Northern Broadwater picnic area
Myall Lakes National Park
For a great family day trip, Northern Broadwater picnic area offers swimming, paddling, birdwatching, and scenic lake views in Myall Lakes National Park, near Bulahdelah.
- Picnic areas
- Myall Lakes National Park
- Entry fees
- Park entry fees apply
- What to
- Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
- Please note
Remember to bring your binoculars if you want to birdwatch.
Situated on the sandy northern shores of Bombah Broadwater, this secluded spot is fringed with majestic paperbarks. With its sheltered shallow waters, Northern Broadwater picnic area is an ideal swimming spot for the little ones. It makes for a great family day trip and a wonderful introduction to the natural beauty of Myall Lakes National Park, just a short drive from Bulahdelah.
The kids will love swimming and liloing while you take in the delightful views of the water. Unroll the picnic blanket and enjoy a leisurely lunch, then sit back under the shade of the whispering she-oaks and relax. If you’re feeling lucky, cast a line for some fishing.
The vast open lake areas are also a haven for birdlife. Be sure to look for the white-faced heron and elegant black swans that inhabit these tranquil waters. After lunch stretch your legs along Mining Road fire trail / Old Gibber Road fire trail or stay overnight at Boomeri campground.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/northern-broadwater-picnic-area/local-alerts
- in Myall Lakes National Park in the North Coast region
Myall Lakes National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
Park entry fees:
$8 per vehicle per day.
The park has coin/card operated pay and display machines at Mungo Brush campground. NPWS visitor service officers regularly visit camping areas to collect fees from campers and sell annual passes. Day passes and annual passes also available from the Great Lakes Area Office, Bulahdelah and Tea Gardens Visitor Information Centres, and other local outlets.
Bombah Point ferry fees may also apply (cash payment only).Buy annual pass.
All the practical information you need to know about the Northern Broadwater picnic area.
Getting there and parking
Northern Broadwater picnic area is in the Bombah Broadwater precinct of Myall Lakes National Park. To get there:
- From the Pacific Highway, take Bombah Point Road (unsealed) to the ferry crossing.
- Cross the water with Bombah Point ferry and continue along Mungo Brush Road
- The picnic area is approximately 500m along on the right
From Hawks Nest:
- Follow Mungo Brush Road Drive (sealed) for approximately 25km
- The picnic area is approximately 500m on the left after Boomeri campground
If you're travelling on the Bombah Point ferry, see the the prices here
- Unsealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available at Northern Broadwater picnic area.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Myall Lakes National Park. Here are some of the highlights.
A good time to visit when the weather is a little cooler and the park is less busy.
Magnificent wildflower displays as they bloom across the heathlands.
Look for dolphins swimming among the waves.
Head to Sugarloaf Point to watch for whales on their annual migration.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
19°C and 27°C
10°C and 19°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
- Non-flush toilets
Maps and downloads
Fees and passes
Bombah Point ferry fees -
The vehicle ferry at Bombah Point provides access across the lake (8am to 6pm daily, fees apply: cash only). Under strong winds the ferry may be closed. Contact the park office to check. Ferry fees:
- $2.50 per pedestrian
- $5.50 per motorbike
- $6.50 per car
- $6.50 caravan, trailer or boat trailer
- $10 per 4 tonne or larger vehicles
A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.
Bulahdelah (0 km)
Buladelah is the gateway to Myall Lakes National Park. It's situated on the Myall River, with a backdrop of soaring, forested hills.
Forster (41 km)
Dominated by water sports Forster is the centre of the Great Lakes area.
Taree (42 km)
Taree is a major mid North Coast city, ringed by superb beaches. It's situated on the Manning River and set against rolling hills.
Northern Broadwater picnic area is in Myall Lakes National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Myall Lakes National Park is part of the Country of the Worimi Aboriginal people, who used the area's natural resources, like freshwater lakes, the ocean and native flora and fauna to live a traditional fisher-hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Much evidence of their long connection with this Country can be seen today throughout the middens in the park. The landscape of Myall Lakes includes important spiritual sites that are an important part of the identity of local Aboriginal people. Make sure you visit Dark Point Aboriginal Place while you're at visiting the park. This rocky headland has been of significance to Worimi people for at least 4000 years. The clans or nuras (family groups) within the Worimi people would gather together here for ceremonies and feasts.
- Dark Point Aboriginal Place Dark Point Aboriginal Place, in southern Myall Lakes National Park, is a culturally significant site for the Worimi people with scenic coastal views across to Broughton Island.
- Mungo walking track Mungo walking track offers a variety of Aboriginal and historic sites, diverse vegetation, and mountain biking in Myall Lakes National Park, near Hawks Nest.
Fishing is a popular activity in Myall Lakes, with catches likely to include bream, whiting, Australian salmon, flathead and mullet. There are lots of great places in the park to throw in a line, like the beaches, lakes or rivers. Try fishing from your boat or for a relaxing day on the water you could try a spot of kayak fishing. At Myall Lakes you can also go camping, boating, swimming and canoeing. And when you’ve tried all of those, you can explore the park on foot, by 4WD or bike, stopping for a spot of bird watching or to enjoy a picnic or barbecue lunch along the way. Whatever your interests, there is bound to be something that takes your fancy.
- Mining Road to Old Gibber Road cycling trail Mining Road to Old Gibber Road cycling trail is an easy bike ride within Myall Lakes National Park. You can complete the ride in one day or take your tent to camp overnight.
- Mungo Rainforest walk Enjoy a short and easy rainforest walk with the birds in Myall Lakes National Park, not far from Buladelah. Afterwards, you can enjoy a picnic or barbecue at Mungo Brush.
Internationally recognised wetlands
Since 1999, this internationally recognised wetlands site, has been listed under the Ramsar Convention due to its diverse mosaic of near-natural wetlands, within a relatively unmodified coastal lake system. There are 18 different wetland types with extensive interconnected lake and river systems within the forested wetlands and swamps that fringe the waterways, rocky and sandy shores, and offshore islands off the coastline. This wetland site houses a complex variety of habitats with rich biodiversity, including threatened species and migratory birds protected under international agreements. The Myall Lakes wetlands also have a high cultural and social value as they occur within the traditional lands of the Worimi Aboriginal people, where the varied wetlands, environments and abundant resources provided an ideal living environment. Evidence of this traditional occupation exists across the landscape, including the Dark Point Aboriginal Place.
Plants and animals you may see
White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.
Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)
A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.
Brown-striped frog (Lymnastes peronii)
One of the most common frogs found in Australia, the ground-dwelling brown-striped frog lives in ponds, dams and swamps along the east coast. Also known as the striped marsh frog, this amphibian grows to 6.5cm across and has a distinctive ‘tok’ call that can be heard all year round.
Cabbage palm (Livistona australis)
With glossy green leaves spanning 3-4m in length and a trunk reaching a height of up to 30m, the cabbage tree palm, or fan palm, is one of the tallest Australian native plants. Thriving in rainforest margins along the east coast of NSW, in summer this giant palm produces striking spikes of cream flowers which resemble cabbages.
Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)
The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.