Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area
The bush backyard of Newcastle and the Central Coast is a hiker’s and boatie’s paradise – bushwalking, canoeing, kayaking, and other water sports await.
Read more about Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area
Come and enjoy the blissful lake lifestyle at Lake Macquarie. Twice the size of Sydney Harbour, it’s the biggest permanent saltwater lake in the Southern Hemisphere and provides stunning views, countless opportunities for boating, fishing and water sports, and is a haven for birdwatchers and nature-lovers.
Whether you like to bushwalk with only the lapping of water on the shore for company, enjoy long relaxed family picnics, or prefer to kayak with a line off the side to catch dinner, this park is very accessible – it’s nestled between Newcastle and the Central Coast. You can explore the coves and headlands in any season, and the water is lovely in summer if you need to cool off after a long walk.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/lake-macquarie-state-conservation-area/local-alerts
- in the Sydney and surrounds and North Coast regions
Lake Munmorah office
02 4972 9000
Contact hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4pm.
- 1 Blue Wren Drive, Wybung NSW 2259
- Lake Munmorah office
All the practical information you need to know about Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area.
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
For Morisset Park, Myuna Bay and Wangi Wangi:
- Take the F3 motorway south from Newcastle or north from Sydney and the Central Coast, and take the Morisset/Mandalong Road exit.
- For Morisset Park, turn right at Fishery Point Road and continue along the road as it becomes Morisset Park Road until you reach Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area.
- For Myuna Bay and Wangi Wangi, take Mandalong Road through Morisset as it becomes Dora Street, then Macquarie Street. The road will become Wangi Road as you cross Dora Creek. Follow it along until you reach Myuna Bay.
- For Wangi Wangi, continue through Myuna Bay and take the Summerhill Drive turn-off, turning right at Dobell Drive.
For Chain Valley Bay and Crangan Bay:
- Take Link Road off the F3, just north of Warnervale. This becomes Pacific Highway.
- For Chain Valley Way, turn left at Doyalson North onto Tall Timbers Road.
- For Crangan Bay, continue north along Pacific Highway. When you reach Crangan Bay, you can walk along the fire trails into the bush.
For Bolton Point (Awaba Bay):
- Take the Cessnock Road exit off the F3 towards Awaba and Toronto
- Continue along the road as it becomes Awaba Road
- Turn left at Carey Street in Toronto to cross the water
- Turn right along Bay Road, which loops around the point to Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area.
For Point Wolstoncroft:
- Access to Point Wolstoncroft is by boat to the headland or via the Sport and Recreation Centre (you are requested to call the centre on phone 1800 819 244 or 4976 1666 before entry).
Park entry points Show more
- Alexanders Trailhead See on map
- Chain Valley Bay Road See on map
- Kanangra Drive See on map
- The Ridgeway North See on map
- The Ridgeway South See on map
Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.
By public transport
Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area is accessible by train to Fassifern and Morisset, then by bus. For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.
Drop a line at Myuna Bay while the days are still warm enough to sit outside for a peaceful hour or two.
Spring is a lovely time to take Awaba Bay Foreshore walk and stop for a picnic lunch to enjoy the stunning lake views.
Why not kayak around the lake, exploring the secret bays and enjoying the warm water?.
Take a refreshing walk along Wangi circuit walking track, keeping an eye out for the tiny orchids that flower in winter.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
20°C and 25°C
8°C and 19°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Maps and downloads
Swansea (17 km)
Swansea is an energetic Lake Macquarie town with wonderful boating. It's situated on an isthmus between the lake and the sea.
Newcastle (23 km)
Newcastle is a harbour city surrounded by amazing surf beaches that are linked by a great coastal walk, the Bathers Way. The walk from Nobbys Beach to Merewether Beach takes about three hours and is a great way to explore the city.
Gosford (45 km)
Gosford is a great destination for a family day trip or holiday. It's situated on Brisbane Water National Park and surrounded by state forests, lakes and beaches.
Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Wonderful wildlife, diverse habitats
The animals love it here too, making their home among the diverse habitats. Green sea turtles, dolphins, sugar and squirrel gliders, and kangaroos all call the park their home. If you look up, you'll find sea eagles, kookaburras, lorikeets, and the threatened pied oystercatcher in the trees and sky above the lake. On bushwalks, look out for lovely orchids, spectacular wattles, and coastal banksia.
- Alexanders picnic area This very peaceful picnic area with scenic views, at the southern end of Awaba Bay Foreshore walk is the perfect spot to rest after a bushwalk along beautiful Lake Macquarie - indulge in birdwatching, picnicking, and relaxing among the diverse habitats.
- Awaba Bay Foreshore walk Take a stroll along the shores of Lake Macquarie on Awaba Bay Foreshore walk, enjoying the spectacular scenic lake views while birdwatching and keeping an eye out for dolphins and green sea turtles.
- Tiembula wetland walk Join this 3km guided walk exploring the unique wetland at Lake Macquarie. As you walk, you'll see how the environment changes from creek to wetland. You might even spot some wildflowers along the way.
The special atmosphere of Lake Macquarie has long drawn holidaymakers. A ferry service between Wangi Wangi Point and Toronto led to a growth in tourism in the 1910s and 1920s, and a number of swimming enclosures and guesthouses catered for the area's many visitors. Miners came to Wangi Wangi Point from the Cessnock coalfields, and it became a tent city during December and January when the mines closed for Christmas. You can still stay at Wangi Wangi Point in the Tourist Park.
An important place
The plentiful nature and beauty of this area have made it a special place for thousands of years. The Awabakal Aboriginal people were the original inhabitants, enjoying plant foods such as cabbage palm and lillypilly, and shellfish like pipis, cockles, mussels, whelks, and oysters collected from rock platforms, the lake's foreshore, and beaches. Local people caught fish with lines or spears, or trapped them in weirs built at the entrance of tidal channels. The beautiful Pulbah Island is considered sacred by the Awabakal People.
Whatever pace you like to take life at, there's stacks to do on Lake Macquarie. Kayak the serene waters, meander along Awaba Bay Foreshore walk or try Wangi circuit walking track for a gorgeous helping of nature. Picnic at Morisset, throw a line over your boat, or take things a little bit faster with some waterskiing.
- Marmong picnic area Marmong picnic area is an idyllic place to picnic by the lake, with opportunities for walking, swimming, boating, paddlnig, fishing and birdwatching within Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area.
- Morisset picnic area Morisset picnic area is located in Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area. This area is closed until further notice for safety reasons.
- Wangi circuit walking track Take a peaceful bushwalk through towering forests to the shores of Lake Macquarie on Wangi circuit walking track, with wonderful scenic views of Pulbah Island, birdwatching and picnicking opportunities, and even sea turtles to see.
Education resources (1)
What we're doing
Lake Macquarie State Conservation Area has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.