Wyong Lakes Festival
No one would argue that the Coast is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in our country. In fact our beaches are so flashy we can sometimes forget the stunning estuaries that are also a feature of the Coast. They provide us a safe aquatic playground for a range of activities, are commercial hubs for fishing and transport, and they also provide an important habitat for our native wildlife … Sounds worth celebrating, right?
In November, the Coast will play host to a major festival celebrating some of our most important estuaries – the Wyong Lakes Festival.
The “Lakes” of the title are Tuggerah Lake, Budgewoi Lake and Lake Munmorah, a network of coastal lagoons that are as intrinsic to the culture of the area as they are important to our environment.
From Long Jetty, with its iconic (and long!) jetty and its beautifully restored lake foreshore, to The Entrance, whose very name marks the spot where lake meets sea, sprawling Tuggerah Lake continues north, carving out a slim peninsula wedged against the Tasman Sea. This huge body of water ends with the twin lakefront towns of Toukley and Gorokan, joined by a bridge which spans the slim strait between Tuggerah and Budgewoi Lakes.
This smaller lake (1400 hectares against Tuggerah Lakes impressive 5400 hectares) then joins with the yet smaller Lake Munmorah to the north.
This network of lakes features surprisingly clear water and an average depth of around two metres. It’s a water lover’s dream, with recently restored foreshores, family friendly swimming and play parks, bike tracks and more.
The Wyong Lakes Festival is the perfect time to get out and enjoy this beautiful area, or even discover it for the first time.
In its second year the Wyong Lakes Festival is set to be bigger and better with a huge range of free sporting, family, cultural, educational, art and live music events on and surrounding the Tuggerah Lakes area. Read on for the highlights!
Set to ease us into both summer and the festive season, Wyong Lakes Festival in mid November is an inclusive celebration with something for everyone.
Events will be held at six ‘event hubs’ across the Tuggerah Lakes area – Long Jetty, Memorial Park and Picnic Point at The Entrance, the foreshore of Canton Beach, McKenzie Reserve at Budgewoi and Colongra Bay Reserve at Lake Munmorah.
The festival will kick of with a spectacular evening concert on the 12th of November. Held at The Entrance in Memorial Park there’ll be great food, entertainment and music, all with a stunning backdrop. Add some fireworks and you’re in for a great evening! The main stage will host an impressive lineup of talent, culminating in title act Thirsty Merc’s set.
Don’t just set the night aside though – there’s a great range of activities and events during the day as well.
Painting By The Lake is an attempt at a record for the greatest number of artists painting ‘en plein aire’. Find them and their easels at the Long Jetty foreshore between 9am and 3pm, with an auction of donated works at 2pm. And while you’re on the foreshore, check out the interesting storytelling event – Storytelling with Words, Sound and Vision.
Also on the first Saturday, Picnic Point at The Entrance will host Colour Ya World, a five kilometre fun run through an explosion of colour. The event is suitable for anyone aged two years and up, and for any fitness level. There’s a ticket price which includes a tshirt and bandana, so go to the website – www.colouryaworld.com.au to register.
Saturday also sees Canton Beach host The Central Coast Saltwater Festival, the Coast’s annual stand up paddle boarding (SUP) competition.
After all that excitement you can front up at Memorial Park again on Sunday morning from 10am for Brunch by the Lake. Bring the family and a picnic rug for a free breakfast plus a range of activities and entertainment, including a celeb chef on the main stage.
If you feel more energetic you might like to take part in Try a Triathlon, free for first timers and featuring a shortened distance. There’s also the standard distance event for experienced triathletes. Or just cheer them on at McKenzie Reserve, Budgewoi.
During the week there will be a range of educational and community activities including sustainable eating, composting, kayaking. and more. One event running all week is the Scavenger Hunt. Download the SCAVIFY app and register for your chance to win. It’s a great way to get the family out exploring the region and there’s over $2000 in prize money up for grabs.
On Thursday the 17th, grab your picnic rug and head to Colongra Bay Reserve, Lake Munmorah, for the Uniting Outdoor Cinema’s free screening of Karate Kid 2. The following day head to McKenzie Reserve from 4pm for Bands on a Floatation Device – local bands playing on a barge, with food and drink vendors, market stalls and kids entertainment as well.
The last weekend is set to be a big one. Saturday the 19th sees the Canton Beach foreshore come alive with Splash & Dash. The kids can get active with a variety of activites including the Great Inflatable Race and the Kidscamp 77 Commando Course. There’s also music and entertainment, all from 10am.
Saturday also sees Norah Head Lighthouse Reserve also play host to a great lineup at the Lighthouse Folk Festival.
Saturday evening is more sedate with Moonlight Cinema on the Long Jetty foreshore. Typically, The Jetty is offering something different yet tasty with a screening of Ponyo, the cult Japanese anime classic. Grab your spot from 4pm and enjoy food stalls, live music and face painting for the kids, with the movie screening from 7.30pm.
Sunday 20th is Street Festival day with Long Jetty coming alive with the region’s biggest street party. Last year’s event was fantastic, and this year’s is shaping up to be even better, with great food, market stalls and a fantastic lineup of live entertainment. There’s also some unique initiatives to take part in. Art Out of the Box sees artists from across the Coast donating original works pieces of recycled cardboard such as pizza boxes. These will be on display and for sale for just $20.00 each! And if you feel creative The Big Weave will be producing a collaborative work with an emphasis on recycling down on the foreshore.
The Wyong Lakes Festival offers a great opportunity for the community and visitors alike to come together and embrace and utilise our beautiful lakes and their foreshores. For more information view the program by clicking the button below.