Skip to Content

8 Lakes of the NSW South Coast you shouldn't miss

13 Sep 2022

While New South Wales may be known for its stunning beaches, it also has fantastic lakes perfect for swimming, kayaking, fishing and more. 

Best lakes in new south wales banner

Picture waking up to a sunrise over crystal clear waters and getting ready for a day full of fun on a lake that has it all. With so many lakes in the state, especially on the South Coast, it’s no surprise that a holiday to the lakes is one of the best things to do in NSW.

Whether you’re planning a family trip with endless activities or want a place to relax for a few days in nature, here are eight lakes that you’ll love on the New South Wales’ South Coast. 

Lake Conjola, ShoalhavenBest lakes in new south wales conjola

Lake Conjola. Source: Visit NSW 

Located near Bendalong, Lake Conjola is a nature lovers paradise and a spectacular lake surrounded by national parks just waiting to be explored. 

Spend your day cooling off in the water, participating in water sports, heading into the national park for a hike, or spotting nearby wildlife. 
If you’re up for it, you can hire a boat, kayak or paddle board from Lake Conjola Post Office Store and experience the best of what Lake Conjola offers. You can also learn to waterski, wakeboard, or hire a pedal boat with Walking on Water

If you’re a keen surfer, you’ll be happy to know nearby Green Island has an impressive reef break at the lake’s mouth. Whether it’s waterskiing, swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing or cycling through the national park, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this family-friendly lake. 

Discovery Parks - Burrill Lake, Ulladulla is only 25 minutes away, making this lake the perfect excuse for a day trip. 


Durras Lake, Ulladulla Best lakes in new south wales durras

By basing yourself at Discovery Parks - Ulladulla, Durras Lake is only a 30-minute drive away. 

At around 6km in length, Durras Lake is a beautiful spot surrounded by the gum trees of Murramarang National Park, creating the perfect backdrop. 

Because Durras Lake is a coastal estuary, it opens up to the ocean at high tide. Perfect for everyone in your tribe, this family-friendly lake has many shallow bays perfect for fishing, kayaking and swimming. 


Lake Illawarra, ShellharbourBest lakes in new south wales illawarra

Pambula River. Source: Alex Wigan | Unsplash

20 minutes south of Wollongong, Lake Illawarra is a huge tidal lake with 37km of shoreline. Only 30-minutes away from Discovery Parks - Gerroa, visiting Lake Illawarra is one of the best things to do in NSW on a warm summer’s day. 

Being such a big lake, Lake Illawarra is fantastic for swimming, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding and boating. The options for activities here are endless.

Whether you’re coming with your family, friends or partner, Lake Illawarra is one of the best lakes on the South Coast worth seeing this summer. 


Pambula Lake, MerimbulaBest lakes in new south wales pambula

Known as a fishing, boating and paddling paradise, Pambula Lake is a favourite among Australian travellers. People from all over head to the family-friendly Pambula Lake to enjoy fun watersports and soak in the serene natural surroundings. 

Fed by the Pambula and Yowaka Rivers, the river is recognised as one of the healthiest estuaries in New South Wales. One of the most notable things about Pambula Lake is that oysters have been farmed there since the 1890s. Home to 16 oyster farms, travellers can visit the oyster farms and watch the oysters being brought in from the boats, graded and shucked. 

A stay at Discovery Parks - Pambula Beach puts you within minutes of this amazing natural phenomenon.


Merimbula Lake, MerimbulaBest lakes in new south wales merimbula

If you find yourself at Discovery Parks - Pambula Beach over the summer, you’ll be happy to know that the paradise that is Merimbula Lake is only ten minutes away!

Popular among water enthusiasts who love boating, fishing, kayaking and swimming, experiencing Merimbula Lake is one of the best things to do in NSW. Bordered by beaches and boardwalks, Merimbula Lake offers plenty, from stunning scenery to nature playgrounds, calm waters and shaded, grassy areas. 

Perfect for all kinds of visitor, Merimbula Lake is a must on your South Coast itinerary this summer!


Burrill Lake, Ulladulla Best lakes in new south wales burrill @braydenstanford

Credit: @braydenstanford 

Located just five kilometres south of Ulladulla, Burrill Lake is a popular destination for fishermen and adrenaline seekers alike.

The upper areas of the lake are well-suited for waterskiers and leisure seekers as the local water ski club has its own picnic area and boat ramp. Located at Kings Point, this part of the lake is perfect for those seeking some down time as it’s quiet and serene and ideal for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding. 

After a fun day on the lake, visit Burrill Lake Fish and Chip Shop to grab some delicious seafood for dinner before returning to your Discovery Parks lakefront accommodation. 


Wallaga Lake, BermaguiBest lakes in new south wales wallaga

Wallaga Lake. Source: Visit NSW

This list of the best lakes on the NSW South Coast wouldn’t be complete without the biggest lake in the region, Wallaga Lake. 
Situated beneath the breathtaking Gulaga Mountain, Wallaga Lake is a must-visit for every traveller. 

What makes this lake stand out is its incredible natural surroundings. Not only can you go swimming and waterskiing on the lake, but with plenty of nature around you, you can head off on a bush walk or spot wildlife. 

Wallaga Lake is also home to the Dreamtime tale of Umbarra the Black Duck, the totem of the Yuin-Monaro people. Merriman’s Island, within the lake, is a place of significance to the area’s local Indigenous people and is not accessible to the public. Keep that in mind while exploring different parts of the lake. 

While Discovery Parks - Pambula is an hour south at Pambula Beach, Wallaga Lake is definitely worth the drive. Head up there early to enjoy a full day of fun before heading back in the evening. 


Cuttagee Lake, Bermagui Best lakes in new south wales cuttagee

Much like Wallaga Lake, the nearest Discovery Parks - Pambula is an hour south of Cuttagee Lake but is worth the drive to experience its azure blue waters. What also makes Cuttagee Lake worth visiting is that not only is there a lake, but Cuttagee Beach is right next door and is perfect for surfing and swimming. 

The family-friendly lake is a great place to spend the day as children can play in the shallow calm waters. It’s also a great place to explore in a kayak! Framed by one of the Sapphire Coast’s single-lane wooden bridges, a walk along the track just north of the bridge provides stunning coastal views. 


Post categories