DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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Stay and play – Port Macquarie, NSW 

Perched at the mouth of the Hastings River, lined with beautiful beaches, and backed by sprawling hinterland, this captivating coastal city has ‘memorable break’ written all over it.

Hang on to your hat – we're exploring Port Macquarie. Pictured: Shelly Beach. Credit: Destination NSW.

Where is it?

Port Macquarie is 390km northeast of Sydney (4hr 30m drive) or 240km northeast of Newcastle (3hr 40min drive) in the North Coast NSW region.

Why go?

For the weather! CSIRO meteorologists claim Port Macquarie has the best climate in Australia: not too hot in summer and not too cold in winter. This means the perfect conditions for exploring the city’s many attractions.

The climate is perfect for exploring the city's sights. Credit: Destination NSW.

The essentials – things to do in Port Macquarie, NSW

Port Macquarie beaches

The city and its surrounds have a bounty of beautiful beaches. Highlights include:

  • Flynns Beach: A family favourite with 500m of soft sand sheltered between rocky headlands.
  • Lighthouse Beach: Popular surfing spot home to historical Tacking Point Lighthouse.
  • Nobbys Beach: Leads a pack of dog-friendly beaches in these parts.
  • Oxley Beach: Often less crowded than others but with ample appeal.
  • Shelly Beach: Includes a natural tidal lagoon and is flanked by stunning rainforest.
  • Rainbow Beach: Pretty patch with extra interest for surfers.
  • Town Beach: Central with grassed areas and various amenities. Includes a breakwall with colourful graffiti rocks.

Flynns Beach is a family favourite. Credit: Destination NSW.

Koala Hospital

This important rehabilitation centre has been running since 1973 and doubles as one of Port Macquarie’s most popular attractions. It allows visitors to witness and learn all about koalas as well as the role the hospital plays in preserving these iconic animals.

By gum, the Koala Hospital is an excellent attraction. Credit: Destination NSW.

Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail

Continue to embrace the city’s love for the cute creatures by viewing 60-plus koala sculptures that are dotted around the district. There’s a dedicated trail map to help spot the brightly coloured, 1m-tall creations.

Sculptures like this one, bottom left, are dotted all around. Credit: Destination NSW.

Sea Acres National Park

Found just 5km south of the CBD, the park protects an important patch of coastal rainforest that’s best admired along an elevated boardwalk. Start at the rainforest centre to learn more or join a fascinating guided tour to discover the rich Indigenous connection to the area.

Boardwalk beauty: Sea Acres National Park. Credit: Destination NSW.

Port Macquarie coastal walk

Historical sites, brilliant beaches, and sections of rainforest all combine along this 9km one-way path. Various hop-on, hop-off points mean visitors can enjoy the stunning scenery without having to commit to the entire journey.

The coastal walk reveals spectacular scenery. Credit: Destination NSW.

River cruise

Gliding along the Hastings River is a magical experience, and there is ample opportunity to get on board. Tour companies provide various options, headlined by sunset cruises. 

If you don't join a cruise, at least take a stroll on the banks of Hastings River. Credit: Destination NSW.

Billabong Zoo

It seems Port Macquarie really loves its animals! Billabong Zoo houses a world-renowned koala breeding centre and is home to various native and exotic creatures. Informative talks and exciting up-close encounters provide further reason to visit.

The wonderful wildlife encounters continue at Billabong Zoo. Credit: Destination NSW.

Port Macquarie Museum

Delve into the city’s compelling past. Various themes are covered with thousands of items of interest aiding the virtual journey back in time.

Mid North Coast Maritime Museum

Soak up more exciting tales from decades gone by. Two buildings, originally pilot cottages, house a huge collection of memorabilia that details the region’s mighty maritime history.


Cassegrain Wines

Elegant, French-inspired wines with an Australian influence are the focus of this popular place. Picturesque grounds amplify the tasting experience. 

Cheers to good times at Cassegrain Wines. Credit: Destination NSW.

Lake Innes Nature Reserve

Located on the outskirts of Port Macquarie, these scenic surrounds suit various leisure activities that include fishing, kayaking, and swimming. There’s also the chance to uncover the city’s convict-settlement past via historical ruins.

The Glasshouse

Revealing an eye-catching façade, this first-rate theatre is Port Macquarie’s premier arts and entertainment facility. It hosts a wide range of shows and events and includes a top-class regional art gallery.

Smashing: The Glasshouse is an eye-catcher. Credit: Destination NSW.

Things to do around Port Macquarie, NSW

Timbertown, Wauchope

Explore the hinterland town’s extensive logging past in fascinating fashion. Timbertown features dozens of pioneer village-style buildings and plenty of fun activities that include miniature train rides and gold panning.

Distance: 20km west of Port Macquarie.


Bago Maze and Winery

This family-friendly attraction boasts one of the world’s largest hedge mazes, filled with intricate elements. The adjoining winery overlooks the maze and has a wide assortment of vino available for tastings.

Distance: 30km southwest of Port Macquarie.

Um, maybe hold off on the wine until after you've tackled the maze. Credit: Destination NSW.

Crowdy Bay National Park

More epic coastline is revealed at this treasure-rich park, with untouched beaches and craggy creations leading the treats for the eyes. Ample wildlife, wildflowers, and bird species add to the allure.

Distance: 70km southwest of Port Macquarie.

Crowdy Bay National Park is a gem. Credit: Destination NSW.

Random fact

Port Macquarie was founded as a penal settlement in 1821.

Port Macquarie accommodation

Looking for somewhere to stay in Port Macquarie? We have you covered.

BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Bonny Hills

Park type: Holiday.

Enjoy instant relaxation at this peaceful beachfront park, 25km south of Port Macquarie. There’s ample accommodation, from deluxe cabins to shade-filled sites.

How's the location?

Three swimming pools, a water park, mini-golf course, and a jumping pillow are among many superb facilities. A BBQ area, camp kitchen, reception/kiosk, and a TV and games room also feature.

Tell me more

All roads lead to a stay at BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Bonny Hills.

Enjoy a Port Macquarie getaway with BIG4 now. Click below.

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