Nature in Port Macquarie
Explore the incredible natural beauty and wildlife of Greater Port Macquarie, from ancient rainforest and two of Australia’s biggest trees to koalas dozing and grey nurse sharks feeding. Enjoy spectacular ocean lookouts and wildlife river cruises, and wander on walking trails in World Heritage wilderness.
Begin your adventure on the Sea Acres Rainforest boardwalk, in rare littoral rainforest just minutes from the lovely seaside town of Port Macquarie. The entry price to the 1.3km platform includes a guided tour. The rainforest is so close to the ocean you’ll hear birds singing and waves rumbling.
Bottlenose dolphins swim and frolic in the beautiful estuaries. The Hastings River meanders by Port Macquarie and the Camden Haven River winds by Laurieton and North Haven. A wonderful way to see the curious dolphins is on a cruise with Port Jet Cruise Adventures or Camden Haven Cruises.
Near North Haven is the splendid Queens Lake Nature Reserve, where you can spot koalas in the old growth forest. The Koala Hospital releases rehabilitated koalas into the nature reserve, which is 30 minutes’ drive south of Port Macquarie. The calm lake waters are popular for boating and fishing.
For sweeping vistas 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. The Rainforest loop near the summit is a delightful walk to another lookout.
Marvel at more breathtaking views on the Perpendicular Point walking track, in the Kattang Nature Reserve, or on the Diamond Head loop walk in the Crowdy Bay National Park. There are vantage points along trails for whale watching during the annual migration between May and November.
In the waters off Perpendicular Point and Diamond Head, endangered grey nurse sharks gather in large numbers around submerged pinnacles to feed on the abundant fish. You’ll find diving centres in Port Macquarie that offer tours of the Cods Ground sanctuary, home to the protected black cod.
In the hinterland near Kendall and Wauchope are more amazing attractions. To the south of Kendall are the giant blackbutts Bird Tree and Benaroon. Wauchope is gateway to towering waterfalls and Willi Willi National Park, which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.