Established in 1973, the Koala Hospital is a charitable organisation that takes care of around 2,000 koalas who live in the lush, green region of Port Macquarie, The area is home to the biggest population of coastal koalas in Australia. Visitors are welcome at the Koala Hospital every day of the year between 8am and 4.30pm. Walk around the grounds to see the koalas in care and watch them being fed daily by volunteers at 8am and 3pm. Walk & Talk tours are conducted every day at 3pm.
Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the elevated 1.3 km boardwalk through enchanting subtropical rainforest in the Sea Acres National Park and experience the wonders of one of the largest coastal rainforest reserves in New South Wales. Take a tour with the award-winning Rainforest Discovery volunteers or join an Aboriginal cultural tour. And relax on guided rainforest meditation walks, led by a local yoga instructor, once a month.
Port Macquarie is part of a significant wine region around the Hastings River where the best grapes are chambourcin, chardonnay, verdelho, semillon and merlot. Dairy and oyster farms, as well as plantation crops such as macadamia nuts and avocados, make this a great foodie destination. Fresh produce aplenty can be sourced at Wauchope Farmers Markets, held on the fourth Saturday of every month. Annual food and wine festivals include Tastings on the Hastings and Oysters in the Vines.
Situated in Dooragan National Park, North Brother Mountain offers some of the most accessible and breathtaking panoramic views on the East Coast of Australia. The immediate view is over the magnificent Camden Haven Inlet, with the Camden Haven River winding between Queens Lake and Watson Taylors Lake. The mountain is also popular for hang-gliding and paragliding.
Enjoy the delightful Bago Vineyards as you taste their traditional sparkling and varietal wines, local cheeses or simply take in the beautiful scenery. The Bago Maze will test the navigation skills of the young and young at heart as you weave your way through the puzzle of pathways, over and under bridges, looking for items hidden deep within the maze. For lovers of fine wine and live jazz, Bago's Jazz in the Vineyards is held on the second Sunday of every month.
Billabong is a wild day out for the family. The award-winning zoo is home to a wide variety of Australian and exotic animals, and features the world-renowned koala breeding centre. You'll be amazed as you learn from keeper talks and presentations of penguins, monkeys, dingos, snow leopards and crocodiles. The house of reptiles contains the world's most venomous land snake.
Derived from local, national, and international sources, the exhibition program at this Port Macquarie art gallery covers the visual arts, craft, and design, including historical and contemporary themes and subjects. Drop in to see significant touring exhibitions featuring well-known Australian and international artists and collections.
Take in the picturesque sights of Port Macquarie along the Googik Heritage Walking Track. Set in a gorgeous natural environment, the 2 km walk starts at Lake Innes Nature Reserve, on Lake Road, and winds through gently undulating hills. Experience the chance to bike or stroll beside kangaroos and birds on this enchanting trail.
A magnificent forest, Middle Brother National Park has glimpses of the coast to the east and native birds circling overhead. Visitors can enjoy easy trails, perfect for walking with children, and there are picnic tables. There’s excellent wildlife viewing both day and night, and intrepid hikers will want to pack the boots and GPS for exhilarating bushwalks. Climb the mountain for a scenic lookout over the Hannam Vale valley and South Brother Mountain. Sunrises and sunsets here are glorious.
Port Macquarie's beautiful coastal walk is a 9 km trail with stunning views of the dramatic coastline, significant historic sites and iconic landmarks. You can start the walk at Town Beach, winding along the coast via Flagstaff, Rocky Beach lookout, Nobby’s Beach and Harry's Lookout to Sea Acres. Between May and November, you might spot humpback and southern right whales on their annual migration. The walk ends at Tacking Point Lighthouse.
Experience the pleasure of picking your own plump, juicy strawberries. At Ricardoes you'll find five varieties of hydroponic strawberries and eight varieties of tomatoes, with more than 30,000 plants growing in greenhouses. You can enter a greenhouse with a bucket to pick your own strawberries, which are then sold by weight and bagged to take away.
From the moment you come inside the picket fence and walk on the bullnose verandah of the heritage-listed Roto House, it feels as though you’ve stepped back in time. Built in 1891, this 11-room weatherboard house of local red mahogany is lovingly maintained and is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture and craftsmanship. Guided tours are available.
Step back in time at Timbertown, where you can ride a steam train, watch timber craftsmen at work and smell the coals of the blacksmith. Set among 35 hectares of natural forest, Timbertown is an entire village re-created to demonstrate the struggles and achievements of Australia's pioneers.
Eat among beautiful flowers and plants at the Abundance Café, located within the Abundance Lifestyle and Garden Centre. The café serves a range of gourmet sandwiches and light meals such as salmon and caper berry tarts, chickpea and lentil burgers, and fish and chips. Take home a pot plant when you leave.
A friendly, relaxed venue where you can try the range of locally crafted beers which are brewed and packaged on site. Meet the brewer, join a guided tour and enjoy sampling the full range of beers on tap. The ploughman’s food platters are popular with a generous serve of local beer bread, ham, olives, relish and a few other tasty goodies.
Nestled in the picturesque Hastings River district, the award-winning Cassegrain Wines offers wine tasting daily at its cellar door, as well as superb French-inspired cuisine at its relaxed Seasons Café-Restaurant. With an emphasis on fresh seasonal and regional produce, enjoy Seasons' delicious food overlooking the beautiful estate.
This is one of the city's most adventurous and awarded restaurants. Fusion 7 is just a couple of streets away from Port Macquarie's main shopping centre. The kitchen keeps things interesting with fusion food. Asian, Indian, European and South American flavours all make an appearance and fresh local seafood is a specialty.
Each morning award-winning chef Todd Richardson seeks the best seafood from local fisherman, which becomes the trawler platter of the day. LV's on Clarence is a café and restaurant, and sources top quality ingredients and fresh produce to craft a menu of modern Australian cuisine. Much of the food is produced in-house, from cold-smoked salmon, to sourdough bread, pastries and cakes.
Inside the lush surrounds of the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, a slice of serenity awaits at Port Macquarie's Rainforest Café. Spend the morning at Shelley Beach and then follow the windy road up to the café where floor-to-ceiling windows offer views of the subtropical rainforest. The café offers a modern Australian menu featuring share-boards, gourmet sandwiches and salads, with plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options available.
By day, The Corner serves a seasonal breakfast menu with lots of freshly baked goodies and a contemporary lunch menu that offers lighter and larger bites. By night, The Corner offers an exquisite menu inspired by fresh local produce, an outstanding boutique wine list and a fine selection of Australian craft beer.
The Sandbar Cafe & Restaurant is a casual eatery near the banks of the Camden Haven River at North Haven. It's admired by locals who flock here for delightful modern Australian fair, complemented by attentive service. The all-day breakfast is a drawcard and is best enjoyed al fresco on the terrace where you can enjoy gorgeous views of the river.
This craft brewery produces premium beer in small batches. The beer is handcrafted from the freshest and finest quality ingredients available, including pure local water. The beer is not pasteurised so it retains the full flavour and aroma the brewer meant it to have, with no preservatives or additives used. Cellar door tastings and sales are Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 4 pm.
The Stunned Mullet is a restaurant where amazing food, incredible wines, great service and relaxed coastal ambience come together perfectly. The freshest of local produce is sourced from the beautiful and fertile Hastings region and is paired with innovative, international flavours. The simplicity in the restaurant's cuisine accentuates the beauty of these quality ingredients.
This award-winning waterfront restaurant specialises in serving fresh local seafood and is renowned for its lobster and crab dishes. From a table on the wharf, enjoy spectacular views across the sparkling waters of the Hastings River. You can even arrive in style aboard a seaplane after a 30-minute scenic flight.
The simple and contemporary design of this restaurant enhances the sweeping views of the Hastings River foreshore and makes Zebu Bar & Grill the perfect place to unwind. Modern Australian cuisine features on the menu, with succulent seafood and delicious steaks a highlight. Relax with a drink in the early afternoon or stay on until late for dinner as the evening crowd rolls in.
This well-established farmers market is built on a philosophy of providing the freshest, the best and the healthiest alternatives to the community, with produce and product often hand-picked the day before the market. The market is held every fourth Saturday of each month at the Wauchope Showground from 8am - 12pm.
Celebrating one of Australia's iconic animals and the outstanding work of the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, this public art trail features 51 large scale koala sculptures which dot the region's landscape from the mountains to the sea. The sculptures are made of fibreglass and were handpainted and decorated by celebrity artists, professional artists and community groups.
As one of the longest running ironman events on the global circuit, IRONMAN Australia remains an iconic international endurance event consisting of a swim, bike ride and run, taking in the best of the Greater Port Macquarie region on what is one of the most scenic iroman courses in the world. The event was established in 1985. Don't miss your opportunity for a personalised ironman experience through either taking part in the Port Iron 5K Fun Run, volunteering or cheering the athletes across the finish line.
This annual competition attracts young violinists from around Australia and is held in September. Many past winners and finalists have forged impressive international careers. The competition's history dates from 1999 when renowned Australian luthier (a maker of string instruments) Graham Caldersmith made the generous offer to donate a concert violin each year as a prize.
The Old Bar Beach Festival holds the Australian record for the most number of kombi vans and transporters gathered in one area at one time. Each year a new record attempt is an integral part of the celebrations and is held on the Sunday of the October long weekend. While the kombis are a highlight of this festival, the weekend also features market and food stalls, local wine and produce tasting, live music, fashion parades, and a whole lot more to enjoy at this family friendly event.
At Cassegrain Winery's vineyards, among tree-lined avenues and beautiful gardens, is the annual Oysters in the Vines. The event shines a spotlight on the region's delicious oysters and a sumptuous selection of exotic dressings. Enjoy freshly shucked oysters, elegant wines and the smooth sounds of jazz.
Port Macquarie is about one hour's flying time from Sydney or Brisbane. QantasLink and Virgin Australia provide daily flights between Sydney and Port Macquarie. Virgin Australia also provides direct flights between Brisbane and Port Macquarie. Connecting flights are also available to a wide range of destinations in Australia and internationally. The airport is 5 km from the town centre and takes about 10 minutes to reach by road. A range of transport options are available to and from the airport. Taxi and shuttle bus services are located in front of the baggage claim area. Public bus services are available from the bus stop next to the airport's rental car park.
Port Macquarie is serviced by two ferries linking the town centre to the North Shore, providing access to Limeburners Creek Nature Reserve, North Beach and Crescent Head via Maria River Road (gravel road) and Point Plomer Road (4WD access only). Settlement Point Ferry This 21-vehicle ferry is located at Settlement Point Road and operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. The service is closed for maintenance between 9.30am and 3.30pm every third Wednesday of the month. Hibbard Ferry This 15-vehicle ferry is located at Boundary Street off Hastings River Drive. The service operates Monday to Friday from 6.30am to 10am and 2.45pm to 7pm. On weekends and public holidays the ferry runs between 8am and 7pm and during school holidays from 6.30am to 7pm. The service is closed for maintenance between 10am and 2.45pm every fourth Thursday of the month.