How to find Shark Hole: Lake Macquarie’s best kept secret

Well, if you’re anything like me, and grew up in Lake Macquarie or the northern end of the Central Coast, you may have heard whispers about a place called shark hole. An adventurer’s dream and a popular abseiling place. And whilst shark hole is literally on google maps, most people have no idea where it is or how to get there.

Lake Macquarie walks are easy enough to come by. There are many cycleways and bushwalks. However, when you’re looking for a more adventurous hike it can be harder to find in the area. This is one of the best hikes Wallarah National Park has to offer. The varied terrain and views on this hike are unfounded and unique to the area.

I have been wanting to head here for a long time, but I knew it was a bit of a risk and didn’t want to go with someone who hadn’t been before. So I got my friend Ashley to take me, and I’m so glad I finally made it. It was an absolute treat!

The shark hole is at Catherine Hill Bay, but it is so deep in the Wallarah National Park, only people who are looking for it tend to find the hidden gem. That is why this is one of the best hikes Lake Macquarie has to offer.

There are a few ways to get to shark hole, but I’m going to tell you how to get there the way we went. Whilst it is the least scenic since it’s a bush track, unlike the others which are coastal. It is the quickest and easiest option.

This is a potentially dangerous hike. I highly recommend that you do not do this hike along and that you take a personal locator beacon with you on this hike. Read about them here

If you’re looking for more Central Coast hikes, check out our hiking guide book which includes 42 hikes to swimming holes, lookouts and hidden gems.

First Things First

Every time you go hiking remember to pack the following:
  • First Aid Kit – We recommend this emergency first aid kit as it is designed for travel and can easily be placed in your day pack.
  • Water – For obvious reasons.
  • An offline map – not everywhere has access to the internet and you need to be prepared.
  • Snacks – for extra energy.
  • Camera – so you can capture some memories.
  • Multi tool – So you’re prepared for anything.

How to get there

Okay, first things first. This hike is not for the faint-hearted or anyone new to hiking. The hike itself is easy enough, but if you do plan on entering the chasm, do not go alone, do not go in the rain, and make sure you wear sturdy hiking boots.


For this particular hike, you’ll need to park at ‘Fat Bike Carpark’ which is arguably the best name for a carpark. This is a tiny carpark in between Catherine Hill Bay and Swansea in the Wallarah National Park. This carpark only holds about 5 cars, so parking can be tricky here and unfortunately, there is not anywhere else to safely park on this track.

From here

From here you’ll need to head onto the Southern Headland Trail which heads south from the carpark. You’ll follow this track for approx. 750m until you reach a crossroads. Here you’ll have a choice on what way to go we chose to go and check out the ruins of the bunkers from WWII so we turned left at this crossroads and followed Radar Hill Fire trail to the bunkers. These bunkers are some of the best hidden gems Lake Macquarie has to offer.

Catho bunkers
Inside the bunkers

You don’t need to see the Bunkers, but it doesn’t add much to the overall hike, and it is fun to explore around. So I would definitely recommend it.

These bunkers were part of a highly classified military operation that would alert the RAAF of any approaching Japanese aircrafts. Whilst the rest of the operation has since been removed the concrete bunkers remain and can be entered.

There is also a rope that you can climb onto the top of the northern bunker which offers an amazing view of Wallarah National Park if you’re up for a climb.

Catherine hill bay bunkers
View from the top of the bunker

Once you are done exploring you will follow the path past the last bunker and head to the left towards the coast. This is an unnamed trail, you’ll follow this trail for approx 500m downhill until you reach a trail heading to the left. follow this track for 100m onto the shark hole trail.

Once you reach this T intersection head right down towards the coast for approx 200m and you’ll see the entrance to shark hole.

Here you’ll be greeted by a wobbly ladder that goes straight down into the chasm followed by a long rope.

If you intend on entering the chasm this is the only way in without climbing gear.

at shark hole wallarah national park
Heading down

Not heading down?

No worries! Instead of heading down the ladder back track 100 m and turn left. Follow the trail until you reach the coast and you can follow a little goat’s track to the cliff faces. You can’t see into the chasm from here but you can see a phenomenal coastline. This will honestly leave you in awe.

Wallarah national park hikes
Ashley heading down to the cliffs


Inside the chasm is pretty surreal, don’t worry there are no sharks. The sheer cliff faces around you really go to show how small you are in the whole scheme of things. There are fallen boulders which you can climb and explore and the whole place kind of just leaves you in awe.

inside shark hole
Inside shark hole

I will be honest, getting in, especially after all the rain we’ve had lately isn’t easy. A lot of the rocks have fallen which you would use for support which makes it harder. But with that being said, it’s not impossible. You just need to be a little more careful about the steps you take.

Heading Back

This is an out-and-back track so we’ll head back the exact same way we came.

Central Coast hikes
It’s a lot of fun

This is one of the best hikes Lake Macquarie has to offer and is a must when looking for hikes in Lake Macquarie, the Central Coast, and the surrounding area. This hike Lake Macquarie has hidden for decades is sure to be a hit with any hiker or explorer in the area.

Looking for some more hidden gems? We’ve got you covered! You probably haven’t been to this waterfall before, or found the best view on the Central Coast here


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