Cool off at these top swimming spots in Lake Mac

From amazing family friendly beaches, sea caves, isolated inlets and rock pools through to surf breaks, snorkelling spots, diving locations and kayaking routes, Lake Macquarie has it all.

Grannies Pool

Grannies Pool on Swansea Channel at Blacksmiths is a naturally occurring tidal waterway. A pristine place near Blacksmiths breakwall that triggers waves of nostalgia among locals. For many years, a gap in the breakwall allowed water from Swansea Channel to pool into a sandy area, not far from Blacksmiths Beach. This is now a popular swimming location for families.

Redhead Beach

Known for its stunning cliffs, rocky outcrops and iconic shark tower, Redhead Beach is a popular spot for swimming, fishing and surfing.

Patrolled by lifeguards throughout summer, Redhead Beach, is the perfect place to relax on the sand, surf the waves or cool off with a refreshing swim in the ocean.

Catherine Hill Bay beach

Step back in time when you visit the heritage village of Catherine Hill Bay. Largely untouched by development, the coastline looks as it would have 100 years ago, with a stunning beach, popular for fishing, surfing and swimming. The beach also has the unusual feature of a large coal-loading jetty. Patrolled by lifeguards throughout summer Catherine Hill Bay Beach features toilets, barbecues and a small kiosk.

Blacksmiths Beach

Blacksmiths Beach, located at the southern end of a nine-mile stretch of coastline, is a popular spot for families due to its close proximity to the town of Blacksmiths and its open space. Lifeguards patrol this family-friendly beach throughout summer. Located just off the Pacific Highway, Blacksmiths Beach features everything you need for a fun day out including a kiosk, barbecue facilities, picnic tables, public toilets and indoor and outdoor showers.

Blacksmiths also hosts excellent boat launching facilities that provide access to the open sea or the vast expanse of beautiful Lake Macquarie.

Dudley Beach

After winding through the Bombala walking track in Glenrock State Conservation Area, step onto the sandy shores of Dudley Beach, a great spot for swimming, fishing or surfing. At the southern end of the beach, you can find a fossilised forest in the rock platform at low tide. This secluded beach is not patrolled by lifeguards but is a great reward after finishing the Bombala walking track, which takes in scenic views of the Pacific Ocean.

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Belmont Wetlands State Park

Located between Belmont and Redhead, Belmont Wetlands State Park contains 549 hectares of sand dunes, walking tracks, wetlands, native coastal vegetation and beaches. Belmont Wetlands State Park offers a range of family friendly activities including walking trails, cycling, mountain biking, bird watching and more. The park is home to a rich and varied natural environment.

With more than 4km of beachfront, one of the most popular things to do in the park is 4WD driving along Nine Mile Beach. This requires a permit that can be purchased online or from selected local retailers.

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Caves Beach

Exploring some of our 30km coastline of pristine, uncrowded beaches is one of the best ways to spend your time. Caves Beach, situated five minutes from Swansea, offers a vast range of activities in an ideal location.

Well known for its namesake, Caves Beach features a network of sea caves at the southern end of the beach, which can be explored at low tide. With barbecue facilities, picnic areas, public amenities and a kiosk, Caves Beach, is a great place to spend a day out with your family.

Murrays Beach

Nestled on the shores of Lake Macquarie, Murrays Beach offers a relaxed and peaceful location for your next day out.

The endless open space provides the perfect backdrop for a picnic, and with shelters and barbecues dotted along the shared pathway, you are sure to find a spot where you can soak up the ambiance.

Visit the elegant Lakehouse Café for a coffee or snack or a more substantial meal.

If you have little ones with you, the timber playground is sure to be a hit. Featuring swings, ladders, a slide and a fire fighter’s pole, the kids will be entertained for hours.

The jetty provides the perfect location for fishers to drop a line.

For the more adventurous, you can explore Wallarah Peninsula by foot, following the Wallarah Peninsula Track from Murrays Beach to Caves Beach. While the scenery is stunning, this walk is not for the faint hearted. It is a two-hour journey one way so if you choose to do the walk make sure you are prepared.