Located just 90 minutes north of Sydney, Lake Mac is a must-visit for a rejuvenating, regional NSW getaway this summer. The diverse region spans over 32kms of pristine and uncrowded coastline, majestic mountains, untouched bushland, and stunning lake vistas for travellers looking to unwind and explore on holiday, leaving refreshed and reset. Whilst anxieties around international travel are still up in the air, travellers can step back in time and escape to the lake, relax, and start wellness early this summer!
Here we share an ultimate activity guide for a wellness weekend, including top experiences, foodie favourites and tranquil stays, to relax to the max at Lake Mac…
Let the lake lift you up
Twice the size of Sydney Harbour and the largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere, Lake Mac offers feel good activities galore on the water. Perfect for stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking or a spot of swimming, the calm, still turquoise waters of the many islets and bays offer a beautiful backdrop for worries to wash away. A hidden lagoon hideaway, accessible via a dirt road through the rainforest bush, Naru Beach is a secluded spot with white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters reminiscent of the tropics. With uninhabited sand islands offshore to explore, the paradise setting is an ideal spot to soothe the soul on the lakeshore.
For guests looking to spend even more time on the lake itself, setting sail on 1st January 2022 a Hop On / Hop Off ferry service, the first of its kind on the lake, will connect key destinations around the lake for travellers to, quite literally, go with the flow during their trip. For more information, visit www.lakemacferry.com.au.
Move in the mountains
Lake Macquarie is of course much more than just its namesake, with a diverse offering of nature escapes, including the lush Watagans National Park for guests to truly disconnect to reconnect in the wilderness. Home to waterfalls, spectacular rainforest gullies, bushwalking trails and more, adventures can be as active or relaxed as travellers like. Walking Rivers offers a variety of tours in the great outdoors for guests to get their fill of fresh air, including bushwalking amongst gorgeous Illawarra flame trees, kayaking, abseiling, and biking in the Watagans. A must for a moment of mental clarity, head to one of the many lookouts to admire breath-taking views of the Hunter Valley or a scenic vista stretching back to the coastline.
Start the day off right by watching a stunning sunrise at Caves Beach, strolling through the sea caves or a trying a spot of early morning yoga. Uncrowded at any time of year, Lake Macquarie’s beaches are beauties that beckon city dwellers to enjoy the laidback cool coastal vibes, sensational surf conditions and empty stretches of sand. For travellers looking to unwind and be at one with a board, female-founded Women Soulful Surf, Lake Macquarie’s women’s only combined surf and yoga school, is perfect for visitors looking to paddle out for the first time and feel empowered to experience the joy of riding the waves. Running private and small group surf sessions, surf and yoga events, and weekend retreats, Women Soulful Surf offers women of all ages a safe, supportive and fun environment to practice surfing, yoga and meet a like-minded community.
Awe at enriching art
Looking to relax at a slower pace? Sample the vibrant lake Mac arts scene at Speers Point Park to appreciate enriching and soul-satisfying experiences once again, after months spent starved of culture in lockdowns. Home to the newly unveiled MAP mima, Australia’s first ever regional multimedia arts pavilion, the cutting edge venue lights up the lake front and showcases dazzling displays of immersive visual, digital and interactive art works, as well as a host of new public sculptures. With a packed summer schedule showcasing Aussie artists, the inaugural exhibition EMERGE is a showstopper. The foreshore also connects around to the Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie (MAC) at Booragul, and in the other direction, to Warner’s Bay best known for its boutique shops and cafes, making Speers Point Park a hub of culture, arts, and green space galore to enjoy some Lake Mac magic this summer.
Where to…eat clean or indulge, whatever your holiday cravings may be
Caves Coastal Bar – This local hotspot is the go-to for relaxed coastal lunches serving up modern Aussie fare paired with panoramic beach views all year long, and a paddock and ocean to plate ethos to boot
The Yoga Place Café – Offering plant-based meals with a passion for sustainability and set in beautiful gardens, menu highlights include sensational smoothie bowls and decadent buckwheat snickers pancakes for a sweet-tooth treat
Luxe Lakeside – Lake Macquarie’s first luxury pop-up culinary company, guests can enjoy an extraordinary experience and Instagrammable moment anywhere on the lake with a picture-perfect picnic set up and grazing tables to reconnect with family and friends in the peaceful setting
Where to…stay and sleep away the worries
Iona Cottage – Situated just steps from the lakeshore with stunning views, this historic homestead offers a charming cottage fit for a private and peaceful escape at Marks Point
Serenity by the Lake – As the name suggests, this modern romantic property is the perfect idyll for holidaymakers. Settle in around the firepit for sunset, or swim, snorkel, fish, kayak and SUP (all included) from the dock
Werekataba – Set amongst rolling lawns on a hectare of bush woodland, Werekataba is the ultimate escape in the wilderness for families or groups to switch off in the tranquil setting
For more information, visit www.visitlakemac.com.au