Port Macquarie


Port Macquarie is so far my favourite beach town in New South Wales. Wow. We drove in and I liked it immediately, by the end of the first day it was a serious crush and by the end of day two it was love.


The History of Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie started out as a convict penal settlement in 1821 which it remained until 1847. It had already started accepting “free settlers” 17 years prior. You would never have thought driving around Port Macquarie that some one would chose such a beautiful spot for a penal colony.


How to get to Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie is a great family holiday for Sydney-siders. It is 390kms north of Sydney along the Pacific Highway, the highway that takes you north to Brisbane ultimately. If you would prefer to spend the same amount of time driving to the airport, waiting at the airport and traveling by air you could always fly to Port Macquarie.  It’s a 1 hour flight but why do that when you can see New South Wales by road instead.

where is port macquarie


What to do in Port Macquarie 

There are a plethora of things to see and do in Port Macquarie and its surrounding areas. For me, aside from the inexplicable feeling the town itself gives you, the draw is that you can go from being on the beach to in a forest within 5 minutes. You can then move from a forest to a riverbank within 10. It has such diversity that it should appeal to every member of the family at some level.

port macquarie beaches and the hastings river

There is a big shopping centre, movie theatre, decent restaurants and bars and the well known grocery stores. Despite all of this development it still retains an amazing small coastal town feel to it. You can find more info about Port Macquarie and the surrounding areas here.


Port Macquarie Attractions

Some of the better known attractions in the greater Port Macquarie are:

  1. The Koala Hospital
  2. Sea Acres Reserve – review out soon but you can check it out online.
  3. Billabong Zoo
  4. Ricardoes Tomatoes (Blackmans Point)
  5. Tacking Point Lighthouse (the 3rd oldest lighthouses in Australia)
  6. Whale watching (between May and November)


And that is aside from the Hastings River and the stunning beaches. I’m going to have to dedicate a whole other post to the beaches.


port macquarie beaches


Port Macquarie Accomodation 

Accomodation wise there is a lot to choose from. We stayed at Escape @ Nobbys and highly recommend it but there is a whole host of accomodation options which you should be able to check out online.
We absolutely loved our visit to Port Macquarie and will definitely be back again to see the sights as we only go to a few on our to do list – we were far to busy lazing about on the beaches 🙂



If you are visiting the region look our for the 50 painted koalas that are dotted around – for more information you can check out www.hellokoalas.com. I can tell you I saw 2 at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre but I won’t give away the locations of the others 🙂

port macquarie koalas

Our trip up the East Coast also took us to Coffs Harbour which can read more about on the blog if you are interested in the region. 

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