Catherine Hill Bay

Catherine Hill Bay

Catherine Hill Bay is an old mining village located at Lake Macquarie NSW.

The village is heritage-listed and the big Jetty is the most recognisable landmark at this beach.

The beach also takes its pride in being listed in the 101 Best Australian Beaches

The jetty and the untouched natural environment make this spot particularly scenic.

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The Beach

Heading for a surf

Here you can fish, swim and surf.

The surf club and beach patrol are located at the southern end. There’s also a food kiosk. Lifeguards patrol the beach from the September school holidays through April.

Catherine Hill Bay

The beach is unspoiled and quiet. No tourist development means it never gets crowded. 

Well, almost.

This was as crowded as it gets on this sunny Easter weekend...

Looking at the northern side of the beach.

The last time we went, there were many surfers out there, dogs running around and kids playing in the stream and sliding down the sand dunes...

Kids playing in the stream.

The northern end of the beach is quieter. This stretch of sand is also referred to as Middle Camp Beach…

The northern side of the beach is very quiet.

Enjoy a walk from the surf club to the northern end. Continue on the rock platform to the inlet. There and back is about 4 kilometres. 

Before you head to the beach, drive to the lookout on Northwood Road. Follow the road along the cemetery. From the top of the hill, you’ll get a view of the coast…

View of the southern side of the beach from the bluff

About Catherine Hill Bay

The village was named after the schooner Catherine Hill, which ran aground in 1867. But the locals call it Catho Beach.

Coal mining occurred in the 19th - 20th century. Ships used to dock at Catho Jetty to take coal to Sydney.

Because of its heritage significance, Catherine Hill Bay was placed on the State Heritage Register. It’s one of only two towns listed on this register.

Historic cottages

The miners cottages have been beautifully restored. They add to the charm of the village. Many are now used as holiday rentals.

Here you won’t find any tourist development. No hotels or restaurants except for Catho Pub.

Catho Pub

If you want to eat lunch or dinner head to the charming heritage-listed Catho Pub. The pub has a real Aussie feel. It’s the only place where you can have a meal in this village. There’s live music on weekends and a little play area for kids.

Catho PubCatho Pub
View of the northern side of the beach from the bluff

Getting There

The beach is located 1 hr 40 min north of Sydney or 30 min south of Newcastle. Click here for driving directions.

Things To Do Nearby

If you’d like to spend more time around Catherine Hill Bay, here are other things to do nearby: 

Moonee Beach trail

The Mooney Beach trail is an easy and lovely 4-kilometre return walk. 

The walk offers great views of Timber Beach and Ghosties Beach. Then it descends to the stunning Moonee Beach. 

Kids will enjoy exploring the rock pools. 

You can also stroll to the secluded Timber Beach and Ghosties Beach via the access trails. Enjoy exploring the sea caves at Ghosties Beach at low tide. 

To get there, drive along Campbell Drive for 4km. The road then becomes Snapper Point Rd. Park in the gravel carpark on the left. 

Dogs are not allowed. 

Catherine Hill Bay to Shark Hole walk 

The Catherine Hill Bay to Shark Hole walk is a moderate 4.8-kilometre trail. 

The highlight is Shark Hole, an impressive ocean inlet surrounded by cliffs.  

The walk starts at Catherine Hill Bay Beach and heads north through Baldy Cliff. 

You can take your dog on a leash. 

View of the beach

Munmorah via Shark Hole trail

This easy 6.3-kilometre loop walk also leads to the impressive Shark Hole. 

The walk begins 1.8 km north of Catho SLSC. Follow Flowers Dr. A few metres after Colliery Rd take the right turnoff. 

Dogs are not allowed.

Lake Macquarie Activities

Want to find out more activities within the Catherine Hill Bay area? Discover the best things to do in Lake Macquarie for the whole family.

Walking on the beach

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