Find the beauty of nature, simplicity, great vibes and amazing fresh seafood.

I love spreading the word about Forster and all it has to offer. Here’s what I’d do if I had just 3 days to spend here.

Wallis Lake at Forster.
Wallis Lake at Forster.

As a relative newbie to Forster, I’m still awestruck every day by the beauty of this place and the incredible lifestyle it offers for both residents and holidaymakers.

Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and Wallis Lake, there’s something magical about the simplicity and authenticity of this small coastal town. It’s not about flashy man-made things like theme parks or water parks. It’s about enjoying being in nature, eating the freshest seafood, spending time in and on the water, and enjoying the breathtaking views with family and friends.

We’re certainly not the only ones to think this. There are so many families that have been coming here for years – and now the next generation are coming with their kids, too. In fact, we’re finding that more and more younger folks are relocating here, chasing the laid-back, beachy lifestyle – and it’s no wonder.

Sails Luxury Apartments at Forster
Sails Luxury Apartments at Forster
Forster Main Beach aerial
Forster Main Beach aerial
Forster ocean pool by Kate Mills 1
Forster ocean pool by Kate Mills 1
Isola Riva waterfront dining
Isola Riva waterfront dining
Isola Riva Forster 2
Isola Riva Forster 2
Wharf Street, Forster
Wharf Street, Forster

Day one

Just a few easy hour’s drive from the M1 ramp at Sydney’s Wahroonga or even less from Newcastle, it’s easy to get here, so you’ll be ready to go as soon as you arrive. First, you’ll check into Sails Luxury Apartments, of course! It’s a great choice – the apartments are gorgeous and it’s super central, with breathtaking beachfront views. But what really makes it stand out from the crowd is the friendly, family culture from the long-serving team.

Once you’ve checked in and taken a minute to enjoy the view from your balcony, you’ll want to get out there and enjoy yourself. Luckily, Forster’s main beach is directly in front of the apartments, complete with the ocean pool (fondly also known as the bull ring) sitting right on the golden sands. It’s a good place to relax while the kids safely swim.

It will soon be time for a coffee, there are a few places to try right there at Main Beach: Beach Bums, Wing Man or The Sicilian, depending on your mood as you watch for dolphins. And of course in Forster we’re spoilt for choice with loads of other lovely cafés and restaurants to choose from, so don’t forget to explore the main street and surrounds.

As hunger kicks in, for lunch you could try Isola Riva (‘river island’ in Italian) which is a real favourite of mine with a great wine list. The oysters are a must-try while you’re visiting – Graham Barclay oysters are grown in the crystal-clear waters of Wallis Lake, and are renowned as being some of the best in the world. Isola Riva’s lakeside location has a lovely chilled vibe with great service and delicious fresh seafood.

You might want a post-lunch snooze after your busy morning, so you’re refreshed and ready to hit the Forster shops – which are amazing. Forster has loads of buzzy, trendy little boutiques and cool, interesting knick-knack stores, and it’s a brilliant way to while away a few hours.

After you’ve shopped ‘til you drop, you might want a quick dip in the Sails Apartments pool before getting ready for dinner. For a bit of a change after your seafood lunch, Spice Monkey is an Asian-fusion restaurant with excellent chefs and a fantastic outlook overlooking the waters of Wallis Lake. It’s a great place for sunset drinks and dinner. Offering a similar view with modern Mexican cuisine, next door you could try Si Senorita (and don't forget the margarita!).

After all that excitement of just your first day, it’s probably time for a well-earned sleep on a super-comfy bed.

Boats on Wallis Lake Forster
Jungle Surf SUP
Wallis Lake jetski rider
Barbecue boat hire from Blue Peter Boatshed Forster

Day two

So yesterday you hit the beaches – today it’s time for the lake.

Here in fabulous Forster we’re all about the water… it’s just crazy beautiful all around Wallis Lake with lots of hidden bays and sandy coves. If you want to be a bit more active you can hire kayaks, SUP boards and pedal boats - whatever you fancy. But one of the nicest, most relaxing things to do is to pack a picnic and hire a boat. You can easily spend a full day cruising around the upper and lower reaches of Wallis Lake, stopping for a picnic on the sand and leaping into the water when you need to cool off. It’s great for fishing, too.

For a perfect end to a chilled day, you might want to visit one of the amazing fresh produce markets and pick up some fruit, veggies and fish. Then you can dine on your Sails Apartments balcony as you watch the sun go down.

Horse riding on Tuncurry Beach Rob Mulally
Horse riding on Tuncurry Beach Rob Mulally
One Mile Beach Forster
One Mile Beach Forster
One Mile Beach, Forster
One Mile Beach, Forster
Beach Street Seafoods lunch packs
Beach Street Seafoods lunch packs

Day three

After a leisurely breakfast at another great Forster cafe, I’d recommend taking to the saddle with Horse About Tours. Horse riding can be a wonderful way to spend a morning. You’ll love riding along Tuncurry’s Nine Mile Beach and it’s great for everyone, from novices to experienced riders.

Afterwards, for lunch you could try some seafood takeaway from Beach Street Seafoods or Lobby’s Fresh Seafood. Then I reckon you’d want to hit the beach again – and I’d suggest trying the beautiful One Mile Beach this time. The kids are sure to tire themselves out sliding down the huge sand dune at the northern end, over and over again (tip: take a boogie board or big piece of cardboard for your downhill device).

The beach is great for surfers and kite-surfers on windy days too, and it’s patrolled during the holidays and on weekends. If you’re feeling fit, you can walk up the steep track to Bennett’s Head Lookout, a viewing platform with spectacular views up and down the Forster coastline.

Bennetts Head Lookout Forster
Bennetts Head Lookout Forster
Bennetts Head Lookout to the ocean and coastline Forester
Bennetts Head Lookout, Forster
A sunset from Bennetts Head
A sunset from Bennetts Head

So pack your swimming togs, your beach towel, your sunscreen and a good book. There’s not much more you need for a truly idyllic trip.

Forster really is all about the beauty of nature, simplicity, great vibes and amazing fresh food.
Belinda Gates

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