New South Wales’ mid-north coast is undeniably one of the most picturesque holiday locations in Australia. With miles of untouched stretches of beach, lakes and bushland to explore, the natural scenery cannot be matched. So besides looking pretty, what else does the Great Lakes Region have to offer us?
CALL INTO HAWKS NEST
Located in Hawks Nest and Myall Lakes National Park, Mt Yacaaba Walking Track gets the heart rate rising in a challenging ascent to the top of the mountain. On a clear day you can see all the ridgeline of Barrington Tops and the coastline of Seal Rocks, as well as the chance to admire the clear blue bay of Nelson Bay.
MYALL LAKES NATIONAL PARK
From beach to lake to bush, Myall Lakes National Park is an adventurer’s dream. On your way in, make a stop at Grandis Picnic Area to see the tallest tree in New South Wales and enjoy the park and surrounds. Pack a picnic and enjoy the area where you’ll spot wildlife and plenty of birds.
From there you can take the Lakes Way, a winding road connecting the small towns of the Great Lakes Region. If you have a boat or kayak, now is the time to take advantage of the almost-always perfect water in Myall Lakes. Both Water Skiing and Boarding are popular on the lake, and during the warmer months you’ll fight to find a park near a boat ramp, so get in early for a full day of water fun. Bungwahl is a great place to put the boat in the water or set up for the day with the family while others take to the water, or enjoy the best of Myall Lakes Kayaking.
Stay the night at Reflections Holiday Park Seal Rocks for ocean views and beach side bliss. Seal Rocks is perfect for families - with little to no swell the kids can enjoy the beach or you can try you best at stand up paddle boarding! We might be biased, but this location is one of the best family holiday parks in NSW, with activities and amenities to keep the clan entertained and relaxed all the same.
Take a walk to Seal Rocks very own lighthouse at Sugarloaf point. Built in 1875, the lighthouse is one of Australia’s 56 manned lighthouses still in use. Seal Rocks is also home to the northernmost colony of Australian fur seals, so you’ll see them frolicking on the beach just down from the lighthouse. Make sure you take binoculars for a close up view.
After your night at Seals, head 15 minutes north to Pacific Palms where you’ll find the popular Blueys Beach. With a small village of shops you can grab your morning coffee and breakfast before exploring more of the coastline.
Hit Elizabeth Beach with the kids. It’s patrolled during summer and has boasts good snorkelling on a clear day. Spear fishing is also popular in this spot on the south end, where you can also reach Shelly Beach once in the water (there’s a walking track for those who would rather not take the dive). You can also start the Booti Hill hike from the north end of Lizzie, a 7km round trip with picturesque views spanning the coastline.
For lunch or an afternoon drink, stop by the Pacific Palms Recreation Club – otherwise known as “The Recky”. On the shores of Wallis Lake, the relaxed local club has space for kids to kick the footy while you sit back and enjoy one of the best sunsets on the East Coast.
Jump in the car and head north a further 20 minutes and you’ll hit the town of Forster. Arguably one of the top getaway destinations for Sydney siders, it’s not hard to see why with what’s on offer. On the weekends you’ll find markets, and in the main street you can find an abundance of places to eat or grab a drink. For the sweet tooth, Sinners and Saints has every type of ice cream known to man kind. Grab an ice cream and take a walk along the river or peruse the shops and boutiques in the main street.
For your last night check in to Reflections Holiday Park Forster Beach or Tuncurry Holiday Park. Feel at home in the newly built superior villas or cabins or set up camp on a powered site. The park is practically located on Forster’s main beach, and you are a stone’s throw away from the adjacent Wallis Lake for boating and fishing.
Wake up the following day and enjoy a walk along the break wall or adventure across to the rockpool in Tuncurry before returning home.
The Great Lakes Region is just 3 hours north of Sydney on the NSW Mid-North Coast and comprises of Myall, Smiths and Wallis Lakes and is apart of the Barrington Coast. You can learn more about the area and plan your next trip at greatlakes.org.au.
Forster-Tuncurry image supplied by Destination NSW.