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5 Great Picnic Spots in the Camden Haven Region

Home > Newcastle > Lists | Escape the City | Day Trips | Beaches | Picnic Spots
by Monique Thorpe (subscribe)
Globe-trotting nomad life since April 2015.
Published July 30th 2015
Don't let winter keep you cooped up this year

The Camden Haven region sits a short 30 minute drive south from Port Macquarie on the NSW central coast. The area features wide lakes, flowing rivers that feed in to the ocean and secluded beaches, all of which are watched over by the 'three brothers' chain of small mountains. The area's beauty, tranquility and accessibility makes it the perfect place for a daytrip, even in the depths of winter when a trip to the beach maybe the furthest thing from your mind.

As travellers relying on a very small and dwindling source of income, we are all about cheap daytrips and tricks to see the most of an area, whilst spending the least amount of cash. As such, picnics are a favourite for us! You can spend the day walking the region, then lay out your picnic rug and happily spend an hour observing the scenery and cutting up/ creating lunch. After devouring your delicious food, you can recline on the rug, watch the world go by and even enjoy a cuddle if you're lucky enough to be picnicking with the one you love. Take a ball and you have thee rest of thee family entertained also. Be sure to take another walk after lunch then head off home, happy, exercised and well fed!

After recently spending quite a bit of time in the Camden Haven, we have come up with a list of 5 great picnic spots for you to check out. We were in the Haven in July, so be sure that these are spots wee have visited and thoroughly enjoyed even in the winter months.

Pilot Beach
If you want to take in some clean winter ocean air, but be able to relax and picnic in a space sheltered from the wind, then Pilot Beach is for you. The picnic area boasts BBQs, toilets and shaded picnic tables. The whole picnic area is only a short stroll from the beachfront however is planted out nicely to allow the trees to block the strong winds. The beach itself is divided into two separate areas by a rock-wall, one side hosting amazing rock-pools and a huge sandy area, the other a popular swimming hole, protected by the rock-wall on one side and the breakwall on the other.

As an added bonus, be sure to stop in at the Charles Hamey lookout on your way through to Pilot Beach, just a short detour off the road and you get views like the one below.
Charles Hamey lookout , camden haven
View from the Charles Hamey lookout en route to Pilot Beach

Henry Kendall Reserve on Queens Lake
Situated in Laurieton on the banks of beautiful Queens Lake is the well equipped Henry Kendall Reserve. The reserve itself has picnic tables and toilets, as well as ample parking, however the location is the real gem of this spot. the reserve sits on the Queens Lake walking trail, which is a maintained picturesque track that follows Queens Lake for 4.4km, giving you more than enough room to work up a hunger before your picnic, then stretch your legs again after lunch.

The reserve's large water frontage makes it a popular spot for local fishermen, as well as those launching canoes and kayaks into the lake.

Queens lake views
View of Queens Lake from the reserve

North Brother Mountain Lookout
At the summit of the North Brother mountain is a magnificent lookout from within the grounds of the Dooragan National Park. The summit is a short drive from West Haven and has viewing platforms, public toilets, walking tracks and picnic tables. The view is breathtaking over the Camden Haven region, even if you picnic elsewhere, I would suggest a trip up to the North Brother lookout to cap off your perfect day.

Dunbogan Reserve

Sitting on the corner where Gogleys Creek intersects with the river system, the Dunbogan Reserve is a popular day use area with visitors to the area. This stunning space has plenty of room for a picnic rug, and has public toilets available also. There is ample parking and the walk from the reserve to the Dunbogan Boat House is well worth checking out. A great place for those (like me) who are fascinated by pelicans and watching the fish jump for the crumbs that you toss in the water.

The river-side walk in Dunbogan

Lath Cathie
The best of both worlds, Lake Cathie has lake and river, as well as BBQs, picnic spaces and a playground for the kids. Great for spending the day exploring the oceanfront and river passage, as well as well ass window-shopping in the local shops across the road. Lake Cathie is very popular all year-round, and for good reason. It is also a great spot to sit and watch the world go by, as well as the fishermen reeling in their dinner.

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Why? For a cheap ecape from the house this Winter
Where: Camden Haven region, NSW central coast
Your Comment
Love this article Monique. Have visited all the spots you have mention when holidaying for a week in Port Mac.
Every day I did part of the Coastal Walk (in sections is easier).Completed the full length in that week!
Extended the holiday for four days on to the Comboyne Plateau, stopping at the Wauchope markets for fresh produce. No mobile telephone reception at Comboyne, we had to come down the mountain to Wauchope and some retail therapy for a day. This is truly God's country.
by Gloria (score: 2|555) 1512 days ago
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