IF YOU are looking for the perfect place for all the family to enjoy the last days of our great Autumn weather, why not take a trip to Swansea?
Lake Macquarie is a great holiday destination and the eastern shores provide all the usual holiday. The Swansea area offers such a vast array of choices that I really don’t have enough space to list them all.
The lake is great for fishing, swimming, picnicking and relaxing. There is also one of the best sandy beaches on the eastern coast. The entrance to the channel has a reasonably safe rock platform for the land-based fisho who enjoys a challenge. These great features are all within a stone’s throw from each other.
This area is an easy 90-minute drive north from Sydney, the same distance east from Muswellbrook and a similar travel south from the Port Macquarie/ Taree area.
The fishing is great. The tidal currents, which move up and down the coast, affect the temperature of the lake to a lesser degree, creating a safe haven for many species during the Winter.
Swansea Gardens Caravan Park, nestled among stands of native trees, is an excellent place to base your fishing holiday. The entrance to the park faces the channel, where there are picnic grounds and other facilities. The rock walls along the edge can produce nice bream and flathead.
Some of the channel boat ramps are also in this area. The ramp closest to the caravan park is quite sheltered, with a sandy pull-in area so you can beach the boat before reversing down the two-lane ramp for retrieval. There is another ramp at the other end of the local park which has huge tyres along the concrete walls to protect your boat from damage. The tyres also double as a tie-up zone.
There is a basic kiosk where you can buy hot foods as well as most essentials like milk, papers, limited some grocery items and a good selection of bait. The swimming pool and sunbaking area is well laid out so that parents can relax and watch the kids swim. Beyond the pool is a standard-sized tennis court which doesn’t get hired out to the general public, so it is usually available for a casual workout.
Once you have made camp, whether it be with a caravan, tent or in one of the several new cabins, you can explore your surroundings. The eastern boundary of the park is the shore of Lake Macquarie and just a hop, skip and jump in the boat from Wangi Wangi and Pulbah Island. You can launch a small tinny from the foreshores and be fishing in minutes.
The park also features three amenities blocks, two laundries and two large drying areas. The central block has campers’ sinks on the outside walls with hot water.
There are many barbecue shelters around the park in the powered and unpowered sections, so you don’t have to go far to cook your catch. the fresh fish, which is on offer in the area.
There are several family cabins with separate master bedrooms and double-bunk rooms. They also have stoves, microwaves, fridges, well-designed bathrooms, TV and video. The new cabins feature air-conditioning. Bring your own linen or hire it from the office.
The sites are all well-grassed with concrete pads for caravan annexes and there are plenty of shady sites for campers. Powered and unpowered sites are available and all roads in the park are sealed.
Nearby Pelican Airport has daily flights to and from Sydney, so access to the area isn’t a problem. The airport is also a car rental point. Trains run regularly from Sydney to Broadmeadow and buses run on the hour to Swansea from the Newcastle area.
Boats can be hired on the lake from the Marks Point Marina and there are charter boats for outside and lake fishing. Brochures for these and many other attractions in the area can be found at the park office.
From lazing in the shade to fishing in the lake or the channel or just floating around in the pool on a hot day, Swansea Gardens Caravan Park offers all that one could ask for when on holidays.
Managers Peter and Wendy Lott recommend you book in advance to avoid disappointment. Phone them on 024971 2869, fax 02)4971 1160. Rates Prices start from $15 for unpowered sites, powered sites from $18, cabins from $90 and on-site caravans are $40 .00 per night. All prices are for two persons and a seniors discount is available.
This park is every bit as good as it sounds.Reads: 800