Kids and fishing… many a parent believe these two words should never be spoken in the same sentence! But we found the perfect little spot, just 30 minutes from Newcastle, where the kids can drop in a line and are pretty much guaranteed to catch something.
There’s good coffee and food on hand and all the necessary amenities like BBQs, toilets, walking paths and a playground. You’ll feel like you’re a world away from the bustle of everyday life. Too good to be true? It’s time to pack the tackle box and take a drive to Murray’s Beach.
Part of East Lake Macquarie, we stumbled across Murray’s Beach looking for waves and a dip in the ocean one weekend, but were completely taken by surprise to find Murray’s ‘beach’ is actually on the quiet shoreline of Lake Macquarie with no surf patrol flags in sigh.
It’s part of a private residential building development estate but the public are more than welcome to drive through this tranquil community and enjoy the public wharf and BBQ amenities on the lake and that spectacular backdrop with Pulbah Island at the centre of it.
Before you get the bait and rods out, there’s a beautiful natural playground for the kids to explore near the main carpark.
Swings and climbing frames are the typical fare, but this playground features creeping native gardens to explore, rustic wooden beams to climb and play on and plenty of sand to dig in.
There are limited car parks at Murray’s Beach to keep the visitors capped but we’ve never had a problem finding a spot and it’s so nice to visit an area which isn’t overrun and busy.
The jetty at Murray’s Beach gives plenty of room for those keen to throw their rods in the lake and try their luck. You can grab bait on your way at the service station at Swansea or Belmont or at the boat shop, Fisherman’s Warehouse at Marks Point or bring your own from home.
Most kids are keen to give fishing a go, but don’t have the patient or stamina to last too long at the game, so this spot is perfect.
We caught brim, long toms and pretty much got lucky with most casts! The kids were ecstatic to reel the little ones in and kiss and release. If you’re a more serious fisherman, then there is a boat ramp to put a dingy in the lake.
Walking & Bike Tracks
If you have little ones who aren’t too fond on waiting for the catch of the day, pack the scooters or bikes. There is a flat and well-maintained walking and bike track that winds gently around the lake. The natural bush setting is beautiful, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a native animal like an echidna or a lizard or two in their natural setting.
Even though the water is as clean as it comes, Murray’s Beach isn’t the easiest place to swim at with weed and plenty of rocks and sharp shells right up to the shoreline. Perhaps head back to Caves Beach or Swansea for a dip on the way home.
With some terrific BBQ areas and picnic spots, packing your own lunch BBQ or morning tea is a great option. There are undercover picnic tables and clean toilets nearby. The little kiosk near the jetty is no longer operating, but Murray’s Restaurant is right near the jetty and is open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch and Friday and Saturday nights for dinner. You can dine in if you call and book and it has a great takeaway menu too so you can take your own picnic rug and grab some tasty treats and coffee and enjoy it on the lake’s edge.
Good to Know
Location: Murray’s Beach is 5 minutes off the Pacific Highway, just past Swansea.
Bring: Fishing gear, picnic stuff, scooters and bikes.
Want to explore more in this area? Here are some other attractions you might like:
When Odette Tonkin isn’t writing, she’s chasing after her four kids on their Newcastle urban acreage, surrounded by her veggie garden, chooks and bees! Odette has worked as a newsreader, public relations officer and spent over ten years as a writer and editor at Pacific Magazines, writing for a bunch of magazines including TV Hits, Girlfriend, K-Zone, Total Girl, New Idea and Famous.