The Lakes Way is a coastal tourist route of 77km in length, beginning 9km south of Taree and ending 5km east of Bulahdelah. The scenic drive passes through pretty beach and lakeside communities and is a peaceful change from the busy highways.
The twin towns of Forster and Tuncurry share the meeting of Wallis Lake and the Pacific Ocean directly between them. With Tuncurry to the north and Forster to the south, the two beachside and lakeside towns are merely separated by a bridge, Cape Hawke Harbour and the lake which extends 25km long.
Tuncurry is the smaller of the two and has a gorgeous protected swimming beach protected by the breakwater, rock groyne to fish from, views across to Forster and a coastal surf beach known as the Nine Mile. The township has two waterside caravan parks, the Tuncurry Beach Holiday Park and Great Lakes Holiday Park.
Across the channel is beautiful Forster, with a crisp white stretch of beach, enclosed bathing pool on the foreshore, café by the beach and the local Pelicans feeding daily as the fishermen return with their catch. The main caravan park at Forster is Forster Beach Caravan Park in town and there are many others outbound and on the lake.
The Lakes Way Forster/Tuncurry area on both the coast and the lake is a holiday haven for boating, fishing and watersports. The seafood isn’t bad either. Tantalise your tastebuds with the Wallis Lake Oysters at a local restaurant or purchase some fresh from the fishermens co-op and dress to your liking.
Just south of Forster is Booti Booti National Park. Cape Hawke Lookout offers stunning 360 degree views of the towns, surrounding waterways and bordering mountains. The 420m reasonably steep climb to the summit is worth the effort when you take in the scenery. The steep drive to the lookout is not suitable for caravans.
Booti Booti National Park is only small and is bordered by Wallis Lake
on one side and the ocean on the other, practically surrounded by water. Wallis Lake is serene and peaceful, with calm shallow waters perfect for cooling down in. The shady picnic area beside the Great Lakes Sailing Club is a lovely spot to enjoy the view and the quiet.
If beaches are more your style, then head to the eastern side of the park and appreciate the beauty of the aqua water and golden sand of this stunning coastline. Santa Barbara
picnic area is right by the beach and has barbeque facilities for use.
Pacific Palms is just south of the national park and offers lakeside views from the road on the way into town. Opposite the lake are the beaches which are stunning. Elizabeth and Boomerang Beaches are very similar with prominent headlands and gorgeous scenery to boot.
Myall Lakes National Park is home to The Grandis, which is thought to be the oldest tree in New South Wales. The Flooded Gum Tree is estimated to be 400 years old and has an impressive height of 76.2m and girth of 11.5m which is difficult to capture on camera. The unsealed access road is about 30km past Pacific Palms and is 5km in. A 75m walk takes you to the viewing platform.
Pacific Hwy and the end of The Lakes Way is 12km along, back on the main road. The scenic route is very pleasant covering lakes, beaches, lookouts and rainforest.
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Destinations in New South Wales
Bundjalung National Park
Mt Warning National Park
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
Royal National Park
Yuraygir National Park
Return from Lakes Way to New South Wales