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Overseas Swaps - Local Alternatives

There has never been a better time to spread your wings and visit one of our regional weekend getaway gems. Many of us have had to kiss our overseas travels goodbye and are now seeking local holiday options that don’t carry the ritzy price tag or the hassle of long-haul flights. Located just an hour and a half north of Sydney, you can find some sensational swaps for the world’s most stunning tourist hotspots in Lake Macquarie.

Swap Lake Louise for Lake Mac Has your dream of kayaking on Lake Louise’s crystal blue water seemingly slipped away? Before you get too down, pick up your paddle and head to Lake Macquarie. It’s one of the largest saltwater lakes in the southern hemisphere, giving you plenty of space to glide through its deep blue water and explore stunning bays and sand islands, most of which you won’t have to share with another human being.

If kayaking isn’t your thing, and you have visions of enjoying breathtaking scenery while exploring a loop of the lake in your activewear, Lake Macquarie is the perfect solution. As evening approaches, Belmont offers views of sensational sunsets which paint Lake Macquarie with mesmerising shades of pink and orange.

We bet if you uploaded snaps to your Instagram feed, your friends will be asking how you managed to jump on that international flight!

Swap the Andes Mountains for the Watagans Mountains If going green was the plan and you already had your map marked with the many hiking trails of South America’s Andes Mountains, the Watagans Mountains in Lake Macquarie are your answer. With 20 wild walks to explore while escaping the daily grind, it really is a hiker’s haven. You’ll pass waterfalls, luscious rainforest, plenty of beautiful birds and some perfect picnics spots, all while enjoying the wilderness of the Watagans.

How does a horseback ride through the foothills of the mountains sound? AAA Horse Riding offers spectacular scenic adventures, where you can enjoy stunning surrounds via one of their many treks suited to all levels of experience.

Swap Copacabana Beach for Caves Beach You thought Brazil’s Copacabana Beach’s colourful, fun and loving vibe was what you were hankering for? Next time your baby smiles at you, don’t go to Rio, head to Caves Beach – it’s much closer and just as fun. Offering the same squeaky sand and rolling waves as Copacabana, Caves Beach is a treasure for those wanting to get away from Sydney and experience something a little different.

While drying off from a splash in the waves, you can unleash your inner child and explore the extensive network of sea caves – duck, squeeze and crawl through the caves to find your way to magic rockpools and a secret beach.

Finish your day with a refreshing beverage and tasty feed at Caves Coastal (pictured above) and lap up the stunning view over the beach as the salt dries on your skin.

With its lovely lake, wonderful wilderness, beautiful beaches and cool coastal caves, Lake Macquarie is the perfect blend of Aussie small-town character and overseas cool – all without needing to leave the state. Here, you can pop down to the general store barefoot with a couple of dollars in hand without getting a sideways glance, before checking into a beautiful waterfront cottage for an unforgettable weekend away – it's that kind of place.

To learn more about your local Lake Macquarie getaway destinations, visit www.visitlakemac.com.au

Words: Georgia Cook

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