Around 40km south of Port Macquarie on the banks of the Camden Haven River, Laurieton is a great base to explore the gorgeous beaches, vast waterways and rugged wilderness of the mid-North Coast of NSW. The town lies at the foot of North Brother Mountain in the Dooragan National Park, a great place to gain a breathtaking overview of the region and popular with paragliders.
Views far & wide
Laurieton is all about views to die for. Drive or take the challenging 3km Laurieton Track to the scenic summit of North Brother Mountain. Enjoy views from Port Macquarie to Diamond Head from the Perpendicular Point Walking Track, set above pretty Pilot Beach in the Kattang Nature Reserve, where wildflowers carpet the ground in spring. Spot migrating whales between May and November from the dramatic Perpendicular Point Lookout; while Charles Hamey Lookout also offers sweeping coastal views.
Look out for koalas on the easy Metcalfe’s Walking Track in Crowdy Bay National Park, stopping by Kylie’s Hut, the rustic writing retreat of Australian author Kylie Tennant; or take the Diamond Head loop walk, a 4.3km path that celebrates the region’s sparkling beauty.
Hire kayaks, stand-up paddle boards or small boats from the original 1940s and explore the Camden Haven River, keeping an eye out for dolphins and turtles. Don't forget to look up too – sea eagles are often seen soaring above Camden Haven River, Queens Lake and Watson Taylors Lake while hunting for fish.
Fresh is best
It goes without saying that the seafood in Laurieton is fresh and delicious. Try for fresh fish, crabs and prawns; or purchase freshly shucked oysters straight from the grower at between June and November.
Meanwhile, buy regional produce as well as gifts and homewares from the Squeaky Gate Farm Shop at nearby Kew, or visit the popular Laurieton Riverwalk Market, a fun community event for the past 20 years held on the third Sunday of the month. Don’t miss the delicious Slice of Haven Festival each May, celebrating the region’s best food, wine, beer and music.
Getting there & where to stay
Laurieton is a four-hour drive north of Sydney, around seven hours from Brisbane and just 30min from Port Macquarie. Trains stop at nearby Kendall and Wauchope stations, and the journey from Sydney takes around 6hr 30min. Or fly into Port Macquarie Airport and hire a car to explore the region. Accommodation ranges from motels and caravan parks to beach houses and stylish riverside retreats.