It is impossible to describe. Sure, there’s that sweet, warm smell. A mild breeze. The buzz of lawn mowers and cicadas. But it’s more like a feeling.

Summer.

And that means summer holidays. For the perfect ingredients of a summer family holiday – beach, barbecues, low-fuss – check out these top camping spots at Lake Macquarie. An hour and a half maximum from Sydney, the array of caravan parks and sites offers something for every style of camper.

Sit back and enjoy the summer air in front of the lake or ocean.

Enjoy relaxing, getting active and spending time as a family at Lake Macquarie Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

Swansea Lake Holiday Park

Right on the shores of Lake Macquarie, this central holiday park is within easy access of patrolled surf beaches, café strips, boutique shopping and watersports havens. They have tennis and basketball courts, an 18-hole mini golf course, a resort-style swimming pool, playground and camp kitchen. Keep your eyes peeled for activity programs during school holidays. These often include disco nights, movie showings and arts and craft. Or make your own fun as a family. Drive 5 minutes to Caves Beach or cycle along the shared pathway to Pelican Beach. Take your pick between powered sites, luxury poolside villas and self-contained cabins.

Grab your bikes and cycle by the water Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

Blacksmiths Beachside Holiday Park

Fancy camping with your four-legged friends? Dogs make excellent camp companions, so it is a good thing Blacksmiths Beachside has dedicated pet-friendly camping areas. There are grassy, spacious powered and unpowered sites, as well as en suite and drive-through camp sites. Check out nearby attractions – maybe even walk or cycle the Blacksmiths breakwall! There are a couple of takeaway shops nearby for a fish-and-chips dinner.

This camp spot is metres away from a surf beach! Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park

Another pet-friendly camping hub, this holiday park is right on the lake. Make the most of boat hire and a boat launch spot. Chuck a line in and hope for a bite at Pelican Foreshore or Belmont Bay. Chill in the recreation room after an active day outdoors. It has a projector, surround sound system, barbies and outdoor dining beside the pool and playground. Why not take a night off from cooking? Head for dinner at Deck 56, Salina Restaurant or The Boat Shed at Belmont 16s.

Jump in for a dip at the Belmont Baths Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

Big4 Ingenia Holidays Lake Macquarie

With a range of options from luxury villas to powered campsites, Big4 is well-versed in providing stress-free family holidays. Take a dip in the saltwater pool, bounce on the jumping pillow, hire bikes and enjoy access to the in-park boat ramp and jetty. There are accessible bathroom and shower facilities for campers who use wheelchairs.

Make a splash in the pool at Big4 Ingenia Holiday Park Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

Wangi Point Lakeside Holiday Park

Tucked away in quiet bushland, this lakeside holiday park lies between Lake Macquarie and the Wangi Point Flora and Fauna Reserve. There is a fenced playground with slides, swings and climbing structures for energetic littlies. Older adventurers can use park access to the public boat ramp for fishing, canoeing, swimming, windsurfing and kiteboarding. In winter, toast your marshmallows at the community fire pits.

Take advantage of great fishing spots all around Lake Macquarie area Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

What to do in Lake Macquarie

Enjoy the best of both worlds in Lake Macquarie – lake and ocean. Test out water sports on the lake, go for a dip in Grannies Pool by the Swansea Channel or try out a different beach every day! Caves Beach, Catherine Hill Bay and Blacksmiths Beach all have barbies, picnic areas and public amenities. Follow the Bombala walking track for a well-earned swim at Dudley Beach. 

If you can brave the early start, Caves Beach is spectacular at sunrise Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

While you wait for your swimmers to dry, head for a bushwalk on trails around Yuelarbah, Mount Sugarloaf or Gap Creek Falls. The Watagans National Park is full of walks with access to great lookout points across the mountains.

Escape the sun under leafy canopies on Gap Creek Falls track Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

Need to rest your legs? Explore the Watagans on horseback instead with AAA Horse Riding and More. Hire a kayak for a paddle on Dora Creek, which has awesome picnic spots, or grab a permit for a 4WD adventure on Nine Mile Beach. In town, check out the weekend markets, pop in to the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery and enjoy a spot of retail therapy at Charlestown Square.

A morning with AAA Horse Riding is a unique way to see the Watagans Credit: Lake Macquarie Tourism

Read more here:

Top 5 Nature Escapes in Lake Macquarie

The best camp spots around Australia

Summer activities as a family