North Haven

Surrounded by beautiful waterways, gorgeous beaches and rugged wilderness, North Haven delivers a nature-based escape at the mouth of the Camden Haven Inlet, 30 minutes south of Port Macquarie. 



Get back to nature 

North Haven is surrounded by water, with the immense Queens Lake to its west, all surrounded by a Nature Reserve. Needless to say, it’s an ideal destination for a day of picnicking, swimming, fishing and boating. It’s also a popular spot for windsurfing, and families will love the tranquil waters where the kids can play. There’s even a small wharf where you can launch a kayak or boat for an afternoon of peaceful paddling. 

The surrounding old-growth forests are home to more than 200 species of animals, making this reserve perfect for wildlife spotting and birdwatching. While looking to the treetops, you might even spot a koala dozing in the branches, including some that have been released into the wild after being cared for at the nearby Koala Hospital

Koala sitting in a gum tree at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie

Koala Hospital, Port Macquarie

On the water 

Hire a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from the Laurieton Lakefront campground and meander up the Camden Haven River, looking for dolphins, stingrays and turtles in the estuary or birds of prey soaring overhead. You can also hire boats (and bikes) from North Haven Rentals.  

Scenic views across across Camden Haven Inlet, North Haven

Camden Haven Inlet, North Haven

Grants Beach (also known as North Haven Beach) is a beautiful 3.5km stretch of sand on the north side of the river mouth. The beach is paralleled by a lovely coastal walking track that passes through wildflower-strewn heathland melaleuca swamp and eucalyptus forest to Grants Head, a great vantage spot for whale watching between May and November. 

Surfer catching a wave at North Haven Beach, North Haven

Grants Beach (aka North Haven Beach), North Haven

Explore further 

West across Stingray Creek from North Haven you’ll find the town of Laurieton and the Dooragan National Park, where the North Brother Mountain 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. 

When it’s time to get the adrenaline pumping, head to the Jolly Nose Mountain Bike Park in the Queens Lake State Forest Bonny Hills, with 70km of single-track mountain bike trails that cater to all experience levels, from beginners to advanced. 

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

Perpendicular Point, Camden Head

Where to stay 

Accommodation options around North Haven range from oceanfront holiday parks to beach houses and motels. For a unique stay with local heritage, the Camden Head Pilot Station is a fully self-contained cottage set in a bushland reserve, and Mansfield Estate is a private eco-retreat featuring upcycled shipping containers overlooking the surrounding valley and ocean.

Mansfield Estate views to Queens Lake Camden Haven, Grants Beach

Mansfield Estate, Grants Beach - Credit: Lindsay Moller Productions

Getting there   

North Haven is a four-hour drive north of Sydney, six hours south of Brisbane and just 30 minutes from Port Macquarie. Interstate trains stop at nearby Kendall and Wauchope stations and the journey takes around 6.5 hours from Sydney. 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. 

Plan your trip