Escape the hustle and bustle on the city in Port Macquarie, a lovely little seaside town located just 400 kilometres north of Sydney on the New South Wales Central Coast. Home to a population of 40,000 people, this charming town has everything you would want from a tourist destination. Boasting beautiful beaches, clusters of interesting little settlements nearby, a luscious hinterland that is home to a multitude of nature reserves, as well as a long history that is recognisable through the historic buildings in the town, Port Macquarie is the ultimate holiday destination.
The beaches here are key to the local way of life so it is safe to say that you won’t be disappointed by them. The town’s prime position at the head of Hastings River means that there are plenty of great seaside spots to enjoy. In fact most of the town’s recreational activity is based around where the river enters the sea. Town Beach is situated right on the river mouth, and across from it you can find a 16 kilometre long beach, which in these parts is known as North Beach. Both of these tourist hot spots are very popular amongst surfers as surfing is one of the most popular pass times here. Windsurfing is also popular, especially at places like Big Bay, Pilot Beach and Trial Bay.
Head south and you will come across even more beaches, each boasting a good swell and good wind. Bonny Hills and North Haven. If you head into these towns you will be able to hire jet skis and boats, which means that there is no excuse not to get out on the water. This is a favourite option amongst anglers, who can explore both the river and the coastline and try their luck with the numerous fish varieties here. Favourite shoreline fishing spots include the Co-op Wharf, the Regatta Ground and Settlement Point Reserve so be sure to check them out.
If you have come here on a holiday, chances are that you are going to be up for some exploring. A great place to start, if you wish to go on some day trips, is Camden Haven, which is about a thirty minute drive away. Home to several communities, this is where the Camden River flows into the sea and it truly is beautiful. It is a picturesque and unspoilt region that is perfect for outdoor adventures of walking, sightseeing and fishing. At the very north you will be pleasantly surprised to discover the charming township of Lake Cathie. This quaint village boasts a modest population of just 1500 people and is a warm and welcoming town that will delight and surprise you. The highlight here is of course the lake itself . This seawater lake has beautiful long sandy beaches along its foreshore, and resembles something of a miniature ocean. Great for swimming and frolicking, the lake is an ideal destination for families and couples. Relax and soak up your beautiful surrounds of thick bush and nature reserves, or go for a hike or bush walk and immerse yourself further in nature.
In fact bushwalking is popular throughout Port Macquarie and its surrounding areas, because there are so many rocky headlands and gardens to be explored. One of the best of these would have to be the Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park, a 50 hectare area designed to preserve natural bushland. The park provided a series of walks through different ecosystems, varying from forests to estuarine regions. The wildlife here is something else as well, with plenty of birds and animals to look out for.
If its animals you’d like to see then be sure to head on down to the Billabong Koala and Aussie Wildlife Park. Nestled on seven acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, that are criss-crossed with easy walkways that take you past enclosures housing over 50 species of Australian animals.
A little bit of indulgence in the history of where you are staying never fails to be a highlight of any holiday. Port Macquarie is a fairly established coastal town and it therefore has a remarkably rich history. This is most evident through the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum, on the corner of Hayward Street and Ocean Drive. Close to Flagstaff Hill, which is a former naval lookout station, it is home to a series of artifacts and displays that document the maritime past of the town. The Port Macquarie Historical Museum on Clarence Street is also popular with history buffs as it also hosts numerous artefacts and ephemera from the town’s past. The Historic Grave Yard is also nearby and is another must-see. This was a major burial ground for early settlers, and is a shady and pleasant place to walk through.
Plenty of accommodation options complete the package that Port Macquarie offers and you really will be spoilt for choice. Once you are settled you can start having the time of your life and discover just why Port Macquarie is the ultimate holiday destination.