North Haven is a lovely escape in the Port Macquarie region of the NSW mid North Coast. Find beautiful waterways, gorgeous beaches and magnificent wilderness. Spot dolphins swimming in the inlet from a riverside café, enjoy water sports on sparkling Queens Lake and explore surrounding national parks.
Watersports and wildlife
The enchanting town sits at the mouth of the Camden Haven Inlet and near the Queens Lake Nature Reserve, where the old growth forests are a haven for koalas. The lake is popular for fishing, boating, kayaking and swimming, too.
Meander up the Camden Haven River on a kayak or cruise to spot dolphins, stingrays and turtles in the estuary and birds of prey soaring above. Hire a kayak or stand-up paddle board from Dunbogan Boatshed and head upriver to the Queens Lake picnic area, with picnic tables and wood barbecues. Note: it's BYO firewood.
The towering forest is home to an array of native animals, including koalas that have been cared for at the nearby Koala Hospital. Grants Beach, also known as North Haven Beach, curves about 3.5km along the coastline and the southern end – which has picnic tables, showers and other amenities – is popular for surfing.
Nature and bushwalking
The delightful Grants Beach Coastal Walk winds through heathland carpeted with wildflowers, swamp paperbarks and eucalypts all the way to Grants Head, a vantage point for whale watching between May and November. Just north is pretty Rainbow Beach, which sweeps 2.5km between Bonny Hills and Middle Rock Point.
West across Stingray Creek from North Haven are Laurieton and the Dooragan National Park, where the North Brother lookout offers sweeping views of the waterways and beyond. South across the river mouth is Perpendicular Point, another top location for spotting humpbacks and other whales.
Getting there and where to stay
North Haven is a four-hour drive north of Sydney, six hours south of Brisbane and just 30min from Port Macquarie. Interstate trains stop at nearby Kendall and Wauchope stations and there are regular flights into Port Macquarie Airport. Accommodation options around North Haven range from holiday parks to beach houses and motels.