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Top 5 spots for picnic perfection at Lake Macquarie

November 2, 2017 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

With the great outdoors top of the agenda for most visitors to laid-back Lake Macquarie, we’ve rounded up the top five places to unpack a picnic and get back to nature. From enjoying the sunset at Catherine Hill Bay to exploring the Watagan Mountains at Gap Creek Falls, Lake Macquarie is packed with parks and playgrounds perfect for lazy lunches and fans of fab fish and chips.

And just in case you fancy choosing more than five, pick up a copy of the new Lake Macquarie Parks, Picnics and Playgrounds Guide – your go-to for getting up close and personal with the Lake’s best al fresco options.

Catherine Hill Bay

A State-Heritage-listed historic mining village, Catherine Hill Bay features a stunning patrolled beach, twice named among ‘Australia’s 101 Best Beaches’. Popular for swimming, surfing and fishing, the beach is home to a former coal-loading jetty which is a favourite spot with photographers. A small but scenic picnic area overlooks the beach and boasts tables, barbeques, toilets and off-street parking.

The Pines

The most popular picnic site in the Olney State Forest, The Pines offers wood-fired barbeques, tables, shelter, toilets, off-street parking and a walking trail along Dora Creek which passes through rainforest en route to an attractive rock pool. Four-legged friends can join the fun too, with off-leash dogs permitted – under control of course.

Green Point Foreshore Reserve

Located between Belmont and Valentine by the Lake, Green Point Reserve is a bushwalking hub offering a range of trails. Cardiff Point, the main picnic area, is a short 10-minute stroll along a shared pathway from the car park and home to tables, shelter, toilets, barbeques and a jetty. Featuring plenty of native flora and fauna, such as the ring-tailed possum, squirrel glider, powerful owl and sea eagle along established trails, there are historic markers en route offering insights into former local industries.

Toronto Foreshore

Between the espresso bar on the wharf and the playground behind it Toronto Foreshore has something to keep everyone happy. With pretty palm trees lining the waterfront and a marina full of boats to browse, there’s public swimming in the lake so you can cool off post-picnic and a designated spot featuring tables, barbecues, toilets, a playground, boat ramp, jetty and café.

Gap Creek Falls

If you follow a winding track through the rainforest you’ll find your way to the impressive Gap Creek Falls, with its sheer 40-metre drop over a curved cliff face. Marvel at red cedars and an iconic Illawarra flame tree, unpack your picnic at the designated tables, cook up a barbeque, enjoy the shelter and amenities including toilets and free overnight camping at three small unpowered sites.

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