Where can you take in stunning mountain top views, stretch out on pristine uncrowded beaches and paddle on a peaceful lake, all in the one destination?
The answer is Lake Macquarie, and the best way to experience the natural beauty of the area is to pull on your walking shoes and explore some of the stunning walking trails.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll with the whole family or challenge yourself on one of the longer hikes. Here are some of our favourite walking trails in the region. If you’re looking for more gorgeous walks, Lake Macquarie City Council have released a fabulous walking trail guide and mobile site.
Warners Bay Foreshore
Enjoy spectacular views and relaxing surrounds as you follow the 8.9km Warners Bay Foreshore trail along the lake edge from the Lions Park at Eleebana to the fascinating Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. There are plenty of rest areas along the trail to stop and take in the scenery or drop into one of the many cafes for a caffeine hit or a leisurely meal. Experience the serenity of the lake without getting wet on the 380m boardwalk that extends over the water around the Redbluff headland. This gentle walk is ideal for all walking abilities and is a popular family day out.
Gap Creek Falls Trail
Experienced walkers will love exploring the rugged and beautiful Watagan National Park including the Gap Creek Falls Trail which includes one of the most stunning waterfalls in the region. The trail is rated moderate to hard, but it is well worth the effort as the park’s towering red cedars and Illawarra flame trees create a cool, rainforest oasis below, complete with strewn boulders and moss covered walls. The dramatic Gap Creek Falls flow down a sheer 40m drop over the curved cliff face and showers the surrounds in a refreshing mist, making it a great spot to stop for a rest on a hot day.
Boarding House Dam
Another fantastic family day out in the Watagan National Park is the Boarding House Dam picnic area and circuit trail. Cook up some snags on the barbeques and unwind in the picnic area beneath grand old gums before exploring the 620m loop to Boarding House Dam. The easy walk winds through lush ferns and moss-covered boulders and past the creek’s unusual rock formations. The dam was originally built in 1952 for firefighting and recreational use and is a peaceful place to take a relaxed paddle on a warm day.
Take the hike to the summit of Mount Sugarloaf for stunning views over Lake Macquarie, the Hunter and out to Newcastle and the shimmering ocean. There are several trails to choose from that range from 275m to 1.6km and include some steep sections and stairs. The trail is popular with families and there is plenty of space to enjoy a bite to eat in the picnic areas while you marvel at the views down to the coast.
Wind your way from the buzz of suburbia through natural bushland and picturesque wetlands as you follow the Fernleigh Track from Belmont to Adamstown. This popular walking and cycling pathway stretches for 15.9km, however there are several entry points along the track if you’re not up for the full route. The track runs along an old railway corridor and fascinating railway relics from a bygone era can still be seen along the way. Old stations create unique rest points and an impressive 180m brick lined former railway tunnel stands at the connecting point between Lake Macquarie and Newcastle.
Tips for fun and safe walks
- Check weather and track conditions before departing
- Wear sturdy shoes, protective clothing and a hat
- Pack sunscreen, insect repellent and a first aid kit
- Choose walks that suit your ability and fitness level
- Carry enough drinking water and food plus a bag for your rubbish
Lace up your walking shoes and get ready for an adventure in the great outdoors. Ingenia Holidays Lake Macquarie is conveniently located right on the lakefront with a private jetty and boat ramp. The park offers a range of cabin, camping and caravan accommodation, clean amenities and resort style pool, all in a relaxed waterfront setting.