Port Macquarie is a beautiful coastal city located about 5 hours drive north of Sydney. Named after the first Governor of New South Wales and was once used as a penal colony for the early convicts, first settled in 1821. Now it is a popular mecca for sun and surf lovers, as it boasts one of the best all year round climates in Australia. Port Macquarie sits on the mouth of the Hastings River which makes the city popular for all water activities including fishing, boating, swimming and snorkeling. The world's largest urban population of koalas can also be found in Port Macquarie.
Port Macquarie's beaches are a highlight of this section of coastline. North Beach stretches 15km to Point Plomer; Town Beach is the local swimming hole and is patrolled in Summer and considered to be a safe swimming beach; Oxley Beach and Rocky Beach to the South are known for good surfing conditions; further on are Flynn's Point and Nobby Head which are good for swimming, sunbathing and snorkeling.
Billabong Koala Breeding Centre
Instead of just looking at these favorite furry natives, this centre gives you the opportunity to hold and feel the koalas as well. There are other native animals here including wallabies wombats and lots of colourful birds. Located 12km from the township, you will also find a cafe, picnic and BBQ areas, which make this a good day out for the family. Billabong Drive (02 6585 1060).
A seaside village 7km from Laurieton with holiday parks and and other holiday accommodation.
Camden Haven is 30 minutes south of Port Macquarie and has quiet waterways, fishing, waterways and beaches and markets.
Cassegrain's Hastings Valley Winery
Here you can indulge in some wine tasting's, inspections of the winery and purchase wine at the cellar door. There is also a picnic area and playground here. Pacific Highway (02 6583 7777).
This little snippet of fantasy world is set in 2.5 hectares of rainforest gardens. Here you will find the mystical and magical including ghosts, castles, dragons and witches, there are also some fun rides such as mini cars and trains. Parklands Close (02 6582 2506).
Inside this museum are 14 rooms full of historical artifacts about Port Macquarie's convict roots. All this is located in a convict built house that dates back to 1835 (02 6583 1108).
Lake Cathie is 12 km south of Port Macquarie and the second largest estuarine salt marsh in New South Wales.
Lake Innes Nature Reserve
Major Innes built a stately home here that is now in ruins.
This museum has stories on the shipwrecks of the area and the history of one of Australia's earliest ports. William Street (02 6583 1866).
Macquarie Nature Reserve
This lovely reserve has picnic areas, a visitor's centre and usually lots of koalas dozing high in the trees. Also located here is the Koala hospital which helps sick and injured koalas get back into the wildlife. Lord Street
Old World Timber Art
This is a great opportunity to see fine woodcraftsmen creating woodenware and souvenirs. There is a showroom and shop here to make woodcraft purchases. Hastings Drive (02 6583 2502).
This park provides lots of water fun and games. There are watersides, pools, mini golf. dodgem cars and roller skating, there is also some wildlife here as well in the form of birds and monkeys. Corner Pacific Drive and Ocean Street (02 6583 6111).
Port Macquarie Observatory
With the aid of high powered telescopes visitors here can observe the Solar Systems. Rotary Park
A long beach that stretches for 20km from Bonny Hills to the Tacking Point lighthouse and known to surfers as "Bigs"due to the good surfing waves.
Sea Acres Nature Reserve
This rainforest reserve has a boardwalk of 1.3 km that finishes at the Rainforest Centre that gives information on all the flora inside the reserve as well as housing a cafe and shop. The reserve covers 72 hectares and is considered one of the best places to spot a Koala in their natural habitat. If you are not sure about roaming around on your own, there are guided tours and the experts know the best koala haunts. Pacific Drive , Port Macquarie (02 6582 3355)
Thrumster Village Pottery
Located 9km west of the township is this pottery and craft centre. Here you can watch the the art work being created or purchase a range of art and craft pieces including pottery, leatherwork, glassware and much more. Oxley Highway (02 6581 0885).
Pioneer history comes to life at Timbertown in Wauchope, a working recreation of a 19th Century timber getting village complex with steam train, coach rides and Clydesdale horses. Oxley Highway, Wauchhope (02 6586 1940).