Separated by a bridge spanning the ocean entrance to Wallis Lake, the twin towns of Forster and Tuncurry used to be one. But common usage of the local Aboriginal word for ‘many fish’ finally prevailed and North Forster became Tuncurry.
It was, in the end, an inevitable and eminently sensible decision because the waters off the two towns have long been renowned for their abundance of flathead, bream, whiting and both prawns and oysters.
The quality of the catches lured Italian migrants to Forster to develop the local professional fishing industry. They brought generations of experience with them, but they also introduced the colourful blessing of the fleet ceremony which takes place every October as part of the Foster-Tuncurry Spring Festival.
Wallis and Myall lakes are key components in the magnificent Myall Lakes National Park. The park embraces the largest coastal lake system in the state and attracts thousands of campers, bushwalkers and boaties every year. The protected system also includes beaches and headlands.