Before I came to Australia in my mid-twenties I used to live in Berlin for three years. A vibrant, exciting city with one major flaw: no ocean beaches!
However, Berlin is blessed with a number of beautiful lakes, and it’s these lakes that would draw thousands of Berliners out on the sunny summer weekends for some fun in the sun, a bath in the cool water and a ride on a hired boat. So this is where I discovered my affection for lakes, and learnt to appreciate all the different things a lake can provide. Our favourite lake, by the way, was the Stechlin Lake, a couple of hours north of Berlin, which is located in a nature reserve and has the clearest water you could imagine. If you are in the area one day, I do recommend you pay this gorgeous lake a visit!
Now that I am living in Sydney, I am happy to know that not that far from here you can find another stunning lake with countless leisure opportunities – Lake Macquarie. Less than two hours away from Sydney by car, holidaying here feels like you have left all the stress and all the worry of your normal life behind. The lake is perfect for boating, swimming and fishing. Let me offer you some suggestions, now that the days are getting warmer and we all want to get our feet wet again.
Thrill & Relaxation
If you like to discover new things, think about maybe hiring a boat for a day to visit the secretive sandy inlets of Lake Macquarie. Great offers can be found for example from Lake Macquarie Boat Hire, Lake Macquarie Yacht Charters and Lake Macquarie Catamaran Charters.
If you are after something different, something more thrilling for the kids or your teens, Jet Buzz is offering these fantastic 35 minutes thrill rides from Cams Wharf. 360° spins, power brake stops and fish tails are all part of the deal, a great fun experience! And if you want to turn it up a notch, I can really recommend their 1 hour Ocean Extreme experience which will see you head into the ocean for some serious wave riding and of course also some spins and thrills.
The Lake Macquarie area is also perfect for exploration by kayak, and if you would like to hire one, you can check out either the Jet Buzz website or try Lake Macquarie Kayak and Bike Hire who will also deliver to your door – how convenient!
No matter how experienced you are, there are a number of kayak tours you can do, and the official map on the tourism site can help you with some suggestions: https://www.visitlakemac.com.au/images/documents/kayaking_trails2011lr.pdf. Some of these trails sound absolutely amazing and it’s a great way to discover areas that are otherwise inaccessible.
Surrounded by nature, with the singing of the birds and the fresh fragrances of the trees, gliding down a creek is one of my most favourite, most relaxing past-times.
Stunning ocean beaches
If the calm waters of the lake and the surrounding system of creeks and canals does nothing for you, check out the range of ocean beaches that the Lake Macquarie region has to offer:
An amazing scenery thanks to the stunning red cliffs can be found at Redhead Beach in the north, as well as the iconic shark tower. Great for photographers as well as people who would like to enjoy the surf for swimming or surfing. It is also popular with the fishermen of the area.
Catherine Hill Bay perfectly combines the attraction of a historic mining town with the pleasures of a seaside location. Divers will be excited to explore the local shipwrecks, and snorkelling and kayaking are equally popular here.
Caves Beach is great for families – not only will they be able to check out the stunning sea caves at low tide, there are also a number of rock pools that are always a favourite with the little ones.
Lastly, Blacksmiths Beach is a very safe option for families with toddlers, thanks to the break wall which offers protection from the surf, as well as the popular Grannies Pool nearby.
A great weekend destination
Summer is just around the corner, and there are many different water-based things you can try in Lake Macquarie. It’s perfectly located for us here in Sydney and easy to explore on a day trip, but if you want to actually slow down a bit and take it all in completely, I’d suggest you look into the various accommodation options in the region. A good way to start is by visiting the tourism office’s official site: http://www.visitlakemac.com.au