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12 Lake Macquarie adventures

Aerial, Lake MacquarieCREDIT: Destination NSW

Viewing the scenic coastline and beaches of Lake Macquarie on a scenic flight.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

12 Lake Macquarie
adventures

Aerial, Lake Macquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Viewing the scenic coastline and beaches of Lake Macquarie on a scenic flight.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Bordered by Newcastle and the Central CoastLake Macquarie is only 90 minutes from Sydney. Named after its main attraction — a 110-square-kilometre body of water and the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere — it’s the ideal base for all kinds of water sports, from kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding to jet boating. Positioned between national parks and forests, as well as unique beaches such as Caves Beach, it’s also a great spot for mountain biking, hiking and 4WD touring.

Take to the air 

You’ll truly appreciate the breadth and the beauty of the lake when you see it from above. Skyline Aviation’s helicopter flights will give you a bird’s eye view over Lake Macquarie’s golden beaches as well as neighbouring Newcastle beaches such as Redhead. The company also offers 25-minute sunset flights over the lake and the coast. 

For a joy flight with a difference, book a Matt Hall Experience package. On this 60-minute flight over the lake and surrounds with Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall, you’ll reach speeds of up to 400km/h during an Air Race simulation, and experience manoeuvres such as high-G turns, rolls and spins.  

If an acrobatic flight doesn’t satisfy your appetite for an adrenaline rush, take in glorious views of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle as you freefall at more than 200km/h during a Skydive tandem beach sky-dive. After freefalling from 4,500 metres you’ll release your canopy and float back to solid ground in five to seven minutes. 

Launch yourself into the water 

Kayaking around the shoreline is a lovely way to enjoy your own little piece of Lake Macquarie. Lake Macquarie Kayaks delivers kayaks or stand-up paddle boards to any part of the lake or to your accommodation, and picks them up when you’re done.  

The beaches and channels of the lake are great for diving and snorkelling too. Dive Newcastle offers instructor-led shore and boat dives, or can supply equipment if you know what you’re doing and want to explore rewarding dive sites such as Swansea Channel and Catherine Hill Bay by yourself.  

See more of the lake with JetBuzz Water Sports’s Jet Boat Lake Thrill Ride. You’ll travel at up to 42 knots and experience high-speed slides and turns, 360-degree spins, power brake stops and fish tails. There’s also the option of extending the trip to open water, travelling along the Swansea Channel and out to the ocean, where the boat will chop, spin and surf on waves. 

Anglers will also be in heaven at Lake Macquarie. Commercial fishing in the lake was banned in 1980, and fish stocks are plentiful. You’ll find species such as mulloway, bream, dusky flathead, tailor, luderick and sand whiting in abundance. Lake Macquarie is linked to the sea via the Swansea Channel, which is where you’ll find large schools of Australian salmon over the winter months. You may also spot juvenile great white sharks if you’re lucky: the lake is a fertile breeding ground for these magnificent sharks. 

Lake Macquarie Highlight Selects CREDIT: Destination NSW

Lake Macquarie is a haven for outdoor adventure.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Lake Macquarie Highlight Selects CREDIT: Destination NSW

Lake Macquarie is a haven for outdoor adventure.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Skyline Aviation Group, Lake Macquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Man enjoying a scenic sunset flight with Skyline Aviation Group over the Lake Macquarie region.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Skyline Aviation Group, Lake Macquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Man enjoying a scenic sunset flight with Skyline Aviation Group over the Lake Macquarie region.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Naru Beach, Lake Macquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying a day of stand up paddleboarding on Lake Macquarie off Naru Beach.

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Naru Beach, Lake Macquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying a day of stand up paddleboarding on Lake Macquarie off Naru Beach.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hit the ground walking 

There are plenty of options for a pleasant walk around the lake — try the paved track from the Speers Point Park to Eleebana via the café strip at Warners Bay. But one of the prettiest walking tracks in the area is the Circuit walk in Watagans National Park. The half-hour circuit takes in a creek, moss walls, rainforest and the dam. And the Coastal Walking Track at Wallarah National Park is a picturesque trail; in winter you’re likely to spot passing humpback and southern right whales.  

Head to the bush or the beach 

And if walking backwards off a cliff is your thing, you’ll want to do it at the 45-metre Gap Creek Falls in Watagans National Park with Out and About Adventures’s abseiling tour. You’ll tackle rugged natural sandstone cliffs up to 80 metres high, tackling at least six descents during your outing.  

If you’re a mountain biking enthusiast head to the Awaba Mountain Bike Park, one of the premier tracks in the country. The majority of the 12km loop has a dry, smooth, hard-packed surface, but it also takes in dense rainforest. It’s ideal for all skill levels. Beginners will enjoy the main track, while seasoned riders will be drawn to the Monkey Face downhill track, a technical descent known for being one of the most challenging in Australia. 

And for an adventure of a different kind, take your four-wheel-drive vehicle to the beach for the day. Grab a permit from the Belmont Wetlands State Park website for access to Nine Mile Beach between Redhead and Blacksmiths beaches. Blacksmiths Beach is renowned for being one of the only spots where the closer you get to the tide, the softer the sand becomes. So reduce your tyre pressure to take on those big dunes.  

And find yourself a base 

There’s plenty to do on the lake, and plenty of choices for places to stay as well so you can make the most of your visit. Rafferty's Resort, at Murrays Beach between Catherine Hill Bay and Caves Beach on the shores of the lake, offers upscale self-contained cottages. Caves Coastal at Caves Beach has private beach bungalows and is the perfect location if you plan on catching the sunrise from inside the beach caves. Mid-range accommodation options include the comfortable rooms at Squid’s Ink Motel, on the lakefront side of Belmont.  

Wallarah National Park, Lake Macquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying a coastal walk through Wallarah National Park, Lake Macquarie.

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Wallarah National Park, Lake Macquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends enjoying a coastal walk through Wallarah National Park, Lake Macquarie.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Watagans National Park, Lake Maquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Woman abseiling Gap Creek Falls in Watagans National Park, Lake Macquarie.

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Watagans National Park, Lake Maquarie CREDIT: Destination NSW

Woman abseiling Gap Creek Falls in Watagans National Park, Lake Macquarie.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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