Nature in Port Macquarie
From its iconic wildlife, to beautiful beaches and pockets of rainforest, nature plays a starring role in the Port Macquarie region. Look for frolicking dolphins and whales during their annual migration, spot cuddly koalas dozing in tree branches, and enjoy sweeping views from coastal headlands and hinterland lookouts as you stroll through pristine landscapes.
The forests of Port Macquarie are a major habitat for koalas, which can be spotted in the wild in places like Queens Lake Nature Reserve at North Haven and in the parkland surrounding Roto House, where the world-famous Koala Hospital is located. More koalas await at Billabong Zoo, where you can get close enough to pat one of these fuzzy little icons.
Meanwhile, marine mammals love the region almost as much as its human visitors. Whales swing by on their annual migration, with optimum viewing time between May and November; great vantage points are along the Perpendicular Point Walking Track and Diamond Head Loop Walk in Crowdy Bay National Park. Meanwhile, dolphins are often spotted in the Hastings River along the Port Macquarie Breakwall or accompanying tourist boats on dolphin watch cruises.
To immerse yourself in the sight and sounds of the rainforest, head to Sea Acres Rainforest in Port Macquarie, where a 1.3km boardwalk winds through a rare littoral rainforest where birds flit through the canopy and goannas and diamond pythons stalk the forest floor. Join a guided tour with an Aboriginal ranger to learn about bush tucker and medicinal plants found in the forest.
Endangered grey nurse sharks gather in large numbers to feed on the abundant fish around submerged pinnacles in the waters off Perpendicular Point and Diamond Head. You’ll find diving centres in Port Macquarie that offer tours of the Cod Grounds sanctuary, home to the protected black cod.
Discover natural attractions in the hinterland around Kendall and Wauchope. Visit the giant blackbutts Bird Tree and Benaroon to the south of Kendall and wind your way to Wauchope, the gateway to towering waterfalls and Willi Willi National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
For sweeping views of the lake, inlet and beyond, visit the North Brother lookout in Dooragan National Park. You can either drive to the scenic summit or hike on the challenging 3km Laurieton track to the top. Take the Rainforest loop near the summit for a delightful walk to another lookout.