A stunning sunset over the river at Port Macquarie
390 kilometres north of Sydney, the town is located where the Hastings River meets the ocean. Besides the River and other waterways Port Macquarie has a range of beautiful beaches and average temperatures ranging from 7 to 27 degrees. These all ensure its a popular holiday area for fishing, surfing, beach and nature lovers alike.
We visited in August and enjoyed mild days of 22 degrees allowing us to fish in the River, explore the rainforest and visit a number of beaches including Town Beach, Flynns Beach, Shelly Beach and Lighthouse Beach.
Here's a snapshot of some of the activities to enjoy if you visit the area.
Sea Acres Rainforest Centre
Located a short distance south of Port Macquarie the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre is certainly worth a visit.
With a 1.3 kilometre boardwalk meandering through the rainforest the Centre is suitable for people of all ages. Its also possible to spot wildlife along the boardwalk. We were luck to observe a bush turkey building its nesting mound and a small and large lace monitor. Birds can be heard in the surrounding rainforest and the sound of the whip bird was a pleasing and regular occurrence.
A cafe and souvenir shop is also located at the Centre.
A short drive south of Port Macquarie Lighthouse Beach is a 9 kilometre stretch of beach with Watonga Rocks sitting on the sand part way along the beach.
Lighthouse Beach from the Lighthouse
The beach is popular with surfers and at the southern end camel safaris and 4wd's share the sand.
Tacking Point Lighthouse
The beach is named after Tacking Point Lighthouse which is the 3rd oldest lighthouse in Australia, built in 1879, after more than 20 ship wrecks occurred in the area.
A number of viewing platforms have been built in the area around the lighthouse as its a great place to watch for whales as they travel along the coastline. Spotters for the whale watching boat tours are often seen at the lighthouse directing the boats to areas where whales are frolicking in the waters near the point.
A whale frolicking off Lighthouse Beach
For an interesting experience try a sunset cruise along the Hastings River in an authentic Junk.
There's also a lunchtime fish and chips cruise where I'm told dolphins are often spotted.
If you love waterfalls and don't mind driving a longer distance Ellensborough Falls is located in Manning Valley at Elands approx 85 kilometres west of Port Macquarie.
The falls are one of the longest single drop waterfalls in the southern hemisphere and are easily viewed from the car park area.
There is a short walk to the head of the falls or you can walk down more than 600 steps to view the falls from the bottom.
A kiosk is located in the car park area but only open on Fridays, weekends and NSW school holidays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Other useful information
Port Macquarie beach guide
Beach safety in Australia