Guides

Escape The City: How To Spend 48 Hours In Lake Macquarie

Brought to you by Destination NSW

Visit Lake Macquarie – you’ll love the lake.

Seeking an escape from routine? What if we said you can find a haven of natural wonders, adventure and epic relaxation within 150km of Sydney?

Yep, in less than two hours, you can be soaking up the chilled-out vibes of Lake Macquarie, one of NSW’s most underrated destinations and the perfect place for a weekend escape.

While you can easily spend weeks here taking advantage of the water-sport activities, hiking trails, and sampling your way around the local eateries, let’s break it down and share the best way to spend 48 hours in Lake Macquarie.

#1 Sunrise 4WD Adventure on Nine Mile Beach

Nine Mile Beach, Lake Macquarie

Image: Jae Nelson and Lake Macquarie Holiday Parks

From Redhead in the north to Blacksmiths in the south lies a 15km stretch of coastal beauty. Kickstart your weekend with a morning coffee as you watch the sun rise over the Pacific Ocean.

Nine Mile Beach is a popular spot to cruise along in a 4WD and you can also venture into the adjoining Belmont Wetlands State Park to do a spot of bird watching or bushwalking. Within the park, you’ll find an ecologically diverse landscape of sand dunes and wetlands, a great spot to return to more than once during your visit!

You can obtain a 4WD permit via the Belmont Wetlands website. Permits start at $33 for seven days, or you can purchase an annual permit for $88 if you’re likely to be lured back by Lake Macquarie’s charms.


#2 Wander the Farmers & Artisan Markets for Picnic Supplies

 

Lake Macquarie Farmer's Market

There’s no better place to sample the local food scene than a farmers market. After hitting the beach, head for one of the weekend markets scattered throughout the Lake Macquarie region. They’re jam-packed with gourmet goodies and crafts, so gather some freshly baked snacks and fresh produce to take with you to your next stop…a picnic!

Lake Macquarie City Farmers Market, at Speers Point Park, is held twice monthly on Saturdays (check the market calender for dates), while the Pelican Foreshore Markets, at Lakeview Parade, Pelican, is held on the first Saturday of each month from 9am to 1pm.


#3 Afternoon Picnic On The Shores Of Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie, NSW

Image: Rafferty’s Resort Jetty

It might be a bit of a well-kept secret, but Lake Macquarie actually offers great picnic weather almost year-round. With your market goodies, take a stroll along the Warners Bay Foreshore and over the Redbluff elevated boardwalk at Eleebana. If you’ve loaded up on cheese and wine from the markets, you might want to walk a little further, so be sure to check out the host of other walking trails available on the Lake Macquarie Tourism website.

The Warners Bay walk is 8.9km in total, linking Eleebana and Booragul.


#4 Hire A Houseboat Or Stay In A Historic Cottage

A houseboat at Lake Macquarie, NSW

Glamping has been all the rage for a while now, so why not mix things up and spend the night in a historic cottage? Listen to the water lapping against the shores as you sleep, snuggle up on the balcony and watch sunset from your cosy nook at Iona Cottage.

Or, if you’d like to get even closer to the water, you can hire a houseboat and cruise around Lake Macquarie all weekend. The ideal getaway for a couple, family or group of friends, load your floating home up with food and drink then set sail for a night under the stars and days in the sun.

More information on hiring a houseboat is available on the Lake Macquarie Houseboats website.


#5 A Breakfast Feast By The Bay

Boffee Cafe at Caves Beach, Lake Macquarie, NSW

Image: Boffee Café at Caves Beach

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and, when it comes to Sunday, you’re supposed to go all out, right? Yes, you should, and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes offering delicious morning treats around Lake Macquarie.

There’s Boffee Café where it’s very hard to go past the buttermilk pancakes, though you may also opt for the  healthier option of one of the Acai or Nourish Bowls. Hungry yet? Further north, pop in to Table 1 Espresso Warners Bay, where Moroccan Style Scrambled Eggs can be washed down with your choice of a healthy, freshly squeezed fruit juice or a Tim Tam smoothie. No choice really, is there?!


#6 Set Your Sights Sky High

Scenic helicopter flight over Lake Macquarie, NSW

Drones are popular for a reason – the world looks mighty fine from above! Experience the thrill of a scenic helicopter flight, soaring over Lake Macquarie and all the way up to Newcastle. Witness the water changing colour as you zoom over the lake, wetlands, sand dunes and beaches. Just be sure to pack your camera, because you’ll want to get seriously snap-happy!

You can book a scenic flight via Skyline Aviation.


#7 Head For The Hills

Bushwalking in Watagans National Park, Lake Macquarie, NSW

To finish off your 48-hour trip to Lake Macquarie take a wander through Watagans National Park, which you’ll find just west of the Pacific Motorway on the way back to Sydney. Here, you can breathe in the fresh air as you take in the views from places like Monkey Face and Gap Creek lookouts. The mountains are rich in cultural heritage, with over 40 Aboriginal sites, and, if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll find waterfalls, striking Illawarra Flame Trees, and even the odd wombat.

Images courtesy of Destination NSW

Love the Lake. To find out more and to start planning your trip, visit the Lake Macquarie website.