Destination NSW
New South Wales
Port MacquarieAt the mouth of the Hastings River, you'll be greeted by bottlenose dolphions, beautiful beaches, famed restaurants, lush rainforest and Oyster farms.
Fresh salty air, frolicking dolphins, stunning coastal walks, and picturesque hinterland drives - these are just a few things that describe one of Australia's favourite holiday spots. No matter what your age, there are plenty of activities to experience and entice you to come out of your shell to discover this coastal playground. The vibrant Central Business District of Port Macquarie is surrounded by water from the Hastings River and beaches. Great shopping, good food and wine, and for your ideal holiday or short break, you have just what you need. To ensure a great stay, take a stroll along the riverside break wall, watch the pelicans drift by, climb up to historic Tacking Point Lighthouse, take a cruise - dolphin and whale watching, jet boat ride, or visit the patients at the iconic Koala Hospital. Known as one of the best walking towns and boasting a relaxed coastal vibe you can enjoy the great outdoors, picturesque beaches, endless waterways, but also the finer things in life! Great food and coffee, noteworthy heritage, an abundance of art, and some great wine bars all within an easy 10 minute walk.
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Things to do
Take a tour of Koala Hospital
The Koala Hospital is on the grounds of the historic and beautiful Roto House. It is the world's first hospital dedicated solely to the care and preservation of koalas. The hospital has a treatment room, eight Intensive Care Units, a 24 Hour Rescue and Treatment operation and multiple recovery yards. The hospital has a research affiliation with the University of Sydney, Australia. Walk and Talk tours are conducted every day at 3pm. Coach tours are welcome between 8am and 2pm. Educational displays and group lectures can be arranged. The Koala Society of NSW Inc is a voluntary organisation and your support will help save the koalas of the Port Macquarie Area. All donations gratefully accepted.
Stroll the beautiful Port Macquarie Coastal Walk
Start the walk from Town Green foreshore in Port Macquarie, winding along the coast via Town Beach, Rocky Beach lookout, Nobby’s Beach and Harry's lookout overlooking Shelly Beach and on to Sea Acres. You’ll see several historical sites along the way and enjoy stunning seaside scenery that surrounds Port Macquarie. Between May and November, you might spot a whale or two on their annual migration; don't forget to record your sighting. The south end of the walk is one of the few places on the east coast where the forest meets the foam. The walk ends at Tacking Point lighthouse; however, you can break it up into shorter sections if you feel like a short walk or are walking with kids. There are opportunities for barbecues and swimming along the way, including at Shelly Beach and a beachside café at Flynn’s Beach. You can reverse the walk at Tacking Point Lighthouse and head into Port Macquarie. The walk is nine kilometres long (one way) where you will walk on beaches, there are multiple sections with stairs and viewing platforms. Reasonable fitness is needed to complete the walk. There are sections suitable for leisure strolls.
Stroll Sea Acres Rainforest Boardwalk
Many wonders of the rainforest reside above ground level, so getting up into the canopy is the best way to explore it properly. Rising seven metres through the forest understorey to the canopy above, Sea Acres Rainforest boardwalk provides the perfect accessible platform from which to experience this busy habitat. Setting out from Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, you’re likely to see rainforest birds, like the scarlet robin, feeding and nesting in tree branches. But keep an eye out too for goannas and the slithering diamond python. The rainforest was a rich resource for the Birpai people; they used the walking stick palm as a travel aid and made weapons from the python tree – the second hardest wood in the world. The Sea Acres Rainforest boardwalk can be experienced on a guided tour or a self-guided walk. It is an easy 1.3 kilometre walk through the rainforest canopy. Scheduled guided tours are run daily subject to the availability of guides.
Take an Aboriginal cultural tour
Sea Acres Rainforest Centre is an inspiring experience. Share the wonders of one of the largest remaining coastal rainforest reserves in New South Wales. Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the elevated, accessible 1.3 kilometre rainforest boardwalk through pristine subtropical rainforest. Boardwalk entry fee applies. Relax in the Rainforest Cafe, serving delicious lunch, and morning and afternoon teas. Take a tour with the award-winning Rainforest Guides or explore the rainforest at your own pace. Specialised Aboriginal cultural tours are available on request, fees apply. Contact the centre for details. Immerse yourself in the peace of nature on monthly guided meditation walks lead by a local yoga instructor. Held on the first Saturday of each month, bookings essential. You can also find out more about exploring mid-North Coast National Parks and visit the gift shop stocking a range of unique environmental products, gifts, crafts, and educational toys and games.
Dine at The Stunned Mullet
The Stunned Mullet is a place where amazing food, incredible wines, great service and relaxed coastal ambience come together perfectly. Established in 2005, the restaurant holds a coveted Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide chefs hat, and has rated in the top 10 of Trip Advisor's Travellers Choice Awards for Fine Dining restaurants for the past two years, as well as being featured in Gourmet Traveller's Wine list of the year publication. Located on beautiful Town Beach with a spectacular vista north to Point Plomer, The Stunned Mullet is Port Macquarie's quintessential dining experience. Bookings essential.
Take the family to Billabong Zoo: Koala and Wildlife Park
At the multiple award-winning Billabong Zoo you can get up-close and personal to Australian and exotic animals. You can pat, stroke, feed, hold, hear and see over 80 species of mammals, reptiles and birds. They care for over 200 animals in this friendly 10 acre Koala and Wildlife Park. Enjoy their much-loved Zoo Talks throughout the day. All free as they are included in the admission price. Learn about their passion for conservation as Ambassadors for Wildlife and their world-renowned koala breeding program. Book one-on-one Up-Close personal encounters with some very special animals: cheetahs, snow leopards, koalas, red pandas, meerkats, snakes. Bookings essential. Enjoy the playground and picnic areas set in beautiful lush gardens with tranquil koi ponds. Delicious hot food, snacks, ice-cream, coffee and drinks at the great Zoo Cafe. Souvenirs and retail therapy in the popular Zoo Shop. Fun for the kids. Education for everyone. Open every day, rain or shine. Currently, they are now open and operating within the current COVID19 restrictions - please keep an eye on their website for updated information.
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