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Published December 14th 2016
A lookout so hidden that it is literally undocumented online
In case you're jumping the gun and Google-ing where 'Lake Cathie Lookout' is before you read this article, you will find, at most, a brief mention of a viewing platform in this beautiful coastal town. Despite the amazing view bestowed upon visitors like me who chance upon this hidden gem, it's not well documented on the Internet but is well worth a visit!
I came across this lookout with nothing but sheer luck alone - I initially stopped by Lake Cathie just to see the 'Big Bowl', one of the many 'Big Things' that calls Australia home, but saw, out of the corner of my eye, a sign saying 'Walking Track to Lake Cathie Lookout'. The start of the walking track up to Lake Cathie Lookout can be found almost directly opposite the Big Bowl, on Ocean Drive. Despite being pressed for time, I will always miraculously have time to spare when it comes to scenic lookouts - this particular lookout was no exception. I'm so glad I decided to venture into the unknown on this occasion!
Removal of noxious & other weeds from native vegetation areas
Replantinting of native species
Maintenance of replanted areas
Coastal dune restoration
Creation of walking/cycle tracks
Estuary & Lake management
Community/Volunteer education in related matters
As such, there are multiple signs along the walking path leading to the lookout that encourages patrons to help protect Lake Cathie's dune vegetation, and to help bush regeneration by sticking to the path provided.
The walking track/hike takes one through beautiful Australian bushland, with the brown track beautifully flanked by green plants and trees. The walk itself was not hard in itself (the path was well maintained and was relatively flat throughout), although it got quite hot at times! Getting lost will not be an easy feat here, as there is only a single track except one point in which there is a fork - follow the path on your right hand side and you will soon reach the lookout. Note: The sign indicating this was partially hidden and can be quite hard to spot.
The walking track leading up to the viewing platform takes approximately 15 minutes at a (very) leisurely pace. However, what's separating you from the viewing platform after the bushwalk is still one flight of stairs - it's more than easily managed by the average person, and is not much longer than the average household staircase, but was worth mentioning because up to this point, the path to the lookout was wheelchair friendly.
Although the walking track to Lake Cathie Lookout is maintained by Lake Cathie Landcare Group, the viewing platform was prefabricated by Lake Cathie Community Dunecare, assembled onsite with the assistance of the 1998 Green Corps, and funded by Coastcare. The viewing platform is nice and spacious, and even has a bench for people to sit and rest after the trek up to the lookout.
Despite not being well-documented as a must-see attraction when in Lake Cathie, this is a hidden gem that should not be missed when in the area! Note: Lake Cathie is a coastal town with a population of 3,000; it is approximately 15 minutes south of Port Macquarie and 2 hours from Coffs Harbour.