Life & Style

Our guide to the best things to do in Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie might sometimes be thought of as an extension of Newcastle, but it's an expansive area with stacks to do and an identity of its own. The region is abundant with nature, excellent dining, contemporary art, and outdoor activities, so there's something for everyone.

Keen to explore the area? Keep reading for our guide to the best things to do in Lake Macquarie.

1. Get out on the water

This one might seem like a no brainer, but Lake Macquarie truly is a playground for water sports. Whether you take your own boat out and cast a line, go paddle boarding, learn to sail, kayak your way across the lake, or simply take a tour with a company like CoastXP, there's so many ways to see the lake and all of its scenery.

coast xp lake macquarie

2. Take a dip in the lake

When the warm weather hits, it's time to find a spot to cool off. Unless you're a local, you might not know that there's actually some great swimmings spots in Lake Macquarie itself. Try Belmont Baths for an accessible swimming spot (and keep an eye out for the baths at Toronto foreshore coming mid-2024), Naru Beach for crystal-clear water and white sandy beach, or Pelican Foreshore for a family-friendly swimming and picnicking spot.

3. Visit the Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima (MAP mima)

Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima (MAP mima) is a cutting-edge venue that is located right on the shores of Speers Point, offering a high-tech creative canvas for contemporary art. Open Friday to Sunday with extended hours in school holidays, MAP mima pretty much always has something on to explore – make sure you keep an eye on its calendar of events to stay up-to-date.
Where: 96 Creek Reserve Rd, Speers Point

multi-arts pavilion mima (map mima)

4. Grab your morning coffee and breakfast

Lake Macquarie is gaining a reputation for its quality coffee haunts. Some of our favourites include Mr Sister, The Pavement Society, Cargo Espresso, Maddz on York, The Yoga Place Cafe, Harry & Lola's, and Pegs. There's stacks of spots for a good brekky or brunch feed and a quality coffee, you'll be spoilt for choice.

best things to do lake macquarie

5. Museum of Art and Culture, yapang

Located on five hectares of leafy grounds on the shore of Lake Macquarie, the Museum of Art and Culture (MAC) yapang offers art exhibitions, a cafe, retail shop, and a sculpture park. Make sure you leave plenty of time to wander the grounds and take in views of the lake.
Where: 1A First St, Booragul

6. Picnic up a storm

With plenty of beaches and lakeside parks, Lake Macquarie offers ample locations for a picnic. Simply pack a basket full of goodies or grab takeaway from your fave spot (we love Grand Pavilion in Warners Bay and Sesame's on the Lake at Belmont) and head to one of these very picturesque picnic spots.

7. Go for a walk on one of Lake Mac's many walking trails

Want to get active? Lake Macquarie has stacks of walks to explore that will immerse you in nature and excellent views. We love the Green Point circuit walk, Swansea Boardwalk, and the walk from Warners Bay to Speers Point, which is great for bikes too. Check out our guide to all the best walking trails in Lake Macquarie.

best things to do lake macquarie

8. Head to the beach

Lake Macquarie is home to several stunning beaches, so whether you're looking for a surf spot or a chilled out patch of sand where the kids can play, you've got options. Blacksmiths Beach is a great for families and is patrolled in the warmer months, Caves Beach has a network of sea caves that can be explored at low tide, and Redhead Beach is a popular surfing spot.

9. Hit the shops

Browse boutique stores or wander around local markets on the weekend. 

Make your way out to the cosy little community of Cooranbong to get lost in Peggy Bee Shoppe, get yourself a new outfit at Lone Clothing Co, or purchase some additions to your home at Lure Home and Villa Lane.

Shop locally-made at Homegrown Markets, which happen on the first and third Sunday of every month at Speers Point Park, or explore the Pelican Foreshore Markets on the first Saturday or every month.

best things to do lake macquarie

10. Dullboy's Social Co.

Go bowling, hit the arcade or mini-golf, or go wild on the dodgem car. Then, grab a bite to eat and enjoy a few beers or cocktails – there is an evening full of seriously fun activities for all ages at Dullboy’s Social Co.
Where: 326 Hillsborough Rd, Warners Bay

11. Enjoy an ice cream

Not much beats an ice cream enjoyed by the lake when the weather warms up. Our guide to ice cream and gelato spots in the region covers spots in Lake Mac, including Greg & Audreys, Lulu's Gelato Company, and Kiwi Waffle & Cones.

best things to do lake macquarie

12. Skydive over Lake Macquarie

Want to get the heart pumping? Adrenaline junkies will love taking in all the views of Lake Macquarie as they jump out of a plane at 15,000ft. It's certainly a unique way to see all the scenery the region has to offer!

13. Pick up some fresh seafood

When you've got access to as many lakeside vantage points as you do in Lake Macquarie, buying some fresh seafood to eat by the water is a must.

Dawson's Oyster Supplies is located in the centre of Warners Bay, and has been selling fresh oysters and seafood for decades. All of its oysters are shucked onsite, so you know they're as fresh as can be. 

Shane’s Seafood in Carey Bay is another local gem. Head in to pick from its range of seafood including fish, prawns, oysters, crab, lobster, and scallops.

best things to do lake macquarie

14. Play at Speers Point Park Playground

If you have little ones, you'll be amazed by what you'll find at Speers Point Park Playground. Fully enclosed, the park has activities and things to do for young kids right up to the early teens. If they're feeling brave they can head up the 12-metre climbing tower to go down the 9-metre spiral slide, or keep it down to earth on all the other fantastic play equipment.
Where: Park Rd, Speers Point

15. Dine around the lake

Make the most of the waterfront views when you are planning your next dining out experience in Lake Macquarie. There's plenty of waterside restaurants and watering holes to choose from for lunch and dinner, including Crusoe's on the Lake, Martha, Pippi's at the Point, 8 at Trinity, and TINTA Belmont.

best things to do lake macquarie

16. Buckle up for a ride with Matt Hall Racing

We've got another experience for those who love a thrill – take the ultimate adrenaline ride with Matt Hall Racing. Designed by Red Bull Air Race World Champion Matt Hall, the Red Bull Aerobatic Experience is no ordinary joy flight.

17. Explore Dobell House

Take some time to explore the home and studio of the late artist Sir William Dobell. The property is now listed on the NSW State Heritage Register, and reflects the life and artistic genius of its owner. Explore exhibitions, or visit in June for the Dobell Festival.
Where: 47 Dobell Dr, Wangi Wangi