October 2, 2014

A picnic has all the ingredients you need – family, food and fun. Some of the best picnics happen in your own backyard but if you want to venture out and explore the natural surroundings, then you’re in luck as there are many great picnic spots near Watagan Park in Lake Macquarie.

Shingle Splitters is on the edge of Lake Macquarie. It is a stunning family location and has two picnic areas, a boat ramp, and a very pleasant sunset view. The water is often flat enough for a great waterskiing experience, and is a fun place for kayaking and fishing.

If you want a picnic with a view, you can’t do better than Heaton’s Lookout. You’ll be able to see from Stockton Beach in Newcastle to the Central Coast. You should even be able to see Watagan Park. Hunter’s Picnic Area is nearly the opposite view of Heaton’s, as this cosy little picnic area faces the northwest over the countryside.

With a BBQ and picnic area, The Pines is one of the most beautiful picnic locations in the Watagans. It also has a pleasant child-friendly walking trail that showcases ancient Aboriginal grinding grooves in sandstone, a beautiful rainforest, and a rock pool. The Pines also has a flat camping area with BBQs.

Set up with BBQs, Boarding House Dam is one of the best family picnic areas in the Watagans. You can also access an easy stroll through the rainforest and see the 110 metre long moss-covered rock-wall, and the unusual sculptured rock formations in the creek.

The Swing Bridge is an iconic landmark in the area. It has a quiet and spacious picnic area, and some nearby rope swings for anyone adventurous enough to swing and jump into Dora Creek. The Swing Bridge makes up one end of the Sandy Creek Walk. This is also a great location to fish for bait

If you’ve got little ones then take them to Cooranbong Park Picnic Area. It is a great place to BBQ while watching the kids play on the playground and swingset, or play some cricket or soccer or rugby on the oval, or jump up on the stage and have a sing.

If you like the smell of wood smoke while you BBQ then head to Muirs Lookout and Picnic area or Bangalow Picnic area. There is a great view at Muirs and the spot has a fireplaces (BYO firewood), picnic tables, and toilets. Bangalow has a camping ground with easy access to some great tracks for mountain bikers and trail riders. It is set up with a wood fire BBQ (BYO firewood). It is very close to Gap Creek Falls.

Drive to the Abbotts Falls Picnic Area (very close to The Pines) and enjoy a beautiful rainforest location. Experience the pine forest with a hike, where you’ll see grooves carved in sandstone by ancient Aboriginal people, a dammed pool, and stunning open forest (with wildflowers in season).

For GPS locations for each of the picnic spots and to explore more activities in the area, download the free Nature’s Playground App for iPhone and Android. Simply click here if you like to know more info about the Nature’s Playgroup App.

Live outside the box at Watagan Park

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