Cultural weekend getaway in Lake Mac
Published on 30 November 2023
A weekend escape is the perfect antidote for a busy schedule to recharge the mind, body and soul. Located less than a two-hour drive north of Sydney, the glistening waters of Lake Macquarie makes it an ideal destination for a short break. And the spectacular views are just the beginning. Home to world-class art galleries and a host of live performances, creative workshops and artist talks, Lake Macquarie rivals the most cosmopolitan of Australian cities.
A feather in Lake Mac’s cap, the Multi-Arts Pavilion, mima (MAP mima) is an impressive contemporary space for interactive art experiences. The central gallery is home to large-scale multimedia exhibitions and 360-degree immersive projections. The Cube opens to a roofed staged area for live events in the surrounding Speer Point Park. The unique space has quickly established itself as a leading cultural hub, attracting more than 45,000 visitors in 2022. Combine a visit with a delicious brunch at the precinct’s café, Harry & Lola’s, or the nearby Mr. Sister café.
Positioned at prime waterfront, the Museum of Art and Culture, yapang, known by locals as MAC yapang, is an award-winning cultural facility. Join a free guided tour every Wednesday and Saturday from 11am for an overview of current exhibitions and stories behind the artworks. Take a break at Three Bears Café located inside MAC yapang before heading outside for a stroll around the art museum’s beautiful Sculpture Park. Tip: grab a Sculpture Park guide from the museum foyer.
Pack a Picnic
If it’s more fresh air you are seeking, follow the Creative Lake art trail between Eleebana and Warners Bay. See sculptures by national and international artists along the waterfont, such as the cartoonish The Ascetic, or the hooded figure sitting by the water, Soloist. Pack a lunch and relax at one of the many picnic spots along the way. The flat two-kilometre track makes it an easy walk for all to enjoy.
Dobell House is the stunning former home and studio of the late world-famous artist and three-time winner of the Archibald Prize, Sir William Dobell. It now showcases more than 200 images of his work, the largest number in any location, as well as family memorabilia and photographs from his life. Join a guided tour to discover more about the fascinating life of this acclaimed artist.
Head to nearby Cameron Park to the new Sugar Valley Library Museum, an engaging space for people to connect and create. Discover the permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, along with the exciting program of special events and workshops.
Dinner and a Show
With your artistic cup filled, check out the program at Rathmines Theatre, nawayiba or Warners Bay Theatre, baramayiba and set your sights on an evening of live performance. Before the show, treat your significant other to a luxurious seafood dinner at Tinta, or enjoy a cocktail overlooking the water at the newly refurbished Belmont 16s for a more family-friendly option.
Rest Your Head
Choose from a host of accommodation options to complement your stay. For a romantic weekend getaway, spoil yourself at the picturesque Rafferty’s Resort. If you’re travelling with the kids, choose from seven holiday parks in the area and enjoy some family fun. With everything from an adults’ retreat to an outdoor beer garden with a kids' play area, Caves Coastal Bar and Bungalows is a versatile beachfront hotel to suit everyone.
Discover what’s on across Lake Mac’s cultural venues today and start planning your weekend getaway in Lake Mac.
Top: Mirrorball 2023. Courtesy MAP mima
Second from top: Lake Art Prize 2022 exhibition view, MAC yapang
Third from top: Naidee Changmoh, The Ascetic 2015, bronze sculpture
Second from bottom: a volunteer run tour at Sugar Valley Library Museum
Bottom: Sydney Comedy Festival Roadshow 2022, Warners Bay Theatre