Lake Macquarie

As one of Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lakes, Lake Macquarie has been a popular sailing spot as well as a great holiday destination for many years.


The city of Lake Macquarie is located 90 minutes drive north of Sydney, 30 minutes from Newcastle, and 30 minutes from Hunter Wine Country and the NSW Central Coast.

Besides the breathtaking lake there are pristine coastal and sandy lake beaches and the spectacular Watagan Mountains towards the west.

You can take the train from either Newcastle or Sydney (fabulously scenic) to Fassifern and either walk the 3 kms to Toronto on the cycle path or take the train bus (keep the train ticket for the bus) into Toronto. There’s the sailing club on the lake – a good place for lunch or a cafe on the lake which is equally as good. On a sunny day this is a great outing.

The Lake Macquarie Art Gallery is also a lovely spot for lunch at Awaba House.

Catalina flying boats arrived at Rathmines RAAF Base in February 1941, and by September 1943 the base comprised 14 Catalinas, two Seagulls, a Dornier and a Dolphin. During training, many personnel brought their families to live in the towns and villages near the Rathmines base which influenced the establishment of other services such a school and post office.

The RAAF Base at Rathmines became the largest RAAF flying boat base in the southern hemisphere. Lake Macquarie was an ideal site as it is Australia’s largest saltwater lake and is four times the size of Sydney Harbour with 175km of shoreline.

Some favourite water activities on and around the lake include:

* fishing off the jetties
* hiring canoes & tinnies
* water and jet skiing
* walking and cycling along the foreshore share paths
* picnicking beside the lake
* swimming in the lake baths
* taking a cruise on the lake
* hiring peddle cats & aqua bikes
* eating on the lake at one of the many waterside cafes and restaurants
* enjoying music by the water in various lakeside locations
* exploring the many lakeside communities dotted around the city
* drifting around the lake on a houseboat or yacht

Explore the city’s shops and boutiques or the craft centres where you are bound to pick something special and memorable of your Lake Macquarie holidays.

The Lake Macquarie Art Gallery has free admission and an excellent collection of artworks from indigenous artworks, featuring local artists, works by the renowned Sir William Dobell and a fascinating collection of 3D modern and traditional art in the sculpture garden.