Port Macquarie may not be on your bucket list when travelling solo 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.
I first visited Port Macquarie in 2013 on a trip 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 a beautiful setting with various natural landmarks offers many outdoor activities that I didn’t expect.
Top 5 things to do in Port Macquarie
I recommend spending 2-3 days doing 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 to Town Beach.
Town Beach is the main beach in Port Macquarie, offering many activities, from yoga classes and morning beach workouts, to surfing lessons to a kids’ playground and picnic facilities. Town Beach is a hub for outdoor activities to suit any visitor.
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 7 km to Tacking Point Lighthouse. I walked 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 flowers, the Banksia!
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 could I join the guided walk, which takes place every day at 3.00 pm when the koalas are fed.
This is one of the largest 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 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’s 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 from the town centre, you step into the stunningly beautiful Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park, with its 5 km boardwalk and walking trails. I did only a few walks because it was too dark when I arrived. I recommend visiting this Nature park during the day or in the sunshine for a refreshing walk, as early 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 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, marvel at many rainforest wonders, and spot unique birds like the scarlet robe, goannas and diamond phyton. You must hire a car to get there, as there is no public transportation.
More Fun Activities 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 from Sydney. From hiring a car, booking your stay, and purchasing travel insurance for your Australian Camping Adventure.
Related: Australian Destination Guides
First published in 2015, last updated in June 2023
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