Great Lakes

Broughton Island

This island is a part of the Myall Lakes National Park and is surrounded by a Marine Park
It is the only place in NSW where you can camp on an island amongst an active seabird colony.

The waters surrounding Broughton Island are home to plenty of opportunities for water activities, including swimming, fishing, boating, snorkelling and scuba diving and you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach in Esmeralda Cove.

The island itself boasts a rugged remote experience and you can camp there to really connect with nature.

You can access Broughton Island via boat from Tea Gardens.

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Located on the banks of the Myall River, Bulahdelah is a launching point to explore the hinterland and the Myall Lakes National Park
The township is dominated by Alum Mountain. Historically linked with the timber and mining industries today this area has the Bulahdelah Mountain Park which has a number of walks of varying grades and magnificent views. On top of the mountain are relics to its mining past and some of the best climbing on the coast. Alum Mountain is home to 85 varieties of orchids and fascinating landscapes.

Nearby the Wang Wauk Forest Drive in the Myall Lakes National Park passes by some of the State’s largest flooded gum trees including The Grandis, the tallest known tree in the State. These forests now provide a refuge for fascinating wildlife and industrial archaeological remains.

Bulahdelah is now by-passed making it a quiet town with a country feel Main Street which is home to cafes, restaurants and retail. The town hosts events throughout the year including the popular Bulahdelah Hill Climb and Bass Bash. There are also markets every month.

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Forster Tuncurry

Forster is the heart of the Great Lakes. Drive over the bridge to Forster and you will instantly see why people love coming back.  Nestled between Wallis Lake and the Tasman Sea, surrounded by National and Marine Parks.

Within the town there is mainstream and boutique shopping, a huge range of accommodation from private ocean view houses to apartments to motels to lake side camping, award winning restaurants and clubs, a wide variety of experiences and activities and crystal clear water everywhere.  Forster is home to some of the regions biggest events and and has many great land based whale-watching spots.

The town site, was originally known as ‘Minimbah’, when first surveyed in 1869 but was renamed Forster in 1870 after William Forster – then secretary of lands and later Premier of New South Wales. Timber getting, milling, shipbuilding and fishing were the principal industries in the early days with sailing ships, then steamships, carrying fortnightly cargoes to Sydney.

The first oyster lease at Forster was granted in 1884 and Forster is now famous for its oysters and is the largest provider of Sydney Rock Oysters in Australia.

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Green Point

Green Point is a small and unique village on the edge of Wallis Lake mid way between Forster and Pacific Palms
The landscape is dominated by the sand dunes of 7 mile beach, Booti Booti National Park and the Wallis Lake broadwater. Within the village you will find B&B’s, cafes and some beautiful homes to rent.

Along the shoreline there are walks and an access point for boaties. Nearby is the home of the Great Lakes Sailing Club and the famous Green Cathedral.

If you are looking for a secret spot to get back to nature and relax then Green Point is for you.

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Pacific Palms, Blueys, Boomerang and Elizabeth Beaches

Encompassing Blueys, Boomerang and Elizabeth Beaches, Tiona, Coomba, Smiths Lake and Seal Rocks, there is a special charm that draws people to the ‘Palms’. Blessed with sparkling blue waters of the Tasman Sea and Wallis & Smiths Lakes, surrounded by lush rainforest, the area is a place of natural beauty.

Named after the majestic cabbage tree palms, Pacific Palms blends with the magnificent Booti Booti and Wallingat National Parks and the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park. Scenic lookouts, secluded coves, hidden beaches, famous surfing, coffee shops, galleries and rainforest walks characterise this amazing wonderland.

Combine this with a community in touch with its natural surroundings and you begin to understand why the ‘Palms’ is the perfect retreat that will have you coming back for more.

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Seal Rocks

Seal Rocks is a small, sleepy and isolated fishing village in the middle of the Great Lakes coastline. Its fame rests largely on the beautiful Sugarloaf Point lighthouse and the sense of isolation it enjoys.

Seal Rocks has a unique warm inviting atmosphere. The village is one of the few remaining coastal villages to have avoided major development, so you will experience a truly relaxing and uninterrupted stay. Here you are a stranger only once and you’ll soon be part of the Seal Rocks family.

Situated on the edge of the Pacific Ocean  the diving is not to be missed as it is one of the few places to see a grey nurse shark. The well known lighthouse is a short walk from the village. It is a brilliant spot to sit and watch whales passing by in season and soak up the amazing view!

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Follow Thunderbolts Way (Buckett’s Way) to the historic township of Stroud
Part of the original grant to the Australian Agricultural Company, Stroud was established in 1826 as the centre of operations for the country’s growing wool industry. Many of  Stroud’s buildings were built by convict labour and today a heritage walk takes you on a journey through the town and Australian history.

Stroud has also become famous in recent years as the home of the International Brick & Rolling Pin Contest. Held in July each year this competition involves the towns of Stroud in Australia, England, Canada and America.

This town represents our connection to the early years of the colony. The main street is dominated by the Stroud Hotel a beautiful country pub. Alongside are cafes and antique shops.

Stroud is the perfect stop on your journey to Gloucester and  Barrington Tops.

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Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest

Coastal villages at the southern gateway to the Great Lakes
The Australian Agricultural Company arrived in the area in 1826 and it was reputedly their failed attempts to grow tea here which resulted in the name Tea Gardens, although another account suggests it was the tea-tree in the area.

Tea Gardens has a close relationship with water and its cultural heart. Its waterfront is home to a meandering art walk featuring sculpture and paintings from local artists. Within the village there is no shortage of places to eat, stay, shop and things to do.

They also have a rich calendar of events including the popular Myall River Festival.
The tranquil and beautiful coastal village of Hawks Nest, with both ocean and river frontage, is located across the Myall River from Tea Gardens.
It was named after a large tree which was a favourite nesting place of hawks, situated near the old hotel and used as a navigational marker in the early days. Today the village is home to holiday houses, beachside caravan and camp grounds and surrounded by water.

Hawks Nest beaches have surfing at Bennett’s Beach to the safe swimming of Jimmy Beach. The area is also home to one of the few remaining wild koala colonies and they can often be spotted in backyards.

Each year the area hosts the ‘Walk on the Wildside’ which celebrates wild flower season each year.

From Hawks Nest you can journey into the Myall Lakes National Park which is a spectacular blend of lakes, coastal forests, pristine beaches and a huge sand dune system. The National Park is internationally recognised for its wetland ecology and home to hundreds of bird species.

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