Port Macquarie is located on the Mid-North Coast of NSW - a 4 hour drive north of Sydney and a 6 hour drive south of Brisbane. It is a scenic, beachside region to visit as a holiday destination in itself, or as a handy stop-off on a road trip up and down the coastline. The weather is sub-tropical, so it doesn't matter what time of year you visit, you will (usually!) be welcomed with sunny days and bright skies.
On a personal note, my family and I lived in Port Macquarie for a number of years before moving south, however, we still love to go back for holidays to see how much it has changed over the years - and how it has changed! With more people moving there to live, or going there on holidays, there are plenty of reasons to visit Port Macquarie. Here are just five...
1/ The Sunrise is always spectacular each morning, so ensure you get up early and enjoy the first rays of the day. If you like to go for an early morning walk, a popular route to take is along the Breakwall between Town Green and Town Beach, at the mouth of the Hastings River. The path continues further each way, so you can also make your walk as long or as short as you like. Ensure you look out for dolphins and turtles as you walk along the Breakwall and also read the messages painted on the rocks. Perhaps you would like to add your own? Then when you come back next time, you can see if it still there. Yes, there will be a next time!
Start your walk at the Town Green and walk along the Hastings River to the Breakwall
2/ The Beaches are another big reason to visit this tourist town, with long, safe beaches and plenty of room to lay down the towels. The most popular beaches are Town Beach closest to the town centre, as well as Flynn's Beach and Lighthouse Beach further south. All of them have flags and lifeguards in the summer months.
Flynn's Beach is known for its iconic, volcanic rocks that protrude from out of the sand at either end of the beach. Lighthouse Beach is 9 kilometres long and has camel rides along its length. Although these are the most popular, there are also smaller beaches and coves to visit - where you may have it all to yourselves!
3/ Cruise Boats depart from a small wharf at the end of Clarence Street, with a number of cruise companies to help you get out on the water and make the most of this unique location. Cruise the calm waters of the Hastings River and spot dolphins coming in to feed, or head out into the open sea on a jet boat that spins 360 degrees! There are also whale watching boats that take you out to watch the whale migration, between May to November. Companies to choose from include Port Jet Cruise Adventures, Cruise Port Macquarie and Port Macquarie Fishing Charters.
5/ Family Fun has always been a highlight of visiting Port Macquarie, with many adults who grew up in Sydney remembering childhood holidays to the seaside town. Today's children will remember their visit to Timbertown, which is a historical family attraction in Wauchope, a short drive inland. The park has been upgraded over the years, with a steam train ride, shows and interactive activities to take part in. Billabong Zoo is also a highlight for families, as well as Ricardo's Tomatoes and Strawberries - where kids can pick their own strawberries. For more ideas on what to do, see the article Top 10 Things For Families to do in Port Macquarie.
This is just a small sample of all the things there are to do in Port Macquarie. If you have an extended stay, why not follow the Hello Koala Trail, watch a show at The Glasshouse, visit a local winery or simply do none of these and take a book to the beach! Either way - a summer road trip to Port Macquarie is a "must" on any Sydney-siders list of things to do.