The Great Lakes region is located around 3.5 hours drive north of Sydney. The area stretches from Tea Gardens in the south, to Forster in the north nestled on the shores of the picturesque Wallis Lake, the largest of the five lakes. Labelled as the perfect family getaway, it has also made a reputation as a must go fishing destination, especially with the vast array of areas and options.
With five fishable lakes – Wallis, Myall, Smiths, Two Mile and Boolambayte – plus numerous rivers including Myall, Coolongolook, Wallamba and more the small craft and shore-based estuary fisher and family are spoilt for choice.
There are productive shore-based fishing options from many of the white sand beaches and rocky headlands are seasonally known for producing some gamefish like cobia, longtail tuna and even marlin.
Heading offshore? There is everything from snapper, teraglin, mulloway and even pearl perch, plus summer predators such as Spanish and spotted mackeral and blue marlin along the kinks and canyons over the continental shelf.
Before you just grab the gear and go fishing, you need to be aware that the region is part of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park (PSGLMP), covering 980 km2 from Cape Hawke near Forster south to Birubi Beach at the northern end of Stockton Beach.
Like all NSW marine parks, PSGLMP consists of special rules and zones. If you’re planning a fishing trip to this region with family or friends, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the rules before heading out and wetting a line. Penalties can apply for fishing in the wrong area.
Download DPI’s free “FishSmart” app onto your smart phone or tablet. The Fishsmart app includes all NSW marine park maps so you can tell where you are in real time plus features local weather and tides, bag and size limit information and much more.
You can also download the marine park Zoning Map and User Guide via the website providing information about the current zoning arrangements and management rules in the park.
As well fish, the area offers bushwalks through the Myall Lakes and Wallingat national parks, as well as white sandy beaches for surfing, sunbaking, swimming and snorkelling. There’s also canoeing and kayaking in the many lakes and rivers or you can check out the famous like Seal Rocks Lighthouse.
With plenty of accommodation options from beachside caravan and camping sites, hotels and motels right up to ocean view holiday houses, there are plenty of options for a group of mates on a fishing trip or a nice family holiday with the boat in tow.
This guide to the ‘Great Lakes NSW Mid-North Coast’ is part of a series of guides to popular locations in NSW, be sure to keep an eye out for current and future editions in DPI’s Go Fishing series.