Macksville

A bustling river port until 1953, Macksville, on the banks of the Nambucca River, melds rural charm with a relaxed water-based lifestyle. Boaties and fisherfolk are lured to the sparkling waterways, while the beach at nearby Scotts Head is popular with surfers. The town is also brimming with history and heritage, from its Indigenous past to pioneering life.

Living History

To gain insights into the life and culture of the Gumbaynggirr traditional owners of the Coffs Coast region, join a Unkya Local Aboriginal Land Council Cultural Eco Tour based out of coastal Scotts Head. Hear creation stories as you stroll along the beach, or tour the Gaagal Wanggaan National Park walking through 11 different eco-systems.  

Explore Macksville’s pioneering heritage on a downloadable history walk, visiting sites such as the 1919 railway station, the Mary Boulton Pioneer Cottage and Museum, the beautifully-restored Star Hotel, established in 1885, and the Heritage Macksville Hotel, a community hub for more than 100 years.   

Just west in Taylors Arm is the Pub with No Beer, made famous by country music singer Slim Dusty's hit song with the same name. Just north in Bowraville is more heritage, from the verandas on the main street to the Frank Partridge VC Military Museum

Outdoor adventures

Explore the Yarriabini National Park on the Way Way Creek Road, a touring route that winds through tall subtropical rainforest. Mountain bike trails also wind through the wilderness. Relax at the tranquil Pines picnic area, near the rainforest walking track. A short drive away is spectacular Yarriabini lookout.

Scotts Head is a wonderful vantage point for whale watching between May and November. Inland is the Dunggir National Park and the Kosekai lookout’s great views of the splendid Nambucca Valley, with many endangered species including koalas, yellow-bellied gliders and parma wallabies. 

Aerial view of Gaagal Wanggaan in South Beach National Park, Scotts Head

Aerial view of Gaagal Wanggaan (South Beach) National Park, Scotts Head 

Getting there and where to stay

Macksville is an easy 40min drive south from Coffs Harbour and just over an hour’s drive north of Port Macquarie.   

Qantas has direct flights to Coffs Harbour from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; while Rex flies daily from Sydney to Coffs Harbour Monday to Friday with select scheduled flights over the weekend. Link Airways operates direct flights between Coffs Harbour and Brisbane six days a week [*NB – flight days may vary]. 

Coffs Harbour Airport is 4km from Coffs Harbour’s town centre. Use the shuttle bus and taxi services at the front of the terminal or riding-sharing Uber, to make the short trip into the city. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace. 

Accommodation options include cottages and beach houses, a beachside holiday park or the riverside Nambucca River Tourist Park in Macksville. 

 

Things to Do and Places to Stay

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