Lake Mac tourism bouncing back thanks to Sydneysiders seeking getaways

Published on 25 September 2020

Boom netting on the relaunched Lake Macquarie Cruises MV Lady Mac (Custom).jpg

Lake Macquarie tourism is bouncing back despite COVID-19, with many operators reporting an increase in bookings thanks to Sydneysiders holidaying closer to home.

Lake Mac Holiday Parks Coordinator Garry Ellem said August and September had been busier than normal at Council’s four holiday park sites, albeit with shorter stay bookings and those booked on short notice.

Cultural Engagement, Marketing and Tourism Coordinator Bianca Gilmore said accommodation and tourism providers across the City were experiencing the same trend.

We’re seeing a lot more last-minute bookings,” Ms Gilmore said.

“Sydney is our biggest overnight market and at the moment a lot of people are keen to escape to somewhere that’s convenient and close to home, especially with the restrictions on travel further afield.”

“But they’re a little more hesitant and waiting until the last minute to book to make sure there aren’t any outbreaks that might impact their travels.”

While the positives of COVID-19 have been few and far between, Ms Gilmore said the opportunity to showcase Lake Mac to Sydneysiders who might otherwise travel further afield for holidays could help generate future tourism.

“Hopefully, a lot of these travellers will see how amazing Lake Mac is and will choose to come back here even when COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted,” she said.

The returning confidence has prompted the relaunch in time for school holidays of boom net cruises on Lake Macquarie.

Locally based company Lake Macquarie Cruises will run 1.5-hour cruises at 11am and 1pm every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday throughout the school holidays, departing from the new Speers Point jetty.

Lake Macquarie Cruises General Manager Peter Hanrahan said bookings for the cruises were already strong.

“It’s exciting to be back on the water and providing a family focused tourism attraction that will help more people discover our incredible lake,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Cr Christine Buckley said the relaunched cruises helped reinforce the message that Lake Mac was open for tourism.

“Tourism is a vital part of our economy,” Cr Buckley said.

“It creates jobs, supports families and builds Lake Mac’s reputation as a place to come and stay.”

“Operators throughout the City are taking all the necessary measures to ensure they comply with COVID-safe guidelines.”