Looking for more to do around Forster and Tuncurry? We've got you covered.
You've arrived for your holiday, spent 4 days in a row on the same beach and you’re now thinking what else is there to do? We’ve got you covered with our top 10 things to do in Forster and Tuncurry.
1. The Bicentennial Walk
Take in the best of the Forster coastline on this scenic walk. The full walk Bicentennial Walk is 4km each way but you can tackle as little or as much as you like. Parts of the walk are suitable for all levels of fitness and are even pram friendly.
Starting at the Bullring (Forster Ocean Baths) take the stairs to Second Head Lookout and enjoy the views over Pebbly Beach. If you have a pram or want to steer clear of stairs you can walk the footpath along North Street to the top. You then have the choice of the stairs down on to Pebbly Beach or the path behind which winds its way along the waters edge past the Tanks swimming hole. (see below)
Continue up the stairs along the path enjoying the viewing platforms along the way. Pop out and continue the hard slog up the hill towards Bennetts Head Lookout. Continue down the Rotary Walk onto One Mile Beach sand dune and walk along the beach until you reach Palmgrove Park, before finally heading up to the secluded Burgess Beach.
2. Swim at The Tanks
The former site of large freshwater tanks that filled the steam engines that transported quarried rocks for the construction of the Forster-Tuncurry breakwalls, The Tanks is now a popular natural swimming hole.
At high tide, The Tanks are full of water. As the tide falls it reveals the sand underneath the surface. The majority of the swimming area is protected by the incoming swell by the rock formations. The waves crashing over the rocks provide great entertainment for kids when swimming here.
3. Hire a boat
Wallis Lake comes to life in the warmer months with vessels cruising the channels or parking up on one of the many islands. You don’t need your own boat to experience this. Little Street in Forster is home to several boatsheds all hiring different types of boats and paddling craft – from small runabouts to 12-seater barbecue boats, standup paddle boards and see-through kayaks. Throw a line in around the oyster leases or park up on Miles Island and enjoy a picnic and swim. Be sure to keep an eye on the bow of your boat for the local dolphins catching a ride!
4. Cape Hawke Lookout
Forster’s highest and most picturesque lookout. This superb Cape Hawke Lookout is worth every step of the 500m hike through regenerating littoral rainforest but leave enough energy for 420 steps up to the 8.4m tower with 360-degree views of the surrounding area. Here you’ll see Booti Booti National Park to the south, Wallingat National Park to the southwest, plus on a clear day you’ll see as far as Barrington Tops: the highest point of the Barrington Coast.
5. McBrides Beach walk
If you’ve still got energy after the walk to Cape Hawke Lookout why not tackle Forster’s newest walk? Opened in December 2020, the newly created McBrides Beach walk winds its way down, crossing small creek beds along the way. The gravel path gives way to the sands of McBrides Beach, one of the most secluded beaches in the Barrington Coast. More often than not you will find yourself alone on this beach with the crystal-clear waters all to yourself. Be sure to save some energy for the climb back up the walk!
6. Eat oysters
No trip to Forster-Tuncurry would be complete without trying the local delicacy! Did you know Forster-Tuncurry is the largest producer of Sydney Rock oysters in NSW? Generations of oyster farmers have worked on Wallis Lake to supply the delicacy to fish markets across the country. The good thing for visitors is they know they’re getting the freshest when they’re here. Buy straight from the farmer at Barclays Oysters, Wallis Lake Fisherman Co-Op or Monin Seafoods. Or if you prefer a glass of wine with your dozen, head over to Thirty Three Degrees. They serve the freshest of oysters farmed from their own leases and prepare them in a variety of delicious ways.
7. Go on a Lake Cruise
Barrington Coast is famous for its waterways, afterall it’s known as the place ‘where the leaves touch the waters from the mountains to the sea’.
So it’s no surprise that cruising here creates unforgettable holiday experiences: playful pods of dolphins surfing your bow wave or flocks of waterbirds taking off in formation at sunset. You’ll be mesmerised by nature’s best.
Surrounded by Wallingat National Park on the west and Booti Booti National Park on the east, Wallis Lake is 25 km long and 9 km wide. You’ll encounter a variety of sea birds including ospreys, sea eagles, whistling kites, gannets and albatross to name a few. Also frequently sighted are sharks, dolphins and turtles. Winery and lunch cruises are also popular choices and there are options that are child-friendly and wheelchair accessible too.
Where to join a cruise:
8. One Mile Beach sand dune
One to wear out the kids or for those keen beans looking for some outdoor exercise. The sand dune at the northern end of One Mile Beach in Forster towers above the water’s edge. Be ready for the burn as you climb to the top but be rewarded with some of the best beach views and a perfect place to spot passing whales and dolphins. Pack the boogie board and slide back down it or simply run down it letting gravity do its thing!
9. Visit a market
Wander one of the local markets and pick up a souvenir or a gift for a loved one with plenty of stalls offering handmade goods and keepsakes. Forster Town Market is held on the second Sunday of the month while Tuncurry Markets are held on the 4th Saturday of the month. The Forster Visitor Centre hosts the Forster Farmers Market held the 3rd Saturday of the month and offers visitors the chance to meet the local farmers and taste some of their delicious produce.
10. Eat local
Go and experience some of the best produce our twin towns have to offer!
As well as oysters, Forster-Tuncurry is home to some fantastic local seafood. The fish on offer from Wallis Lake Fisherman’s Co-Op in Tuncurry may as well just have come off the boat it's that fresh. On the Forster side be sure to check out Red Spot Jetty for some delicious local fillets and advice on how best to cook it. And if you want it cooked, you cannot go past Beach Street Seafoods, voted Best Fish and Chips in NSW in 2018! Check their blackboards for the locally caught selections.
It’s not just seafood! Little Street Roasters offer visitors and locals deliciously roasted coffee. Now these beans aren’t just given to any café. You’re assured of a quality coffee when you visit a café using their beans, with all café staff specially trained on how to create the perfect coffee using their product. You’ll find it served at Tartt Café, Wingman Espresso, Thirty Three Degrees and Red Spot Boatshed.
So you’ve had your coffee in the morning but what about the afternoon? Why not head to Forster’s first brewery the Coastal Brewing Company? Visit the tasting room to try a range of fresh craft beers or keep an eye out for their brews on tap at restaurants and bars. All beers are named after local landscapes like Booti Booti Kneipa and Wallis Weizan.