You don't have to travel far to enjoy your summer holidays

To keep you busy these summer holidays here's our list of 30 things to do if you're in need of a bit of inspiration to get exploring around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Hunter Valley, and Central Coast, starting with....

Food + Drink

1. Want to spend some time lakeside? Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner 8 at Trinity is Lake Macquarie's newest waterfront restaurant and it's a summer must.
Where: 81 Trinity Point Drive, Morisset Park

2. Haven’t indulged enough over the festive season? Then take a visit to some of Newcastle and the Hunter's best patisseries starting with Gigi & Chix Bonbon at Hunter Valley Gardens, Icky Sticky Patisserie in Lorn and Choux Patisserie at Charlestown Square for one or 10 of Nic's famous eclairs. If you're on the Central Coast you can't go past any one of the Bouffant bakeries or Burnt Honey Bakery in Copacabana is worth a vist to the Coast all on its own.

3. Make a day of it in Broke’s wine region and check out some of our favs; 1813, Running Horse Vineyard, Talits Estate and Greenway Wines.
Where: Broke

Running Horse Vineyard Hunter Valley

4. Ettalong is awash with awesome foodie spots to indulge in, starting with brekky at Coast 175, or a coffee stop at Lords of Pour. Take in some waterfront views and lunch at The Box, if it's authentic Italian head to Osteria il Coccia, for some Turkish meze book into Safran, Japanese flavours at Yusu or the buzzing Mexican flavours at LA Taco
Where: Ettalong

5. Take a trip to Lovedale and spend your day or days winning, dinning and exploring all that this beautiful area of the Hunter Valley has to offer. Hot tip - you can't go wrong with a visit to The Deck or Emersons when it comes to the dining. For the winning there are loads of options but Allandale has it for quality wines and spectacular views.  

6. Looking for a little barefoot luxury? Bannisters Port Stephens is your spot. From Margaritas and Mexican on the Terrace at Julio's, for the freshest seafood and boutique wines book into Rick Steins at Bannisters, or if you're wanting to keep it casual but tasty at the same time, you can't go wrong with the Cheeky Dog.
Where: 147 Soldiers Point Road, Soldiers Point

30 day trips to take this summer newcastle lake macquarie port stephens hunter valley central coast

7. Get acquainted with the multi-million dollar Brokenwood Cellar Door in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley.
Where: 401-427 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

8. Looking to indulge a little, take a visit to the Hunter Valley and dine at one of their best restaurants. If it's restaurants with a view it's Bistro Molines, for extraordinary flavours it's Muse or for a kitchen garden experience it's Margan in Broke, just to name a few.
Where: 697 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

9. If you're looking for a reason to visit Maitland, we've got at least 15. Whether it's for your morning coffee or a craft beer, getting active riverside, catching the newest exhibition at the MRAG, or enjoying a beautiful dining experience at Maitland's always evolving eat scene, check our guide here.
Where: 396 High St, Maitland

10. Get your hands on the freshest seafood right on the edge of the Hawkesbury at the Hawkesbury River Oyster Shed!
Where: 6 Kowan St, Mooney Mooney

30 day trips to take this summer newcastle lake macquarie port stephens hunter valley central coast

11. For some gin tasting take a drive to Allworth and park yourself at the bar of The Farmer’s Wife Distillery.
Where: 166 Allworth Rd, Allworth

12. Head to the beautiful Bar Botanica, set in the garden oasis of Distillery Botanica, for simple garden-to-plate dishes, freshly-roasted coffee and Mr Goaty’s famous gelato and sorbet.
Where: 25 Portsmouth Road, Erina

13. Peppers Creek Village has some fab new little cellar doors for you to check out - Wild Ren Wines and Charteris Wines are located smack bang next to one another and offering wine tasters a fresh new wine tasting experience. Only steps away you'll also discover the much-loved Cafe Enzo, Pukara Estate Tasting Room and for the shoppers Fetch Gifts & Homewares is just beautiful.
Where: 1946 Broke Rd, Pokolbin 

14. Land yourself at Murray’s and experience their newly launched renovations and browse their new food, drink, and homeware retail offering.
Where: 3443 Nelson Bay Rd, Bobs Farm

murray's brewery nelson bay port stephens


15. See the bay in a different way with a kayak tour or a paddling picnic package from Port Stephens Paddlesports.
Where: Shop 25, Shoal Bay Village, 47-51 Shoal Bay Rd, Shoal Bay

16. Get up close with the fish, if you're lucky you might run into a grouper, when you go snorkelling at Fly Point.
Where: Victoria Pde, Nelson Bay

17. A 135-year-old tradition has been resurrected on Lake Macquarie, with regular ferry services underway once more. Setting off from Speers Point at 8.20am, the Lake Mac Ferry heads out on a route taking in stops at Wangi Wangi, Belmont, Toronto and Booragul. Operating every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the six-month trial period it's the ideal way to take in all the views of largest saltwater lake in the southern hemisphere.

Tickets are $13 one-way between two stops for adults, or $26 return, with a full day, hop-on/hop-off pass $30, and travel times are about 30 minutes between Speers Point and Wangi Wangi, 15 minutes from Wangi to Belmont and 15 minutes from Belmont to Toronto.

lake mac ferry nsw

18. Jump aboard the ferry at Port Stephens to head over to Hawks Nest to enjoy the French fare at Tillermans.
Where: 77 Marine Dr, Tea Gardens

19. Take a drive to Norah Head and explore the secluded beaches, iconic Lighthouse and of course the local foodie scene that must include a visit to Johnny Tapas.

30 day trips to take this summer newcastle lake macquarie port stephens hunter valley central coast

20. Have a lazy day around the Central Coast and pull up a spot at one of our favourite picnic spots!

21. Escape the crowds and spend the day at Kingsley Beach, whilst you’re there take a dip in the rock pools and have a crack Jump Rock; just watch those tides!
Where: Port Stephens

22. Shake your Bouddi around the Central Coast’s best bushwalks and camping sites.
Where: Maitland Bay Track, Bouddi

30 day trips to take this summer newcastle lake macquarie port stephens hunter valley central coast

23. Convince your mates to go camping at Ladies Well, and chill out in the cool waters of the Allyn River.
Where: 71 Allyn River Rd, Upper Allyn

24. If we’ve been lucky enough to have some rain, check out the Somersby Falls in Somersby.
Where: Somersby Falls Rd, Somersby

25. Get active in the holidays and take a hike up Tomaree Head Summit walk, or go dune sliding or quad-bike riding at Stockton sand dunes.
Where: Shoal Bay and Salt Ash

26. Get up close and personal with marine life at Anna Bay’s Irukandji Shark & Ray Centre to have an unforgettable experience.
Where: 2 Jessie Rd, Anna Bay

30 day trips to take this summer newcastle lake macquarie port stephens hunter valley central coast

27. Take in the Hunter Valley by helicopter with Aerologistics Helicopters. See our iconic wine region from a different perspective with their range of different scenic flights.
Where: 455 Wine Country Dr, Pokolbin

28. Only an hour from Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, the charming little village of Dungog is known for its picturesque natural beauty and world-class mountain biking trail called the Dungog Common

29. Grab your SUP and paddle out to Snake Island on the Hawkesbury.

30. Reconnect with some of your favourite furry and scaly friends at Hunter Valley Wildlife Park!
Where: 138 Lomas Lane, Nulkaba

All details were correct at the time of publication. Please check online or call ahead for each venue's COVID plan and requirements.