I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published June 28th 2020
Experience the Magic of Lake Macquarie
With so many places of outstanding natural beauty, it's never too difficult for Newcastle residents to find a great spot to enjoy a family picnic or get-together. While we're all familiar with iconic local destinations such as Nobby's Beach and Blackbutt Reserve, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie also boast plenty of lesser-known, albeit equally picturesque parks, which can also provide all the crucial ingredients for a perfect family day out.
Located just a few kilometres from Toronto, the leafy suburb of Coal Point is one such place. One of Lake Macquarie's best-kept secrets, this pleasant bushland-fringed residential area boasts several attractive lakeside parks and reserves. Whether you're seeking a family outing in the great outdoors or a romantic rendezvous by the lake, these great local picnic spots will tick all the right boxes. Read on, to uncover Coal Point's best picnic spots.
Situated almost at the tip of Coal Point, Biriban Reserve is a surprisingly large park, with a great range of options for picnic enthusiasts. It is situated on a small hill, which gently slopes downwards, towards the shore of the lake. There are three picnic tables, all which boast spectacular views over Lake Macquarie, while an adventure playground and large grassy area will keep active youngsters entertained. The reserve also provides a concrete boat ramp for visitors who want to take their vessel onto the water and public toilets.
Gurranba Reserve Just a short drive from Biriban Reserve, tranquil Gurranba Reserve also boasts beautiful views over the Lake Macquarie. Relatively spacious, with a short walking trail, this park is a great destination for young families with active children. The trail would be a quiet spot for youngsters to practice their first steps, or enjoy riding a bike or scooter.
Gurranba Reserve is also a dog exercise area, so it's a good choice if you're bringing your four-legged friend along for a day out. The reserve has only one picnic table, but there are also park benches and plenty of space if you're bringing your own chairs and tables. The biggest drawback with this reserve is a rather noisy pump, although the spectacular views and abundant birdlife more than compensate for this.
Gurranba Reserve is situated at 308a Skye Point Road.
Wombal Reserve Located on the shores of the lake, Wombal Reserve is shaded by large native trees and catches some refreshing sea breezes from the lake, making it a great choice for warm sunny days. Although there is only one picnic table, there is plenty of space to throw a picnic rug on the ground. There are also several well-positioned park benches scattered throughout the reserve, which are ideal for enjoying a quick takeaway or indulging in some quiet contemplation. A public jetty, which extends into the lake, is popular with visitors of all ages. The reserve also provides public conveniences.
Yarul Reserve Pretty Yarul Reserve is located at Carey Bay, just down the road from Coal Point. This small park slopes down to the lake, and features a pretty pebbly beach with plenty of small shells. It's ideal for young children to beach-comb and paddle in. There is only one picnic table here, making it a lovely intimate spot for a gathering of family or friends.
Another small, peaceful picnic spot in the Coal Point area is Burnage Reserve, which is also a local Landcare site. Surrounded by a quiet residential neighbourhood, the reserve is a tiny, unspoilt pocket of native vegetation that's the habitat of various native animals and birds. Unlike most local reserves, this one is not on the waterfront. However, it's still a nice quiet spot to enjoy a meal outdoors, and the bushland ambience. There are a couple of simple, somewhat rustic picnic tables and chairs here, or you could bring your own.
Burnage reserve is situated at 2 Excelsior Parade in Carey Bay.
Kilaben Bay Reserve
Slightly further afield, in nearby Kilaben Bay, this large lakeside park is a picnickers' paradise. Boasting a sheltered area with barbecues, and several picnic tables and chairs, as well as a couple of tables out in the open, it offers plenty of options for a big day out by the lake. There is also an awesome adventure playground, loads of room for active play, and a jetty that juts into the lake, making it a popular destination for the youngest members of the family. There are also public toilets.