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Beautiful Port Macquarie

Home > Port Macquarie > Accommodation | Beaches | Day Trips | Shopping
by Susan J Bowes (subscribe)
Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published December 21st 2015
Idealism by the beach, relax and soak up the sun
The Sunday Mail Escape Section has a lot of great holiday specials starting from a few days to a week or longer. That is where I found my holiday this year from Luxury Escape Holidays.

Port Macquarie, Holidays, Beaches, Shopping, Things to Do and See, History, Convicts, Day Trips
Looking back from Rotary Park to The Observatory Hotel


For three days/four nights I spent a relaxing time in Port Macquarie at the Observatory Hotel. Located in William Street, the hotel is only 100 metres and in walking distance from the Town Beach. The hotel does not have its own restaurant, however there is a restaurant and cafe the ground level of the property as well as a Bowls Club, just five minutes walk around the corner. The centre of town is also a short walking distance so there are plenty of dining options in close proximity.

Port Macquarie, Holidays, Beaches, Shopping, Things to Do and See, History, Convicts, Day Trips
Comfortable King Size Bed for a relaxing night's sleep


Although my room was a hotel style room, there are 1-3 bedroom apartments complete with kitchenettes and laundry facilities. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi and TV. Other amenities include indoor pool, sauna and spa plus bike rentals and free parking. My room faced the beach and although the rooms are air-conditioned, each unit had a small balcony with louvered windows, which brought a lovely breeze onto the balcony. A table and chairs was also situated there to eat your meals whilst watching the happenings on the beach and park below.

Port Macquarie, Holidays, Beaches, Shopping, Things to Do and See, History, Convicts, Day Trips
Bago Maze - definitely a challenge


Included in the package was credits/vouchers to be used for horse riding, Endota Spa, Ricardoes Tomatoes, High Teas, River cruises, Winery, Bago Maze and a visit to Timbertown at Wauchope.

Port Macquarie, Holidays, Beaches, Shopping, Things to Do and See, History, Convicts, Day Trips
Map of Old Port Macquarie


Port Macquarie was once a convict settlement, however the people at the time were embarrassed of their town being of convict heritage and demolished at lot of buildings that held significance to that era.

The tourist information centre or the "Glass House" as it is called is a great place to start to secure brochures of the points of interest you can visit while staying there. An archaeology digging under the Glass house shows the remains of another building which was demolished and is now an interesting tourist attraction. In fact, many of the once historical sites now have only a plague to notify tourists of what was once erected on that site. I picked up a copy of the Visitors Guide of Historic Port Macquarie, which explained all points of interest in detail and a map to follow for all historic sites.

Port Macquarie, Holidays, Beaches, Shopping, Things to Do and See, History, Convicts, Day Trips
40 Historic Sites of Port Macquarie


The Port Macquarie Historical Museum and Historic Court House hold a mammoth amount of memorabilia and written documents to give any buddy history enthusiast a bucket full of knowledge or the earlier year of the port. The volunteers are more than welcome to give you a guided tour of their premises and take a photo of you dressed in the "judge" regalia.

Port Macquarie Astronomical Observatory
A photograph - why not?


Taking an afternoon walk along the foreshore, I came across a rock wall that seemed to stretch for miles. The rocks were individually painted, some with the passing of friends, some engagements, some just saying hello and I wondered what this was all about. I was told that you could purchase a rock from the Council and paint your message on it. I did think this was a great idea.

Port Macquarie, Holidays, Beaches, Shopping, Things to Do and See, History, Convicts, Day Trips
Purchase a rock, paint it and write your own message


On a Sunday evening the Port Macquarie Astronomical Observatory is open to visitors to view the sky and to see the many planets in our galaxy. Unfortunately it was a very overcast and rainy Sunday the day I arrived and impossible to view the planets that night. The rain must have also chased everyone away, as I was the only member of the public to visit and the usual presentation was not conducted. I did however, talk to two astronomy enthusiasts whose conversation made listening to them, just as enthusiastic.

Port Macquarie, Holidays, Beaches, Shopping, Things to Do and See, History, Convicts, Day Trips
Port Macquarie Astronomical Observatory


Built in 1961/62 on land in Rotary Park, and through the continued efforts of Albert York who was a retired master builder and architect, the organisation started off with a five inch telescope. The organisation is non-profit, voluntary and run by a group of people interested in astronomy. I was fortunate to see first-hand a piece of a meteorite that fell to Earth many years ago.

Port Macquarie, Holidays, Beaches, Shopping, Things to Do and See, History, Convicts, Day Trips
A piece of meteorite at the Observatory


If you are flying from Brisbane to Port Macquarie there is only one direct flight in and out most days or several via Sydney. Speed limits around the city are mainly 50 klms and it is wise to keep to the speed limit. Although it was easy to walk into and around the town, I did hire a car to do day trips. The convenience of The Observatory Hotel is that is it so close to patrolled beaches, walking paths, dining options and the city's attractions. I would definitely recommend the Observatory Hotel as a place to stay.
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Why? A relaxing holiday by the beach
When: Anytime of year
Phone: 02 6586 8000
Where: Port Macquarie
Cost: Package deals available
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