Lake Macquarie Best of Nature

Reconnect with the natural world as you seek out hidden walking trails, sheltered bays and headland lookouts all along the shoreline of the largest permanent saltwater lake in the country. Explore untouched bushland in the Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area – there are seven separate sections scattered across the southern end of the lake and at Awaba Bay, on the lake’s northwestern corner.

Then head out onto the water on a kayak, strike out on a stand-up paddleboard or join a cruise to see more of the lake in style. If you have your own boat or have hired one for the day, make landfall at Pulbah Island Nature Reserve, the largest island on the lake, for an idyllic picnic in a peaceful bushland setting.

Feel calmed by the contrast of bushland and deep blue sea along 32 kilometres of coastline, bookended by Glenrock State Conservation Area (which contains the last surviving pocket of coastal rainforest in the region) to the north and Munmorah State Conservation Area to the south.


In between you’ll find a string of conservation areas, including Awabakal Nature Reserve – a great spot for whale watching during the annual winter migration season – Belmont Wetlands State Park, facing Nine Mile Beach, and Wallarah National Park, home to a dizzying array of native animals, including powerful owls.

Or head west away from the water to be awestruck by the natural beauty of Watagans National Park, a wilderness of waterfalls and bushwalking trails through rainforest gullies and thickets of Illawarra flame trees and towering red cedar.


Linger to explore the state forests bordering Watagans National Park, surveying the Hunter Valley from lookouts in Heaton State Forest or following sections of the Great North Walk through Olney State Forest.

Surrounded by national parks, conservation areas, state forests and more, discover some of Lake Macquarie's natural gems below: