The 5 Best Lakes in New South Wales for Fishing

Written by Alyssa Shea
Updated: October 18, 2023
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Australia is home to some of the best bodies of water in the world! New South Wales especially has some beautiful lakes with sandy beaches that are prime for fishing. Many different types of fish are available throughout New South Wales, so picking your fishing spot correctly is crucial if you’re looking for specific species. These lakes welcome all types of fishermen, from beginners to advanced anglers. It can be challenging to decide where to begin, so why don’t we take a look at some of the best lakes in the area for fishing?

1. Lake Macquarie

One of the most popular fishing spots to visit in New South Wales would have to be Lake Macquarie. Plenty of towns and villages dot the fringes of this area, and you’re only an hour’s drive to Sydney. This is Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake, so it offers plenty of fun for the whole family. There are sand flats, drop-offs, and sunken boats that all make for great spots to catch fish. Since it’s connected to the ocean, you’re sure to find a variety of fish. Some popular species that are fished up tend to be bream, flathead, tailor, luderick, and whiting. You can find year-round fishing here from both land and kayak or boat!

Aerial view of Lake Macquarie and Warners Bay - Newcastle Australia. The largest coastal lake in Australia is a popular area 25 minutes south of Newcastle CBD.

This lake was formed by sandbars closing off three small branching estuaries of the Hunter River.

©Ben Jeayes/

2. Windamere Lake

Taking time out of your busy life to escape to Lake Windamere is a goal for many that live in NSW. This lake is situated along the Cudgegong River and offers beautiful, scenic country views. Most locals will tell you that this lake is the best-stocked impoundment in NSW for trophy-sized golden perch! Some perch here can reach up to 16 pounds and over 20 inches long! You can also find silver perch, Murray cod, as well as some eel and catfish, too. It’s also common to see plenty of wildlife along the shore, including kangaroos, wallabies, and even goats!

Happy Father and Son together fishing from a boat at sunset time in summer day under beautiful sky on the lake.

Many anglers head here during springtime to catch the best and biggest fish.

©Andrey Yurlov/

3. Burrill Lake

Did you know that the traditional land owners of the area surrounding Burrill Lake were the Murramarang Indigenous people of the Yuin nation? Lately, Burrill Lake is seeing efforts from the community to further improve fishing. Saltmarshes are a key fish habitat, and the one at Burrill has been degrading over time. Locals have come together with researchers from the University of Newcastle to further studies and restoration projects! This popular, scenic spot is surrounded by bushland and offers excellent beaches to fish from. You can expect a variety of fish from this body of water, including flathead, bream, and blackfish.

Houses with a view in Burrill Lake

Burrill Lake is located just about 3 miles south of the famous South Coast port, Ulladulla.

©Ogdum/iStock via Getty Images

4. Lake St. Clair

This lake will always be a popular spot for fishing! This lake is stocked with native Australian bass, golden perch, silver perch, catfish, and eels. The campground surrounding the lake brings many families and avid anglers thanks to the well-maintained grounds and amenities. Plenty of water skiers frequent the lake in the warmer months. Around the northern and southern ends of the lake, you can find many submerged trees that provide shelter for this waterway’s sportfish. The main draw will always be the lively Australian bass that put up a hearty fight once you have one on the line!

Exploring Cradle Mountains in Tasmania

Built in the 1980s, Lake St. Clair was created in order to supplement the water supply from Glenbawn Dam.

©Kevin LEBRE/iStock via Getty Images

5. Lake Eucumbene

Situated in the Snowy Mountains region of NSW, the Eucumbene River feeds into the lake, creating prime fishing opportunities. This lake is one of Australia’s largest reservoirs. Brown trout can be spotted making their way up the river and laying eggs along the way. You might also pull up a few rainbow trout as well. This lake isn’t stocked, so it’s considered to be a self-sustaining fishery! Many people who fish here like to try their hands at fly, spinner, trolling, and bait fishing. You need to follow some specific rules here due to the annual trout spawning season, but this mainly applies to the river and not the lake.

Evening light over Lake Eucumbene in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains

The Eucumbene River is fed by melting snow in the mountains.

©Warren Lloyd/

6. Lake Mulwala

This man-made reservoir is fed by the Murray River. It’s chock-full of timber, which creates excellent hiding spots for golden and estuary perch. You can also find plenty of cod, carp, and redfin in the area. There are nearby attractions for families that will keep the kids busy and entertained. One of the most simple yet fun activities to do with the family is the paddle boat steamer ride down the Murray River. The reason this lake continues to be so popular for fishing enthusiasts is the size of the Murray cod. Some of these fish can reach up to 180 pounds and 60 inches in length!

Soft afternoon light on reed beds at the edge of Lake Mulwala in New South Wales, Australia, with gentle ripples across the surface of the water beneath a cloudy blue sky.

Most of this lake is very shallow because it’s on a floodplain.

©Norman Allchin/

Summary of the 5 Best Lakes in New South Wales for Fishing

1Lake Macquarie
2Windamere Lake
3Burrill Lake
4Lake St. Clair
5Lake Eucumbene
6Lake Mulwala

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Rainer Lesniewski/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

I'm a 36-year-old mother of 2 and military wife. I have 2 dogs and a cat that I'm thoroughly obsessed with. When I'm not writing for work, I'm writing as a hobby. You can find me knee deep in a pile of books or way too invested in a video game.

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