Lake Cathie/Lake Innes continues to attract visitors despite no swimming advice

Having a blast: Charlotte, Piper and Josh Payne at Lake Cathie on Thursday, July 9.
Having a blast: Charlotte, Piper and Josh Payne at Lake Cathie on Thursday, July 9.

Visitors and residents are continuing to make the most of the environment at Lake Cathie during the July school holidays amid advice issued by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council not to swim at the location.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is working with Department of Industry and Environment (DPIE), National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and community groups to collect water samples for testing.

"Until further notice, we are advising against swimming in either Lake Cathie or Lake Innes, or eating any marine life from either of these lakes until the testing results of the water quality are known," a council spokesperson said.

"We will update the community as soon as we have the results."

The water quality in Lake Cathie and Lake Innes has been impacted by the exposure of acid sulfate soils resulting in a visible red substance on the surface of the lakes.

Josh Payne and his daughters Charlotte and Piper visited the lake on Thursday, July 7.

The family are from Sydney and are currently staying at Bonny Hills.

Josh said he used to visit Lake Cathie when he was a teenager and enjoyed swimming and fishing.

He said it's still a great place to come and see, despite being a bit disappointed his daughters couldn't go swimming in what he remembers as being a pristine water body.

Busy time: Zach Minturn and Misty Kelly are managers at the Feel Good Food cafe.

Busy time: Zach Minturn and Misty Kelly are managers at the Feel Good Food cafe.

Zach Minturn and Misty Kelly at Feel Good Food say the week after the lake opened in May was the busiest they had experienced after taking over the business in April, 2019.

Since the opening, Zach said business has been really good.

"It's good to get a feel of what the shop can do and what it's like in this area," he said.

"We can't complain at all."

Zach said Lake Cathie is still a beautiful attraction despite council erecting signs advising people not to swim.

"It's still really nice to walk and fish and take the dog," he said.

The couple have proven themselves to resilient in light of all the challenges thrown at them since taking over the shop with drought, bushfires, lake issues and COVID-19 restrictions.

The couple are training two additional staff and hope to return to full hours of service.

While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.