Art, adventure or both?! Lake Mac offers it all, here’s how to experience the best of it
An outdoor enthusiasts playground, Australia's largest coastal lagoon offers a long list of activities both for the active and more relaxed amongst us.
From bush hikes, to jet boats and skydiving, there's an adventure to suit all adrenaline levels. For art seekers, Lake Mac is a treasure chest of delightful finds, and this April the offering has been elevated with the arrival of the Archibald Prize regional tour.
Located on the leafy grounds of Lake Macquarie, the Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie, yapang displays an always impressive rotation of local, Australian and international artists, and from April 8 - May 21 the gallery welcomes all 52 finalists of Australia’s most significant art award, the Archibald Prize.
Why not make a day of it, plan your dining destinations and experiences around your Archibald visit, here’s some recommendations to consider;
Start your busy day off right with breakfast by the lake. Whether you’re coming from the Newcastle CBD, or south of the lake, you’ll be sure to pass by one of the many quality cafes and restaurants which are dotted around Lake Mac. Here’s a few to consider;
- Little White Bull Espresso - Shop 4/472 The Esplanade, Warners Bay
- Table1 Espresso - 450 The Esplanade, Warners Bay
- Hippo Espresso - 468 The Esplanade, Warners Bay
- Papatya Cafe - 68 Marks Point Rd, Marks Point
- Mr. Sister Coffee - 177 Main Rd, Speers Point
Lake Macquarie is home to some of the region's most unique and culturally important art institutions. If you only have time for one, make it the Museum of Art and Culture Lake Macquarie, yapang to view the 2022 Archibald Prize finalists and winners. From famous faces to local heroes, the portraits reflect the stories of our times and feature all the prize winners including Archibald Prize winner Blak Douglas and his portrait of artist Karla Dickens.
Whilst you're visiting take time to wander the Sculpture Park, have lunch at Three Bears Café, and shop the unique artisan made products from the shop MAC.
Archibald Prize 2022 winner, Blak Douglas Moby Dickens (detail), synthetic polymer paint on linen, 300 x 200 cm © the artist, image © AGNSW, Mim Stirling. Sitter: Karla Dickens.
If you’re wanting to fully immerse yourself in all things art, here are some other venues you should check out whilst in the area;
- Dobell House: 47 Dobell Dr, Wangi Wangi
A heritage-listed former residence and now house museum, explore the art, canvas, prints and exhibitions at the house and studio of Sir William Dobell.
Archibald Prize ticket holders will receive $2 off normal admission - $10 for general admission and $8 for concession. Show your ticket on arrival. Call 0400 770 257 to pre-book.
- Multi Arts Pavilion, mima: 96 Creek Reserve Rd, Speers Point
Lake Macquarie's home of digital art experiences, alternative theatre, contemporary dance, live music, artist residencies, festivals, creative workshops and activities.
If getting active and adventurous in the outdoors is more your style, Lake Mac is where it's at, take a look at these on, and off the water things to do;
- Jump aboard the CoastXP Lake Cruise & Nature Walk for a relaxing boat tour around the bays, beaches and islands of Lake Mac before heading into the bush for a guided walking tour to finish with a picnic lunch.
Archibald Prize ticket holders use promo code 'ARCHIBALD' for 20% off a CoastXP Lake Cruise and Nature Walk (must show Archibald ticket prior to boarding on the day).
Offer valid until 29 May 2023.
- For the ultimate, above, the lake adventure, take to the sky and catch all the spectacular Lake Mac scenery with Skydive Newcastle.
Archibald Prize ticket holders will receive $30 off their skydiving experience if they book and jump before 31 May 2023.
Use the promo code 'ARCHIBALD' when booking.
- Endure speeds of up to 42 knots, and a heart-stopping combination of high-speed slides and turns, 360° spins, power brake stops, and fishtails with the Jet Boat Lake Thrill Ride with Jet Buzz Water Sports.
Drop into Italian delicatessen Fredeli at Warners Bay to collect all your picnic treats before making your way to any one of Lake Mac’s perfectly positioned picnic tables. Prefer to picnic? bring along your favourite rug and settle in for a leisurely afternoon lakeside at one of these idyllic locations.
Belmont - Head to Belmont Pool and make use of the BBQ’s and picnic tables, and admire the views with stretch right across the lake to Coal Point. If the weathers warm, take your swimmers and go for a swim in Belmont Baths.
Green Point - Situated on the lake foreshore between Belmont and Valentine, Green Point Foreshore Reserve is one of the Lake's most scenic natural attractions, offering 7kms of walking/cycling tracks for you to work up some energy before your lunch.
Speers Point Park - A favourite with families, friends and festival goers, this iconic lakeside reserve not only features a ginormous kids play area, but lush grassy greens for you to sprawl out on and take in those beautiful lake views.
Thomas H Halton Park, Eleebana - The leafy lakeside picnic area features an incredible kids playground and skate park which will keep kids of all ages occupied.
If dining out is more your style you’re going to have some fun selecting your dining destination. Lake Mac’s dining scene has evolved dramatically in recent years with a delicious mix of cuisines, flavours and experiences for you to choose from. From Japanese, to Mediterranean, Italian and Indian, there's a restaurant to match your craving.
- Fukusui Japanese Restaurant: 568 The Esplanade, Warners Bay
- Sephardim: 71 King St, Warners Bay
- Salina Restaurant: 626 Pacific Hwy, Belmont
- The Grand Pavilion: 452 The Esplanade, Warners Bay
- Emilios: 75 King St, Warners Bay
- 8 at Trinity: 81 Trinity Point Dr, Morisset Park
Plan on inviting some friends or relatives to visit, but don’t have enough room at your place? Lake Macquarie has a long list of accommodation option that you can offer up, here’s just a few of them;
- The Esplanade Hotel - 568 The Esplanade, Warners Bay
- Caves Coastal Bar and Bungalows - 27 Mawson Cl, Caves Beach
- Lake Macquarie Houseboats
- Raffertys Resort by the Lake - Raffertys Rd, Cams Wharf
- Squids Ink Motel - 690 Pacific Hwy, Belmont
To start planning your Lake Macquarie art and action visit head to Love The Lake for more Lake Macquarie inspiration.