A Weekend in Budgewoi

A Weekend in Budgewoi

After a long and painful journey back from the USA, including a lost bag and a delayed flight, I was happy to climb into the ute and head north for long weekend at Budgewoi. We’d booked a deluxe cabin at Budgewoi Holiday Park, on the banks of Lake Munmorah, and were ready for a weekend of fishing, swimming pools, and beach.

The cabin was by far the best we’ve stayed in, of all the holiday parks we’ve visited over the past 2 years in Australia. Firstly, it was either newer or, at the very least, recently renovated. It also had incredible, uninterrupted views of Lake Munmorah, whereas most of the other cabins we’ve stayed in have had limited to no views, and are usually surrounded by other cabins.

Inside the cabin was pretty standard; there were two bedrooms, one with bunk beds, and the other with a double bed, as well as a bathroom and a living area. The bathroom sported a spa bath, over and above the usual shower. That said, the spa bath was a little small for an adult, but great for the kids. The living area had the usual small kitchenette, complete with a cooker top, oven, microwave, and fridge. But best of all, it had a dishwasher. And then there was of course the dining room table, couch, TV, and deck.

The park itself was fantastic, running along the banks of Lake Munmorah, with a lot of great accomodation options (and plenty of locations to launch my kayak from). The pool was heated, which was definitely a plus, having had to spend so many hours in it with the kids. And of course they offered the must have jumping pillow for Katie. The park also had a decent playground, and offered a wide variety of Australia Day activities to keep us busy between storms.

Shortly after arriving on Saturday afternoon, I launched the kayak and headed out for a quick exploratory fishing session. I was truly amazed at just how shallow Lake Munmorah was, averaging far less than 2 meters (it was low tide) from one side to the other. The lake was also exceptionally weeded, making both fly and lure fishing extremely difficult.

Looking for less weeded, more fishable water, I headed into Budgewoi Creek. It was definitely less weeded, and a great little piece of water, but I felt heavily crowded in by the many anglers lining the banks, just meters from my kayak. Chatting to a few of them, they’d picked up the odd bream, but it otherwise appeared to a rather quiet day.

I moved on from the creek and paddled into Budgewoi Lake. Thankfully it was far less weeded than Munmorah, and therefore far more fishable. To the left of the main channel, the water was only ankle deep, so I started my session by trolling a lure behind the kayak in search of schools of fish. This proved successful as I started getting knocks, and was soon into a small tailor.

After battling to remove the treble (I am a fly fisherman, and have never had to do this), I took out the fly rod and tried my luck with some bigger clousers. Sadly nothing came of this, and soon it was time to head back to the park for dinner. I did stop briefly in the creek, and threw some small shrimp patterns at snags in the hope of picking up a bream. Sadly this proved unsuccessful, and I eventually paddled back to shore having landed just the single tailor on lure.

The next morning got off to a slow start with bacon and egg rolls, before heading to the jumping pillow with Katie. Since the day was quickly heating up, we decided to head to Little Bay for some beach fun. This involved dragging Katie from the pillow – a tough ask – but was well worth the effort in the end.

The beach was packed, but we found our little spot and were quickly into the water. It was cool and refreshing, and we spent the next hour or two bobbing around between the small waves. The girls absolutely loved it, and even granny got into the ocean, which is far from usual.

As the midday sun moved overhead, we headed back to the holiday park where we enjoyed the free sausage sizzle, as well as granny’s famous ham, cheese and leek pie – Aussie Day at it’s best.

This was followed by a few Australia Day activities, including Thong Throwing and some back yard cricket (which we only spectated). Sharon absolutely dominated the woman’s section, proudly taking home the prize. I, on the other hand, had a terrible throw and had to sulk my way off the playing field while being mocked by the locals.

My hopes of an afternoon fish were then crushed when the winds picked up, and a huge electric storm passed through the region. Instead, we took advantage of gaps in the storm to swim in the pool, and played some card games back in the cabin.

And just like that, our trip was over. We spent the next morning packing up, before heading to the pool for a quick swim, pre-journey. And then it was back into the car, for the short trip back to Sydney, and back to reality.

I’d highly recommend Budgewoi Holiday Park for all you families and fisherman. It offers everything from beaches to lakes, and heated pools to jumping pillows. All I need to do is to work out how to fish the shallow, weeded, waters. Or perhaps I’ll just target the Entrance more.