Forster Family Holidays – Where To Stay And Things To Do

Looking for things to do in Forster with kids? You have hit the jackpot! Forster family holidays are super popular with NSW families, and there are many great reasons why.

You’ll find a comprehensive list of all the best Forster attractions for families here, plus great ideas for Forster accommodation.

A huge thank you to blog reader Sonja Screpsis who shares her passion for Forster on the NSW North Coast with us here. 

things to do in Forster

Holidays with kids in Forster

I have been holidaying in Forster for most of my life as we were lucky enough to own a holiday house there since 1972. I often joke that I am a part time resident. Now that I am older, with children of my own, I often rediscover the many wonderful features of Forster when we go there on holidays.

Forster – Tuncurry is a bit over 300 kms from Sydney or 3 ½ hours drive. Since the freeway has been upgraded all the way through Bulahdelah, the trip has become much easier.

The Forster area has a lot of natural highlights. You have the ocean on one side and Wallis Lake on the other. You are also surrounded by other lakes and rivers that provide the setting for an ideal holiday. The lakes are also perfect for kids – shallow, clean, clear water.

Forster Accommodation

Forster Caravan Parks/ Camping

There are a few caravan parks around Forster, some of which are directly on the lake or near the beach:

Forster Holiday Units/ Houses

There are some lovely holiday homes and units for rent. When selecting the area you would like to stay, think about whether you want to be really close to town (Forster/ Tuncurry) which might get a bit hectic during the holiday season.

Or if you would like to stay a bit outside of Forster, closer to some of the other beaches/ lakes that are around (Blueys & Boomerang Beach/ Pacific Palms/ Greenpoint/ Diamond Beach/ Cape Hawke) 

Forster Accommodation Deals + Specials Here

For more fantastic accommodation around NSW, see our list of the best holiday parks in the state.

Foster: Things To Do 

If you’re looking for outdoors things to do, Foster has many to chose from.

Best Kids Activities Forster

Forster Activities Outdoors

You can try fishing, swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, water skiing, sailing, bushwalking, boating, snorkelling and looking at the rock pools.

things to do forster nsw elizabeth beach
Splashing at Elizabeth Beach

Here are some of the things we enjoy:

One Mile Beach – this beach is patrolled, it has a playground and grassed area, a kiosk and toilets, rockpools and awesome sand dunes that you can slide down.

one mile beach dunes 2

Hire a boat on Wallis Lake – at Forster Marina, there are many different boat hire places where you can hire a dinghy or a BBQ party boat, paddle boards and kayaks. This is a great way to explore the lake close to town. As you chug past the oyster leases you can make your way around so that you are under the bridge between Forster and Tuncurry. There are some small sand islands here where you can hang out for the day and enjoy the crystal clear water. I often think that we go overseas for such beautiful clear water when we have it right here on our doorstep.

Snorkelling at “The Tanks” –“The Tanks” are a natural rock formation next to Pebbly Beach, which is not far from Forster main beach. The rocks create a pool on the beach side which is quite calm and great to learn snorkelling. You can also walk up along Bicentennial Walk up to Bennetts Head for a fantastic lookout where you are sure to spot some dolphins (or whales during whale migration season.)

The Breakwall and Tuncurry Rockpool – the rock wall that separates Forster Main Beach and Tuncurry Main Beach from the inlet to the lake is a great place for dolphin watching. On the Tuncurry side of the inlet, you have the Tuncurry Rockpool which is an enclosed, netted swimming area. Great for families with a kiosk, toilets and a BBQ area.

Fishing Charter – my 11 year old loved going deep sea fishing during our last holiday. We went with Forster Fishing Charters and they really knew which spots to go to and how to cater for kids. I would suggest 8+ would be the best age range.

fishing things to do with kids at Forster
Fishing Charter April 2015

Have recently come across an Estuary Charter on the lake. As our family aren’t the best fishing people, this might be a good way to experience things like crabbing and estuary fishing with locals.

Dolphin Watching

Possible the most popular of all the Forster Tuncurry things to do is dolphin watching! You can see dolphins at the breakwall and many places along the coast. You will often see them surfing the waves. If you want an up close and personal perspective, you can take a dolphin cruise. We went on a cruise where you could swim with the dolphins. Don’t think this sort of cruise would suit younger kids, but it was lots of fun when we went.

Dolphin Cruises that would cater for younger children would be in bigger boats and include Amaroo Cruises. This is only a 2 hour cruise and runs daily at 10am.

Markets Around Forster

Pacific Palms Markets – these markets are pretty laid back and low key and you are sure to find something unusual here. Generally they are on the last Sunday of the month, but during holidays, they are on more often. Check their website

Indigenous Art

Tobwabba Art – for one of the truly unique Forster attractions, visit Tobwabba Art. Tobwabba Art is an 100 per cent Aboriginal owned artist collective providing employment and income for local Aboriginal artists and staff. When you visit, there may be an artist on-site and you are welcome to watch them work in the studio.

Christmas holidays in Forster

December/ January usually sees the carnival come to town. They always set up carnival rides at John Wright Park, Tuncurry in Tuncurry next to the bridge.

The fireworks on New Years Eve are also quite good as you get quite a good view and they really cater for kids with face painting and entertainment. We get our fish ‘n’ chips or pizza and sit by the water and watch the fireworks. You can find a list of activities in the holidays here

Check out the Barrington Coast Events page here.

things to do in Forster for kids fireworks nye

Good Coffee

If you are from Sydney, you will probably be looking for a good coffee in Forster. Must say that the cafes have come a long way over the years. Here are some suggestions, which you may incorporate into a day trip too.

Tartt – Located in the centre of Forster this cafe has delicious pizza and seriously good coffee.

Sotos Cafe – In Forster, overlooking the inlet to the lake, good coffee and light meals

Beach Bums Cafe – right on Forster Main Beach, this cafe has great food and great coffee. Wonderful place for a yummy breakfast –

Country Palings – Greenpoint – for the best iced coffee – ever – you need to come here. Cathy and Ken take their coffee seriously. They also have homemade cakes and desserts. It is also a quaint gift shop where you can find something lovely to take home.

Things to do in Forster when it’s raining

Great Lakes Cinema in Tuncurry

Tenpin Bowling

Forster YMCA Indoor Swimming Pool –  Also has a gym for any of those healthy parent who want a work out whilst on holidays.

Forster Kids Spot – indoor play centre

Day Trips from Forster 

Smiths Lake and Myall Lake – just south of Forster, you will find another couple of lakes. There are some lovely spots to visit along these lakes and they need their own list of things to do. Myall Lake is fresh water. To swim in this water is truly magical.

The Grandis – the largest tree in NSW. South of Forster, this tree is about 400 years old and huge. It used to be much more impressive when I was a kid as you could walk right up next to the tree. Now there is a viewing platform and you can’t get too close. But still one hell of an impressive tree.

Seal Rocks – beautiful untouched beach with a lighthouse.

Diamond Beach – north of Forster before you reach the highway. Another set of idyllic beaches in a tiny hamlet. Really laid back. About 40 minutes drive from Forster.

Port Macquarie – about 1 ½ hrs North of Forster. Port Macquarie is a larger town and has most of the larger shops and hospital facilities. We have visited:

strawberry picking things to do at Forster with kids
Strawberry Picking

Forster Visitor Information Centre

Find the Visitor Information Centre at:

Address: 12 Little St, Forster NSW 2428

Phone: (02) 6554 8799

You can also check out the website here.

There you go, no need to wonder what to do in Forster it’s all here listed out for you!

Thank you Sonja! 

Sonja Screpis is an inner west mother of 3 + a dog, freelance marketeer, and full time activity coordinator (for her family). Passionate about exploring more of Oz with hubby and kids, Sonja hopes that you find this post helpful and that it inspires you to explore a little more.

Find other terrific ideas for weekends away from Sydney or week-long family holidays on these posts:

25 Fantastic Weekends Away With Kids

Lennox Head With Kids

South West Rocks: Things To Do With Kids

15 Things To Do In Canberra With Kids

PS You might also like this article:  Crescent Head Holiday With Kids
PS This post contains some affiliate links meaning that, if you book accommodation using the link, a small commission is paid to support Hello Sydney Kids, at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure policy here.

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  1. says: Jane Whitelaw

    Just back from a week at Forster. aw the New Year’s Eve fireworks, went to Forster bowling (skirmish, bowling and putt putt), when to Pinks carnival, canoed on the lake, spotted dolphins, swam at the beach every day and also spent a day at big buzz (water slides, taboggans etc) which is 15 mins north of Forster and the only thing missing from your list.

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