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.
To gain insights into the life and culture of the Gumbaynggirr traditional owners of the Coffs Coast region, join an 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 ecosystems.
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 verandahs on the main street to the Frank Partridge VC Military Museum.
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 the 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.
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.