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Swansea Boardwalk: Explore Pirrita Island’s Nature Reserve

New lakeside boardwalk
Photos by Wander. ©

The new Swansea boardwalk provides uninterrupted views of Swansea Channel and Lake Macquarie.

Swansea’s new boardwalk is well worth checking out. The winding boardwalk takes you along the edge of the lake and through the mangroves of Pirrita Island nature reserve in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.

There are a number of spots to stop along the way to appreciate the local flora and fauna, including a viewpoint where you have uninterrupted panoramic views of the lake.

Viewing platform over the coastal wetland

There is a bridge-like area in one spot where the water from the mangroves flows back into the lake. We were able to watch fish swimming around and later saw a man feeding the fish bread from this area – which would be a fun activity for kids.

This was the area we stopped to watch the fish

Winding walk through the mangroves


Something that is really fantastic about the new boardwalk is that it’s wheelchair and pram friendly, making it accessible for most people’s needs.

Both ends of the boardwalk have ramp access and even the viewing platform at the Northern end, known as Miner’s point, also has a ramp.

Miners Point viewing platform on the island's north western edge

If accessing the boardwalk with a wheelchair or pram, it’s best to access from the foreshore reserve at the rear of the caravan park. From there, you’re able to access the ramp straight from the car park.

Access from the foreshore reserve

If coming from the other direction towards Miner’s Point, there is a gravel path that may be an issue for wheelchairs and some prams with smaller tyres. This gravel path had water over it in some sections on the day we visited due to rain the night before.

With ramp access at either end the new boardwalk invites visitors of all types - Miner’s Point access ramp

The new addition of the boardwalk helps connect the foreshore reserve to the channel walkway, creating a new outdoor fitness trail.

Where is Pirrita Island?

Pirrita Island is located in the northern peninsula of Swansea channel in Lake Macquarie. The area was formerly known to locals as Coon Island, named after the first resident to live there who was a local miner and would return home covered in coal.

In 2021, Lake Macquarie city council began the process to rename the area to something that was more respectful and sensitive towards indigenous communities.

The new name “Pirrita” comes from the Awabakal word, meaning oysters from the mangrove tree.

Elizabeth island can be seen from the new boardwalk
Views of Lake Macquarie
Swansea Nature Reserve

Getting there

The boardwalk is located in the foreshore area directly behind the Swansea Lakeside Caravan Park. It’s a short walk or bike ride from the caravan park and can be found at the northern end of the car park.

If accessing by car, if you head towards the caravan park down Channel Street, you’re able to follow a small road down past Swansea Lakeside Caravan Park where you’ll come across the foreshore reserve. Heading up towards the north of the car park, you’ll find the access ramp to the boardwalk.

You are able to access the areas via the north western edge of the channel as well. This would mean instead of following the small road past the caravan park, you turn right beforehand at the small white bridge. There you’ll find a car park, picnic tables and a gravel path that will lead you along the channel and down towards the other end of the boardwalk.

Views from Miners Point
Miners Point

Facilities at Pirrita Island

Pirrita Island has undergone many improvements over recent years as the popularity of the Swansea Lakeside Caravan Park has increased.

The area behind the caravan park is a popular spot for swimming in the warmer weather and has access to picnic tables, toilets and outdoor showers for rinsing off after a swim.

The North Eastern side near the channel has picnic and barbecue facilities.

Swansea Foreshore
Swansea Foreshore

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