Add Lake Macquarie to your camping bucket list

Less than a two-hour drive from Sydney is the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere.

Lake Macquarie is often overlooked for holidays due to its close proximity to Sydney. It offers so much for travellers, including swimming, fishing, boating and water sports of all types. Go kayaking or canoeing, sailing or jet skiing, stand-up paddle boarding or kite surfing. There are lots of fishing spots direct from the beach or by boat.

It’s a fantastic destination for families looking for a camping holiday in the outdoors. The Speers Point Variety Playground was awarded ‘Best Play Space in Australia’ in 2011 and features a double flying fox and nine-metre spiral slide. Public amenities, picnic and BBQ facilities are located nearby, and Sal’s by the Lake Cafe is a great spot to grab a coffee while the kids play.

There’s plenty of local activities to keep you occupied too. Go for a surf or a walk along the beach at Catherine Hill Bay, home of the historic coal-loading wharf. At low tide explore the network of large caves at Caves Beach, also a hot spot for surfing and swimming.

Nearby, the Watagans National Park has lots of tracks for hiking and mountain biking, or just take a relaxing stroll and enjoy the view from the lookouts, or seek out the Aboriginal art of the Awabakal and Darkinjung People.

You can get back to civilisation with the cafe culture at Warners Bay, Belmont or Caves Beach. Or get a retail fix at Charlestown Square. For information on local festivals and other things to do, click here.