Top Things to do in Port Macquarie on the North East Coast Australia

Port Macquarie may not be on your bucket list when travelling around Australia, but it is an exciting place to add to your itinerary. Located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, it is an ideal stop when driving North of Sydney on the East Coast of Australia.

Port Macquarie - Nobbys Beach
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Port Macquarie – Nobbys Beach

I first visited Port Macquarie in 2013 on my way from Sydney to Brisbane. My reason for stopping in Port Macquarie was the Koala Hospital.

As a wildlife warrior, I was keen to see one of the most popular Australian wildlife hospitals in the care and protection of Australian Wildlife. I was surprised to discover that a place in beautiful settings, with various natural landmarks, offers a myriad of outdoor activities that I didn’t expect.

Top 5 things to do in Port Macquarie

I would recommend spending 2-3 days to do justice to this place. Depending on the time of the year you are visiting, there are many things to do in Port Macquarie – I have compiled a list for you with my best picks for a visit.

Port Macquarie Breakwall – a discovery stroll

This is the first thing that comes to mind, the Breakwall with its painted rocks. Each rock has a story to tell and a message to give. Interestingly they are all different, funny, and quirky stories. Stroll along the walkway, browse through, take photos, sit on a rock to breathe in the ocean breeze and walk around on to Town Beach.

Town Beach is the main beach in Port Macquarie, offering many activities, from yoga classes and morning beach workouts, from surfing lessons to a kids playground and picnic facilities. Town Beach is a hub for outdoor activities to suit any visitor.

Do the Port Macquarie Coastal Walk

This is one of the highlights of Port Macquarie. In my opinion one of the top coastal walks on the Eastern Coast of Australia. You can start the Port Macquarie Coastal Walking trail at Town Beach and walk for 7 km to Tacking Point Lighthouse. I did this walk in the reverse direction.

There is a bus that takes you to the beach near the Lighthouse, and from there, I walked back my way to Town Beach through beautiful and varied landmarks, from rocky to sandy beaches, from bushland to heathland forests. Nobbys Beach and Flynns Beach are two of the many beautiful beaches along this walking track.

The Port Macquarie coastal track is home to a rich flora and vegetation and many of my favourite flower, the Banksia!

Visit the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

The Koala Hospital is an institution in Port Macquarie. I was unlucky with my visit, though. It rained, and I couldn’t see any Koalas, nor I could join the guided walk, which takes place every day at 3.00 pm when the koalas are fed.

This is one of the main Koala hospitals in Australia and the Wildlife Hospital in Beerwah that rescue and care for injured and sick koalas. There is also a possibility to donate or to adopt a Koala online. You can actively contribute by becoming a volunteer: the program is open to Aussies and international travellers.

While visiting the Koala Hospital, pop into the Roto Historical House, a beautifully preserved, late-Victorian building, just one minute walk from the hospital. And if you’re lucky, you might spot Koalas perched in the surrounding trees too!

Walk into Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park

You don’t need to travel long distances to dive into nature. Only 5 minutes walk from the town centre, and you step into the stunningly beautiful Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park, with its 5 km boardwalk and walking trails. I did only a small portion of the walks as it was too dark when I got there.

I would recommend visiting this Nature park during the day or in the sunshine for a refreshing walk, as early in the morning is the perfect time for spotting birdlife.

Port Macquarie Whale Watching

Whale watching is the main attraction in the area. From May to September, Port Macquarie is an excellent place for sighting the humpback whales migrating north and south. You can spot them while walking the coastal track, but the best way to get up close is to go on a whale watching tour.

Do the Sea Acres Rainforest Board Walk

Only a short drive from Port Macquarie takes you to Sea Acres National Park to dive into the rainforest. The 7 meters elevated boardwalk allows you to get into the thick canopy and marvel at many rainforest wonders, spot unique birds like the scarlet robe, goannas and the diamond phyton. You will need to hire a car to get there, as there is no public transportation.

What to do in Port Macquarie

If you are into golfing, surfing and windsurfing, Port Macquarie has excellent golf courses and surf beaches.  If you like fishing, birdlife, and camping, Lake Cathie inlets’ surrounding area is a paradise for nature lovers.

How to plan your trip to Port Macquarie Australia

Here are our recommendations for planning your trip starting from Sydney. From hiring a car to booking your stay to purchasing travel insurance for your Australian Camping Adventure.

Related: Australian Destination Guides

First published in 2015, last updated in Feb 2021

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