Here, within easy reach are beaches, mountains, national parks, waterways and a stunning lake, more than twice the size of Sydney Harbour. On the shores of the lake, there are parks with cycleways and numerous picnic areas.
Located just south of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the nearby Lake Tuggerah offer boaters, divers and water lovers places to enjoy. Cruising, fishing and kayaking are just some of the popular activities here.
The ocean coastline just to the east has fantastic beaches. The more popular ones, including Catherine Hill Bay, Redhead, Caves and Blacksmiths are patrolled by lifesavers which is good for families. However, it would not take long to find a secluded one as well, with over 170km of coastline to explore.
There used to be a busy railway line between Newcastle and Lake Macquarie but is now a long heritage trail which takes you past the old train stations, deep forest, the ancient dunes of Nine Mile Beach and dramatic scenery. Made for bikers and walkers, you can enjoy this track in sections or all at once.
The trail traverses wetlands, conservation area forests and the coast for some 15kms (about 4-5 hrs walk). Along the way are remnants of the railway, ocean scenery, coastal heathlands and pristine views. There are places to picnic and there are water fountains to drink from. On hot days, it is advisable to bring your own water as well.
Wallarah National Park, Pelican Foreshore Reserve, Green Point Foreshore Reserve, Watagan National Park and a number of other parks line Lake Macquarie. Made to protect the foreshores, they also allow you to take in the natural scenery with walks. You can even hire a boat, with that you can visit the largest island on the lake, Pulbah Island, perfect for a picnic.
More about the National Parks in New South Wales: NSW National Parks.
North over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, take the F3 Freeway to the Sydney - Newcastle Highway. At the end, take the the Pacific Motorway (M1) to Mandalong Rd towards Morriset / Cooranbong. NSW Trains are available from Sydney Central, Strathfield and Hornsby via Countrylink to places like Morriset (Phone 13 22 32 for more information).
At the Lake Macquarie Visitor Information Centre, located at 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea, you can find even more information about the town and its surrounds. Phone 1800 802 044
Just further north: North Coast Map.
Museums in NSW: NSW Museums.
Art Galleries: NSW Art Galleries.
NSW Attractions: NSW Attractions.
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