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Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie (Australia)

Practical information about Port Macquarie

  • Family
  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Water Sports
  • Sustainable Tourism
2 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
4 hours and 30 minutes by car from Sydney
When to go
All year round, though it's more pleasant in summer
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Port Macquarie

Timothée D. Travel writer
285 travel articles

Port Macquarie is a charming coastal city situated on the coastline of New South Wales, but its natural beauty has unfortunately been spoiled by mass tourism.

My suggestion:
If your dream would be to spend your holidays in a large hotel complex, surrounded by groups of tourists, you've found the perfect place!

It's such a shame when you think about what Port Macquarie was or could have been. From certain angles, it's a lovely city, with its magnificent, immaculate lighthouse, historical buildings and especially the stunning coastline, with its beaches of white sand and perfectly cresting waves.

It's all the more of a shame given what the town has become: a major tourist destination with enormous hotel complexes and camping sites devoid of charm, where retired people from all over Australia, visiting for the summer or there all year round, stay cooped up in rows of bungalows. All in all, it's a city missing a personality.

So, unless this is your type of destination, I advise that you go a little further than Port Macquarie withyour Australia itinerary; there are beaches just as beautiful but far more natural out there.

A view over Port Macquarie
Lisa Gaillard Travel writer
49 travel articles

Port Macquarie is a seaside city with well-developed facilities. Founded in 1821, this penal settlement was the third city to be created in Australia. Today, it attracts Australian holidaymakers.

My suggestion:
A great playground for children and teens, Port Macquarie is an ideal holiday stopover for the whole family. Visit the koala hospital, paint the rocks of the breakwall, have fun in the huge skatepark.

I found the town of Port Macquarie pleasant and unpretentious. A little more than 40,000 people live there. The sea front is nice for a picnic, even if it is not very warm in October, as I learnt for myself. There are a lot of people at the weekend; don't expect to be alone, all the more so because it is home to the many cruise operators and Australians that have made it their resort town. As in most seaside towns of Australia, a wide range of nautical activities are available to you: kayaking, surfing, scuba diving... the particularity of Port Macquarie is that it shelters a hospital for koalas, as their natural habitat is situated around the city. (Koalas only feed on a certain type of eucalyptus tree that is not found everywhere in Australia). In this nursery volunteers care for the injured or sick that people have generally reported. (Most arrive there after being knocked down on the road.) You visit the hospital with a guide who leads you through the enclosures. Each koala is presented to you: its name, sex and type of illness. These animals are naturally not very active: wait for mealtimes, when they liven up a little. As they are sick or injured, you cannot touch them. If you want to do so, go to Billabong Koala Park outside of the city. In addition to the koala hospital, I also made an unplanned visit to the real hospital of Port Macquarie! Having been stung by an unknown bug, my wrist swelled up nastily. I know that the hospital is the last place you want to visit you during a holiday, but it is good to know that I was very well received, without waiting too long.

Some Australians took me discover the skatepark in Port Macquarie: a huge area with ramps, bowls and swimming pools. Your children can have fun skating, or with scooters or bikes. This skatepark, located by the sea in Town Beach Reserve, is adjacent to the famous breakwall. You can enjoy a stroll along this wall and discover the various paintings and drawings on the rocks.

Finally, in a unique environment not far from Port Macquarie, I was enchanted by the small town of Crescent Head: an isolated place crossed by a river that flows into the sea. The view is simply stunning. Indulge in longboarding, even if you're a beginner: the waves are gentle and the water is crystal clear - a real treat! The campsite is located on the seaside. Crescent Head is really picturesque! I highly recommend this spot for surfing fans.

Koala at the hospital
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