11 Things to do in Port Macquarie

What’s the story, Port Macquarie? This scenic coastal town between Byron Bay and Sydney boasts superb beaches, hinterland mountains, history and wildlife. It’s also the gateway to Lord Howe Island, a lush volcanic island with spectacular scenery. Discover exciting things to do and places to visit in Port Macquarie.

1. Lighthouse Beach

Image source: Marshypoo 

You can certainly take a long walk on the beach on this nine-km coastal walk with sand, rugged terrain and track. The final destination on this walk is the historic Tacking Point Lighthouse, which has stunning views of the ocean and offers an ideal spot for whale-watching.

2. Historic Maritime Museum / Hastings Fine Art Gallery

Image source: Maritime Museum Cottages

With 100 years of heritage on display, the Maritime Museum is made up of two separate cottages that are now home to a collection of vessels, maps, paintings and more. At the same lovely seaside location of 2 William Street you’ll find the Hastings Fine Art Gallery, which has a large variety of artworks for sale. A trip to a maritime museum AND an art gallery at once? Score!

3. The Glasshouse Regional Gallery

Image source: The Glasshouse Regional Gallery

With around 20 to 25 diverse exhibitions every year, there’s always something to see in this exciting regional gallery on Clarence Street. Check out Indigenous art, historical art and sculptures.

4. Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail

Image source: Mixy Lorenzo

Koalas are a pretty common sight in Port Macquarie (just check out the information we have on Billabong Zoo) but you probably haven’t seen ones like this yet. The Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail features more than 50 one-metre high fibreglass koala sculptures featuring original designs by different artists. You can find the sculptures in all kinds of areas around Port Macquarie including in parks, shops and down the street. Find out more about the trail here: http://www.hellokoalas.com.

5. St. Thomas's Anglican Church Heritage Tours

Image source: C Goodwin

Built by convicts from 1824 to 1828, St. Thomas’ is the fifth oldest practising church in Australia and has terrific views of Port Macquarie from the top of the tower. Take a guided tour and see areas not usually open to the public such as the surgeon’s cottage.

6. Billabong Zoo

This award-winning zoo has more than 200 animals and 80 different species both from here and overseas. With a renowned koala breeding program, the zoo has keeper talks and animal encounters with a wide variety of different critters from snow leopards to cheetahs and meerkats.

7. National Parks, Walks and State Forests

Image source: Brian Tolagson

In Port Macquarie, you can take your pick of beautiful natural scenery with over 40,000 hectares of national parks and state forests to choose from. Burrawan State Forest is the home of the largest Red Bloodwood tree in the world, Palm Grove is a 30-minute walk through blue gum trees, Macquarie Reserve is the home of a koala hospital and the historic Roto House. Then there’s Pilot Beach, a small, peaceful beach at the mouth of the Camden River.

8. Food and Coffee

Image source: Social Grounds

Port Macquarie has a speciality, restaurants with ocean views. This range of waterfront venues includes funky bar and grills, fresh fish and wine and heaps of local produce. There are also casual breakfast eateries and cafes where you can grab a coffee on your morning walk.

9. Adventure Activities

Image source: Stoney Aqua Park

Take a tandem skydive or a surfing lesson, try horse riding or experience family fun at Stoney Aqua Park, which has inflatable fun items in a man-made lake. Land or sea, there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had in Port Macquarie.

10. Sea Acres

Image source: Brian Tolagson

Sea Acres National Park is a rainforest that leads all the way to a beach, and it's one of the east coast's largest remaining rainforests. The best way to explore it is to wander the boardwalks through the rainforest and listen to the calls of birds. You can also find out more about history (and try some bush tucker) on the Aboriginal Discovery Tour. 

11. Lord Howe Island

Image source: Fanny Schertzer

World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island has mighty mountains like the 185-metre high Mt. Gower rising from the shoreline of the sparkling blue Tasman Sea. With all kinds of activities on offer from snorkelling in coves to hiking peaks and palm forests, Lord Howe Island is an adventure and Eastern Tour Services at Port Macquarie can get the adventure started for you.

Further Reading