Located on the banks of the Camden Haven River, 36km southwest of Port Macquarie, the sleepy village of Kendall was originally called Camden Haven. In 1891, it was renamed after the Australian poet Henry Kendall, who lived in the area from 1875-1881. Kendall’s romantic bush ballads are an ode to the town and surrounding nature, with his best-known poem Bellbirds recited by generations of Australian children.
With its proximity to magnificent national parks, coastal lakes and the beaches of the mid-North Coast of NSW, Kendall makes a quiet base to explore the fertile Comboyne Plateau and Coorabakh National Park to the west and Middle Brother National Park to the south, featuring two tall old growth trees, Bird Tree and Benaroon.
Stroll the town
Explore the town on the pleasant self-guided Heritage Walk, passing 16 places of interest including the statue of Henry Kendall that was erected in 2007 on the corner of Comboyne and Orara streets, and The Leaves of Kendall, a large sculpture of three eucalyptus leaves at the entrance to the town. Look out for quotes from Henry Kendall poems on power poles around the town.
The Kendall Showground Markets are held the first Sunday of each month, with local produce and handicrafts on sale; while the annual Camden Haven Show featuring equestrian events, woodchopping, community exhibits and carnival rides, is held in October.
Getting there & where to stay
Kendall is four hours’ drive north of Sydney, six hours' south of Brisbane and just 30min from the town of Port Macquarie. Trains stop at Kendall Station and the journey from Sydney takes around six hours, or you can fly into Port Macquarie Airport and hire a car for the drive. Places to stay include charming B&Bs, country retreats and the pretty Swans Crossing campground in the Kerewong State Forest.
Fly into Port Macquarie Airport
Port Macquarie Airport is 4.5km from Port Macquarie’s town centre. Make the short trip into the city using the taxi services at the terminal or ride-sharing Uber. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace.
QantasLink operates direct flights from both Sydney and Brisbane to Port Macquarie, and Rex operates direct flights from Sydney. Fly Pelican flies direct between Canberra and Port Macquarie twice a week.