|Australia, NSW, Myall Lakes, Touring - Flat Water|
What's it like
The Myall Lakes is a system of three brackish lakes between Port Stephens and Forster on the NSW coast. The southern lake, Bombah Broadwater, is in the flow stream of the Myall River and the water is tannin stained. This orange stainging stops halfway up the middle lake (Boolambyte Lake) and the water becomes clear allowing more light for water plants. The largest and most northerly lake is Myall Lake.
The lakes are ideal for touring and camping out of you kayak. Generally the water is flat but as The Broadwater and Myall Lake are large and shallow a moderate wind can make the surface very choppy. As always check your weather forecasts before any trips
Violet Hill Passage
Dawn on Myall Lake
The lakes are suitable for year round paddling though winter nights can be cold (in Australian terms).
The lakes are part of the Myall Lakes National Parks and is a Ramsar wetland of international significance. As such there is plenty of native wildlife to be seen including, kangaroos, sea eagles, whistling kites, goannas and dingoes.
Dingo and Kite near Bombah Broadwater
How to get there
The Myall Lakes are approximately 3 hours north of Sydney. Best putin/takeout places are:
Violet Hill – turn off Pacific Highway (National Route 1) on to The Lakes Way which is approximately 4.5km north of Bulahdelah. Follow Lakes Way for 6km then turn on to Violet Hill Road. The campsite is 9km at the end of the road. This point gives access to the Wallis and Bolambyte Lakes
Nerong Boat Ramp - turn off Pacific Highway (National Route 1) on to Whimbrel Drive (Signposted to Nerong) which is approximately 30km north of the Karuah River bridge. Follow Whimbrel Drive to Egret St and the boat ramp. Once you launch you then paddle out of Nerong Inlet into The Broadwater.
Mungo Brush – turn off Pacific Highway (National Route 1) on to Tea Gardens Road which is approximately 13km north of the Karuah River bridge. Follow for 14km through Tea Gardess and Hawks Nest and turn left onto Mungo Brush Road just after the bridge into Hawks Nest. Follow for 20km and turn left into Mungo Brush campsite. This point gives access to The Broadwater
Limited parking is available at Nerong next to the boat ramp. Ample parking and camping is available at both Violet Hill and Mungo Brush. If you wish to camp a small fee is applicable and can be paid to one of the National Parks rangers.
Vehicle Permits are required to park at Violet Hill and Mungo Brush.These are available from NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
There are a number of campsites maintained by National Parks if you don’t mind sharing with neighbours. Alternatively there are a number of small clearings large enough for kayaks and small tents. These can be difficult to find however if you have no local knowledge with you.
If choosing to camp outside the official campsites, care should be taken as the Melaleuca trees around the lake can shed branches
As the lakes are brackish you will need to either take your own water or an RO unit to treat the lake water.
Myall Lakes are part of the Myall Lakes National Park so there are no landowners. The lakes are however used for many water based recreation including fishing, waterskiing, houseboating, etc. As such they lakes can be busy during holiday periods.