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Lake Macquarie: an ideal walking escape

Whether you have been itching to get back to nature, yearning to satisfy your thirst for adventure, or can’t wait to breathe in the salty air of the beach, Lake Macquarie’s wide-open spaces will satisfy your desire to get out and about beyond your front door. Take your family, take your friends, or go alone and take yourself. Whatever you do, take the time to restore your wellbeing by getting a dose of Lake Mac medicine – the perfect antidote to lockdown fatigue.

Here’s just a taste of what’s on offer:

Wander the Watagans

The Watagans Mountains are a hiker’s heaven and one of the region’s best-loved visitor spots. Home to spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforest gullies, bushwalking trails, picturesque picnic spots and more, you are sure to enjoy a return to nature in the Watagans. Whether you are looking for a peaceful stroll in the bush or a hardcore hike, the Watagans has something for everyone.

Onley State Forest located within the Watagans Mountains is home to a lush green area, The Pines, where visitors can wander their way through the Pines Circuit Walk. This short walk takes adventurers through the quiet rainforest around Dora Creek, past a small rushing waterfall and dammed pool. Enjoy visiting the large open Pines picnic area before returning to the starting point.

For experienced bushwalkers, the 10-kilometre section of Great North Walk in Watagans National Park features great scenic lookouts and wonderful birdwatching.

Climb new walls

You’ve been climbing the walls at home during lockdown, but how about some rock climbing instead? For the more adventurous, Out and About Adventures offers rock climbing for all abilities, taking in the views from the sandstone cliffs of the Watagans Mountains. Sessions introduce participants to the essential gear and techniques to make participants feel comfortable and safe as they undertake climbs of up to 15 metres high.

If you feel like walking off a cliff backwards is more your style, Out and About Adventures also offers abseiling. Specialised guides provide onsite safety and technique training and all the equipment required.

When wet weather strikes, check out Pulse Climbing at Warners Bay. This exciting indoor rock climbing centre caters for all levels, from beginners to advanced, with highly experienced staff offering safety instruction and tips on technique.

Please note: Gap Creek Falls Road is currently closed for repair, however Out and About Adventures tours are still running in the area.

And…. breathe at the beach

Anxiety levels have peaked for many during lockdown – so for a good dose of vitamin sea, head to one of Lake Macquarie’s many beaches to unwind and restore your mental wellbeing. There are  plenty of beaches and sandy inlets around the lake, as well as empty stretches of sand dunes to walk, sea caves to discover and a number of secret bays only accessible on foot. The ever-popular Caves Beach has a network of sea caves that can be explored at low tide, perfect for those seeking more adventure after finishing the Caves Beach Coastal Walk.

For a more remote beach walk look no further than Ghosties Beach in Munmorah State Conservation Area. This unspoilt sanctuary feels miles away from any form of civilisation and the footprints you make while walking up the beach will still be untouched on your walk back down.

With open wide spaces and so much to do, there really is no better place for a post-lockdown break. To learn more about Lake Macquarie and find where to stay when you visit, please visit: visitlakemac.com.au

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Acknowledgement of Country

Wherever and whenever we walk, we acknowledge and pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians and Owners of the land.