Take a right hand turn off the Pacific Highway a few kilometres after passing Lake Munmorah on NSW’s Central Coast and you’ll find yourself in the beachside village of Catherine Hill Bay - a favourite spot for surfboard riders, and wave surfers generally.
Anglers fancy Catherine Hill Bay as a base, what with Lake Macquarie just a couple of kilometres to the west and Lake Munmorah and Tuggerah Lake a quick drive south.
Just five kilometres back down the road is Lake Munmorah National Park which has a couple of superb walking trails. While there is a natural beauty about the bay setting, rusting iron skeletons and decaying machinery - detritus of a rich coal mining age - disrupt the coastal ambience of blue water and bushland.
The historic village and its rows of 19th century miners' cottages, however, add a touch of charm to the coal-dominated past. The hilll commands ocean views, while the bay lies just to the south of surfers' celebrated Caves Beach and Swansea Heads which guard Lake Macquarie's ocean entrance.