Port Macquarie

Flynns Beach, Tourism New South Wales

Population 39508

Port Macquarie, one of the oldest towns in the state, was established in 1821 as a self-sufficient penal settlement. Convicts chosen for their skills and good behaviour maintained the fledgling town, doing everything from farming, boatbuilding and blacksmithing to teaching, baking and clerical duties. Today the city is a major holiday resort at the mouth of the Hastings River. It provides a fascinating history and features historic buildings, nature reserves, excellent surf and fishing beaches, an outstanding museum and scenic coastal walking tracks.

Visitor Information

The Glasshouse, cnr Clarence and Hay sts; (02) 6581 8000 or 1300 303 155


Nearby national parks

  • Hat Head National Park

    Hat Head National Park, a beautiful stretch of New South Wales' northern coastline, with pristine beaches, rocky headlands and one of...more

  • Crowdy Bay National Park

    Crowdy Bay National Park runs along the state’s mid-north coast, a ribbon of lowlands with rocky outcrops and sandy beaches just south...more

  • Werrikimbe National Park

    A wild and magnificent landscape of rainforests, pristine rivers, cascading waterfalls, rugged escarpment and deep gullies greets visitors to...more

Nearby towns

  • Wauchope

    Wauchope (pronounced 'Waw-hope') is the centre of the local dairy and cattle industries, and the gateway to over 40 000 hectares of national...more

  • Laurieton

    Laurieton is on an attractive tidal inlet at the base of North Brother Mountain. The mountain, which was named by Captain Cook in 1770,...more

  • Kempsey

    Kempsey is an attractive town in the Macleay River Valley on the mid-north coast, with white sandy beaches and an unspoiled hinterland. It...more

In Town

Historical Society Museum This award-winning museum has over 20 000 items in its ever-increasing collection. It specialises in letters, photographs and documents covering convict and free settlement and the evolution of the town from penal colony to coastal metropolis. The museum is in one of the town's beautifully restored older buildings (c. 1836). Clarence St; (02) 6583 1108.

St Thomas' Church: 3rd oldest surviving church in Australia (1824–28), designed by convict architect Thomas Owen; Hay St. Port Macquarie Historic Courthouse: built in 1869, it served the community for 117 years; tours of the restored building by appt; closed Sun; Cnr Hay and Clarence sts; (02) 6584 1818.

Mid-north Coast Maritime Museum: shipwreck relics, model ships and early photographs; William St; (02) 6583 1866.

Kooloonbung Creek Nature Reserve: 50 ha of nature reserve with boardwalks and picnic area. Visit the historic cemetery nearby dating from 1842; Gordon St.

Koala Hospital: Koala rehabilitation and adoption centre, the only one of its kind in NSW; Lord St; (02) 6584 1522; open 8am–4pm, feeding at 8am and 3pm.

Roto House and Macquarie Nature Reserve: adjacent to the koala hospital and built in 1890, classified by the National Trust; off Lord St; (02) 6584 2180; 10am–4pm Mon–Fri, 9am–1pm Sat.

Port Macquarie Observatory: planetarium, telescope and solar system display; call for opening times (02) 6582 2397; William St.

Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park: wide variety of Australian and exotic wildlife with kangaroo-feeding and koala photo sessions each day; Billabong Dr; (02) 6585 1060.

Town beach: patrolled swimming and surfing beach with sheltered coves at one end.

Cruises: depart daily; bookings at visitor centre.

Scenic walks: 9 km coastal walk from Westport Park in the town centre to Tacking Point Lighthouse; traverses beaches and subtropical rainforest with picnic spots, interpretative signs and viewing platforms along the trail; look out for the dolphins of Hastings River and a variety of birdlife; walk takes 3 hrs 30 min one way; brochure from visitor centre.


Lake Innes Nature Reserve The picturesque reserve is home to koalas, kangaroos and bats, but was once the location of the grand Lake Innes House. Unfortunately, the house was left to decay, and the ruins are all that remain today. Guided tours are available; (02) 6588 5555. 7 km SW.

Sea Acres Rainforest Centre: elevated 1.3 km boardwalk through canopy; tours available; Pacific Dr; (02) 6582 3355; 4 km S.

Lighthouse Beach: 16 km expanse of white sand with camel rides, dolphin-watching from shore and breathtaking views up and down the coast from the grounds of Tacking Point Lighthouse at the northern end of the beach (lighthouse not open to public); 10 km S.

Lake Cathie: holiday town between surf beach and tidal lake for swimming and fishing; 16 km S.

Wineries: several in the area offering cellar-door tastings including Lake Innes Vineyard (7 km W) and Cassegrain Winery (13 km W).

Skydiving, sea plane flights, trike tours, golf: brochures at visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

South-West Rocks 64 km

When it comes to popularity, there are two types of fishing destinations: those that are hot all the time and those that wax and wane depending on the season. South West Rocks is in the first category. For as long as I... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Houseboating on the Macleay River 40 km

Although large chugging houseboats can be an environmental no-no, Macleay River Houseboats at Kempsey are small – designed for just two people – use relatively clean four-stroke petrol motors, have... Find out more

Bush-tucker tasting - Macksville 80 km

Sample some Australian bushfoods at Valley of the Mist near Macksville, a farm dedicated to sustainable methods. You will taste bush fruits, nuts, herbs and condiments and have a tour of the farm. You can also take a... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Bliss Restaurant

As the name of this eatery suggests, happiness is just a mouthful away. The contemporary menu gives local produce a South-East Asian twist, with Thai, Balinese and Vietnamese influences, and the result is delicious fine... Find out more

The Restaurant at Cassegrain

French cuisine.... Find out more

Nearby breweries

The Little Brewing Company 4 km

Australia’s new breed of brewer can arrive at the craft by sometimes circuitous routes. For Warwick Little, that included 20 years as an ambulance officer, home brewing, a wine science course and a pair of... Find out more

Campsites around town

Point Plomer camping area 14 km

This well-appointed, 100-site camping ground is 5 km south of Melaleuca camping area along Point Plomer Rd. There’s bore water here, but you’ll need to either treat or boil the water before drinking, or bring... Find out more

Melaleuca camping area 18 km

There’s a short loop track through rainforest from the campground, which is on Point Plomer Rd about 12 km south of Crescent Head. It’s a spacious area with 100 sites; bring your own drinking water and... Find out more

Delicate Beach camping area 20 km

This is a popular fishing spot, and a good place from which to head out for a spot of swimming, picnicking or wildlife-spotting. The beach isn’t patrolled, so take care in the ocean. The camping area is 12 km south... Find out more

Racecourse camping area 21 km

This is an unpatrolled beach, so be vigilant when swimming. It’s 11 km south of Crescent Head via Point Plomer Rd, at Racecourse Headland. Bring drinking water.... Find out more

Diamond Head camping area 33 km

Located just off Diamond Head Rd (Coral Ville–Laurieton Rd) on the north side of Diamond Head, this 80-site spot has pride of place by the windswept beach. Take care when swimming, as beaches aren’t... Find out more

Indian Head camping area 35 km

Sheltered at the base of the headland, 1 km south of Diamond Head camping area, is Indian Head camping area, which has 60 sites and no wheelchair access. Kangaroos frequent the grassy clearing here, and there are a... Find out more

Kylies Hut camping area (walk-in camping) 35 km

This is a special, secluded camping site about 200 m walk from Indian Head camping area. It’s small and basic. Bring your own water.... Find out more

Kylies Beach camping area 37 km

Australian writer Kylie Tennant lived and wrote in this lovely part of the world; her restored cabin can be found a short walk from this 70-site campground. There are secluded sites tucked away under trees up to 3 km... Find out more

Swans Crossing camping area 37 km

This camping area is signposted along Upsalls Creek Rd. It’s surrounded by native forest and hardwood plantations; swimming is popular in the nearby shallows of Upsalls Creek. There are toilets and an information... Find out more

Hungry Gate camping area 41 km

Tucked in behind sand dunes and ringed with heath and woodland, Hungry Gate is an attractive camping area just a hop, skip and jump from the ocean. It’s 5 km south of Hat Head village – follow Hungry Rd off... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park

Only a few minutes walk from the centre of Port Macquarie, this is a large, quality park right on the waterfront. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas and Easter.... Find out more

Lighthouse Beach Holiday Village 6 km

This is a neat park on the southern beachside approach to Port Macquarie. It is ideal for a few days or longer and is good value. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas.... Find out more

Stoney Park 15 km

This is a newer, very tidy park built around a lakes where waterskiing is the main focus. Easily accessible from the highway and a great spot for a night or two, waterski enthusiasts in particular may well stay longer... Find out more

Rainbow Beach Holiday Village 19 km

This well-maintained park, located in the main street, is just a few hundred metres from the beach and surf club, and ideal for a beachside holiday. It is a busy park during school holidays; bookings are required in peak... Find out more

Beachfront Caravan Park 24 km

This spacious and neat tourist park offers grassy areas with plenty of shade, adjacent to the beach. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies over Christmas and Easter. Pets are accepted... Find out more

Crescent Head Holiday Park 28 km

This is a large beachside caravan park close to the town centre. Crescent Head is small, making it easy to walk to the shops, the bowling club or the golf club. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length... Find out more

East’s Ocean Shores Holiday Park 57 km

This is a quality, award-winning caravan park just a short walk from 14 km of unspoiled ocean beach. The park has excellent facilities for people with disabilities. It is a quiet place where a few days could slip by very... Find out more

BIG4 Trial Bay Eco Tourist Park 62 km

This is a very pleasant park located close to the historic Trial Bay Gaol. The owner operators are keen to please and offer a range of quality facilities. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

Dawson River Tourist Park 64 km

This park is on the banks of the Dawson River with sites right to the water’s edge. Recent developments have greatly improved this older style park.... Find out more

Lanis on the Beach 67 km

Close to the popular Old Bar beach and suitable for an overnight stay or a family holiday, this is a neatly maintained, peaceful family park with wonderful grassy sites. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Quality Inn HW Boutique

The Quality Inn HW Boutique is situated in an enviable landmark location on the Port Macquarie Headland overlooking Town Beach. Various River and Ocean View guest rooms are available, all beautifully furnished and with... Find out more

Woodlands B&B

Tucked away in the hills 3 kilometres outside Port Macquarie, Woodlands stands on manicured grounds that are home to a range of native birds. From the queen-sized Verandah Room to the two-bedroom self-catering Frangipani... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Motorway Park Area 9 km

73 km N of Taree (R) or 47 km S of Kempsey (L)

Highway Service Centre.

Burrawan rest area 20 km

62km N of Taree (L)

Secluded area just off the highway. For northbound only.           

Kundabung rest area 27 km

15km S of Kempsey (L)

Just off the highway. For southbound only.

Bloodwood Ridge rest area 31 km

111km N of Taree (L)

Just off the highway. For northbound only.

Ellenborough Reserve camping area 43 km

At Ellenborough

Among trees on a riverbank 1km north of the highway.

Tom Cat Creek rest area 43 km

33km N of Taree (L) or 87km S of Kempsey (R)

Just off the highway under shady trees.

Coopernook Forest camping area 49 km

T/O to Moorland South

Large grassed campground surrounded by forest located 4km west of the highway via Forest Rd (partly unsealed).

Paddys rest area 69 km

39km N of Kempsey (L) or 45km S of Urunga (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Stockyard Creek rest area 72 km

81km W of Wauchope (L) or 83km SE of Walcha (R)

Just off the highway surrounded by dense forest.

Four Mile Hill rest area 72 km

22km N of Nabiac (L)      

Just off the highway. For northbound only.

Gumma Reserve camping area 81 km

T/O at Macksville

Large campground located 7km (partly unsealed) east of the highway via Partridge St, Wills St and Gumma Rd.

Macksville park area 81 km

At Macksville

Just off the highway on the north side of the river.

Talawahl Creek rest area 81 km

18km S of Taree (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees. For southbound only.

Wang Wauk rest area 98 km

36km N of Bulahdelah (L) or 9km S of Nabiac (R)

Secluded off the highway among shady trees.

What's on around town

Market: Findlay Ave; 2nd and 4th Sun each month.

Golden Lure Tournament: deep-sea fishing; Jan.

Australian Ironman Triathlon: May.

Heritage Festival: Apr.

FreshArt: youth arts festival; June.

Australian Surfing Festival: Aug.

Aquasculpture: odd-numbered years, Oct.

Tastings of the Hastings:

food and wine festival; Oct.

Festival of the Sun: music festival; Dec.

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