City by numbers

Lake Macquarie is located on the east coast of Australia, strategically located midway on the eastern seaboard between Melbourne and Brisbane, offering an ideal location for people or businesses wanting equal access to these cities.


  • 90 minutes to Sydney on the M1
  • 10 minutes to Newcastle
  • 25 minutes to the Port of Newcastle
  • 35 minutes to Hunter Valley wine country
  • 40 minutes to Newcastle Airport (international gateway)


  • In 2021, 210,031 people called Lake Macquarie home, making our City the third largest regional city in NSW by population
  • More than 10,000 people moved to Lake Macquarie in 2016-2017
  • About 2,200 babies are born in Lake Macquarie each year
  • Population is expected to grow by 28,000 people by 2036, creating demand for 13,500 new dwellings and 12,000 new jobs


  • City area of 757.2-square-kilometres
  • Lake Macquarie is about twice the size of Sydney Harbour and one of Australia's largest saltwater lakes, with a circumference of 174km
  • 32km of coastline to the City's east with four patrolled beaches
  • Thirteen forests make up the Watagan Mountains in the City's west


  • In 2018, economic activity generated by the Lake Macquarie economy was estimated to be $19.9 billion, which is 19 per cent of the Hunter economy
  • In 2018, the total value added by our economy was estimated at $10.65 billion
  • Construction, manufacturing and rental, hiring and real estate services were the biggest contributors to the City's economy in 2018
  • There are 13,132 active businesses in Lake Macquarie, with 6,500 new businesses started in the last four years
  • More than $1.57 billion worth of development applications were approved in the City in 2020-21
  • 1.3 million international and domestic tourists visit Lake Macquarie each year
  • The city is home to Avondale University, offering tertiary education opportunities


  • 61,601 people work in Lake Macquarie, with healthcare and social assistance, retail trade and construction employing the highest number of people in 2016
  • The City's total workforce in 2018 was 102,029
  • Lake Macquarie's unemployment rate was 4.3 per cent in 2019