Lake Conjola and Conjola Beach – Classic South Coast Holiday Destination
Half way between Jervis Bay and Mollymook is a perennial south coast holiday favourite – Lake Conjola. Originally it was fishermen that were attracted to the lake and the bream, whiting, tailor, flathead, black fish, and jewfish that they could pull from its fertile waters. But over the years it simply became a popular family holiday destination and then it slowly transformed into a magnet for fans of watersports – particularly water-skiing and wake-boarding.
The lake stretches about six kilometres back from the tidal entrance at Cunjorong Point, but also four kilometres north to the shores of the aptly named Fisherman’s Paradise. Most people who holiday at Lake Conjola stay at the Lake Conjola Entrance Holiday Park which is located on the southern side of the lake and backing onto Narrawallee Creek Nature Reserve.
Typically speaking the shallow southern edges of the lake, next to the holiday park, are used by kayakers and stand-up paddlers. The sand banks and bars are numerous here and not ideally suited to larger fishing boats. There are numerous locations along that southern edge where you can put a kayak or stand-up board in the water.
At the eastern end of Lake Conjola Entrance Road, which you reach by driving through the middle of the holiday park, you can find a public car park and public amenities such as a toilet block and shower. The holiday park has toilet blocks, showers and other facilities but these are typically accessed by key-code and are for the use of guests only. The same goes for the fishing platforms and small jettys that run along the park’s lake-side.
At that eastern end of the holiday park you can find a boardwalk that will take you down onto Conjola Beach. The beach is a popular surf spot thanks to the proximity to Green Island which has a famous left which works well even with the east-coast inevitability that is a north-easterly swell.
To the north of Conjola Beach is Manyana and Bendalong – most of the time you can walk straight across to Manyana from Lake Conjola but sometimes (after king tides and/or storms) the lake opens to the ocean and you’ll need to get wet if you want to get across. If you head south down the beach you’ll come to a small rocky headland called Buckleys Point which marks the start of Buckleys Beach which sits on the northern edge of Narrawallee Inlet.
There isn’t much in the way of other amenities in Lake Conjola and that’s the way that everyone likes it. Your eating options are either the kiosk in the holiday park, the Post Office/Cafe on the lake-side (which is my personal favourite), the Anglers cafe, the bowling club or the General Store which also sells hot food (and crucially!) booze.
The lake is at its peak of popularity during the school summer holidays when every chalet, hut, cabin, airbnb, guest-house, caravan, swag and tent pitch is full. However it’s busy all the year round and if you’re favoured holiday locations are those that are well away from other humans then you should look elsewhere.
Catherine and I paid a visit to Lake Conjola and Conjola Beach at the end of May during the off-season – check out the video below to see the highlights.