Around 40km south of Port Macquarie on the banks of the Camden Haven River, Laurieton is a great base for exploring the gorgeous beaches, vast waterways and rugged wilderness of the mid-North Coast of NSW.  



Back to nature 

Laurieton enjoys a prime position in this part of the state, scenically located at the base of North Brother Mountain in Dooragan National Park, at the mouth of the Camden Haven Inlet. The region is blessed with immense waterways and vast tracts of forest. Needless to say, life here revolves around the great outdoors.  

Scenic views across across Camden Haven Inlet, North Haven

Camden Haven Inlet, North Haven

Drive or take the challenging 3km Laurieton Track to the summit of North Brother Mountain. Your heart will be racing by the time you reach the top, but you’re rewarded with incredible views across the countryside. The outlook – from Port Macquarie to Diamond Head – enjoyed on the Perpendicular Point Walking Track is just as pretty; the trail is 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.  

Coastal walking track at Perpendicular Point in the Kattang Nature Reserve, Camden Head

Perpendicular Point, Camden Head

For more perspective, head to the Charles Hamey Lookout. Sit on the clifftop and admire magnificent vistas over Gogleys Lagoon, with North Brother Mountain in Dooragan National Park providing a dramatic backdrop. Gaze across the golden sands of Dunbogan Beach as it sweeps around to Diamond Head in Crowdy Bay National Park. You’ll see plenty of birdlife, and you may even be lucky enough to see a peregrine falcon flying high above. 

Meanwhile, look out for koalas on the easy Metcalfes Walking Track in Crowdy Bay National Park, stopping by Kylie’s Hut, the rustic writing retreat of Australian author Kylie Tennant. Alternatively, take the Diamond Head loop walk, a 4.3km path that celebrates the region’s sparkling beauty. 

Scenic coastal views across Diamond Head Beach, Crowdy Bay National Park

Diamond Head Beach, Crowdy Bay National Park

River fun

The Camden Haven River flows through a number of historic towns, gradually becoming part of a more expansive water system before flowing into the Pacific Ocean. Hire kayaks and canoes from the Laurieton Lakefront camping ground and explore the immense waterway, 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. 

North Brother Mountain across the waters, Dunbogan in Laurieton, Port Macquari

North Brother Mountain, Laurieton - Credit: Port Macquarie Hastings Council

Fresh is best 

It goes without saying that the seafood in Laurieton is fresh and delicious. Try Laurieton Seafoods for lip-smacking fish, crabs and prawns; or purchase freshly shucked oysters straight from the grower at Armstrong Oysters. 

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 held on the third Sunday of the month. Don’t miss the delicious Slice of Haven Festival each September, celebrating the region’s best food, wine, beer and music. 

Laurieton Riverwalk Markets at Bruce Porter Reserve, Laurieton

Laurieton Riverwalk Markets, Laurieton - Credit: Laurieton Riverwalk Markets

Getting there & where to stay

Laurieton is a four-hour drive north of Sydney, around seven hours from Brisbane and just 30 minutes from Port Macquarie. Trains stop at nearby Kendall and Wauchope stations, and the journey from Sydney takes around 6.5 hours. Or, fly into Port Macquarie Airport and hire a car to explore the region. 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. Accommodation ranges from motels and caravan parks to beach houses and stylish riverside retreats – you can even sleep in a treehouse

Set high off the ground with level rain forest walkway access at Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, Camden Haven River

Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, Camden Haven River - Credit: Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat

Plan your trip