sugar (an upmarket restaurant known for its incredible seafood platters). 

Where to stay in Lake Macquarie

There are plenty of accommodation options in Lake Macquarie to suit all travel styles and budgets. Some of our top picks include:

Where to eat in Lake Macquarie

You’ll never be at a loose end when it comes to dining options. Some of our top picks include:

For more ideas on where to go and what else to see and do 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.