Driving from Sydney to Forster NSW
The quickest and the shortest way to Forster is along Pacific Coast Highway 1 which connects Sydney with Gold Coast. Exit the Freeway near Bulehdalah and follow the signs to Tarbuck Bay and Blueys Bay. Alternatively, drive straight up to Nabiac and exit Freeway 1 near Failford. The road will approach Tuncurry from the northern end.
Driving along Lakes way from Bulehdalah to Forster
The first stopover after one hour of driving up north from Sydney is at Twelve Mile Hill Rest Area. This rest area has some basic stopover facilities like a covered sitting area and toilets and travel information boards. It is a great idea to take a break as the freeway drive can be monotonous and can cause fatigue.
Smiths Lake is located along the Lakes Way
The motto of RTA on the freeways of Australia is "Stop, Revive and Survive". You will come across these signs several times on your road trip reminding you to take a stop. Sydney to Brisbane is the most popular travel road both on-road and air traffic in Australia.
Along the freeway, we decided to turn off the freeway to a country road near Boolambayte. The road winds through small rolling hills and farmsteads reaching out towards the ocean near Tarbuck Bay. Some nice areas to visit in this neighbourhood include Blueys Beach and Boomerang Beach. We followed the Lakes way through Booti Booti National Park. There are a couple of nice waterside stopovers as there is the ocean on one side and the lake on the other. This area is very popular for fishing.
Blueys Beach is popular with surfers in the summers
The twin towns of Forster and Tuncurry are midsized towns located at the end of the Koolongolook River before it merges into the ocean. Serving a beautiful estuary into the ocean this region is home to a large variety of sea life. Forster and Tuncurry are fisherman's paradise with plenty of businesses around fishing and sea-related activities.
Forster Waterfront on an autumn morning
There is plenty of accommodation available in Forster in all price ranges. The main road through Forster and Tuncurry is lined with motel and caravan parks on both sides. Most popular amongst these for family and longtime stay is Smugglers Cove Holiday Village . Serviced apartments are another nice alternative. I have stayed at Forster Holiday Village, which is centrally located within walking distance from the boatsheds and cafes etc.
Big Turtle Boards walk is a scenic point that gets very busy in summers with holidaymakers as the pristine blue water is great for paddle boats and swimming. The walkway across the bridge takes you to the jetty and oceanfront. The beach area is popular with surfers, though the water can be choppy at most times.
Waterfront at Forster
There are plenty of nice cafes and restaurants along the way. We enjoyed a chai latte at a cafe nicely located near the Turtle Board Walk overlooking the Forster-Tuncurry Bridge. The cafe has a nice seafood and pizza menu for dinner.
The waterfront at Forster has a number of nice serviced apartments, cafes, bars and restaurants. During the summer months of November and December, this area is packed with tourists and gets very crowded. Scenic boat tours operate from near the bridge and provide a great insight into the waterways and sea life of this interesting region.
Boat tours in Forster
Enjoy Amazing Seafood at Forster NSW
Forster prides for great on great seafood. We enjoyed the local seafood at Lobby's Seafood which is a popular joint in the city. There is plenty of local catch including fish, prawns and rock oysters. Most of the cafes and restaurants have local varieties of fish and seafood available throughout the day. We enjoyed local oysters and perch at Beach Street Seafood. Another interesting cafe I visited in the same neighbourhood is Cafe Toscana. I highly recommend this location for breakfast or lunch.
Cafe Toscana in Forster
A walk along the little street leads to Forster Infomation Center, where you can obtain plenty of local information and guide maps to get the most of other places of interest in the region.
Other places of Interest in Forster NSW
Forster's main beach area is home to some nice restaurants including Sicilian and Hog's Australia Steakhouse. This area is also a great place to live if you are planning a family-style holiday in serviced apartments. Shores Managed Apartments and Shores Apartments are located in this section of the town.
The advantage of staying in this area is easy access to the beach, lookout and Centennial Walk along the waterfront with amazing views. This walk takes you down some amazing seascapes and continues on to Bennets Heads lookout and a 9-mile beach.
The next interesting place to explore down the road from Forsters towards Hawkes Nest is Burgess Beach. This is a relaxed and laid-down beach and a great place to hang out on a clear sunny day.
What are the other places to visit between Forsters and Newcastle?
If you have more time to yourself, driving down Lakes Way is a great place to explore local towns, remote beach lookouts and pristine landscapes and sea views. Hawkes Nest is a great place to hang out for lunch and a drink at one of the local bars.
A Ferry Service connect Port Nelson with Tea Gardens, which is a great way to enjoy some great ocean views. You will be lucky to watch some migrating whales and dolphins as well.
The Sunset Ferry Cruise at Tea Gardens
The Ferry Sunset Cruise departs Nelson Bay at 3:30 pm, and Tea Gardens at 5:00 pm. Drinks are served with some nibbles, you are suggested to bring your own glasses. Nelson Bay passengers will have a short stopover in Tea Gardens before we depart at 5:00 pm to catch the sunset. This is a great way to Experience the bay at the most magical time of day! Link
Other places to interest while driving back to Newcastle include the interesting area of Port Nelson and Port Stephens. We stopped at Port Nelson for a night at Mantra Apartments. This area is a great location for a day trip as can enjoy the longest sand dunes in Australia at Port Stephens.
We took a quick drive down towards Newcastle to enjoy some nice coffee and desserts at Goldberg Coffee at Darby Street. We still had some time to reach lake Tuggerah for an amazing sunset. Follow A43 to A49 to reach The Entrance and Toukley.
Sunset at Lake Tuggerah, NSW
Where to stay in Forster NSW?
We decided to look for a Holiday Park near Tuncurry and selected Discovery Park because of its serene location near the lake and very competitive rates of a nice furnished Villa online . The park offers a wide range of accommodations ranging from basic cabins to three-bedroom villas with a jacuzzi. These facilities cater to large groups and families as there is plenty of play area, an outdoor pool, bbq area and common lounge and an indoor kitchen. What else do you ask for a lazy and relaxed holiday? I highly recommend this location if you are travelling with family.
I went for an early morning walk near the John Wrights Park where weekend markets are held on every Saturday. There are a couple of high buildings offering serviced apartments. This neighbourhood has some Caravan Parks as well. This presence of different kinds of accommodation gives an indication of the number of visitors coming to this region during the busy summer season.
Here are some more pictures from my 2-night stay at the Discovery Park in Forster.
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