With beautiful waterways, gorgeous beaches and magnificent wilderness, North Haven is a lovely escape on the banks of the Camden Haven River. At riverside cafes you can spot dolphins swimming in the inlet, enjoy water sports on sparkling Queens Lake and explore the spectacular national parks.
North Haven is in Greater Port Macquarie, on the mid North Coast of NSW. The enchanting town is at the mouth of the Camden Haven Inlet and near the Queens Lake Nature Reserve, a haven for koalas in the old growth forests. The lake is popular for fishing, boating, kayaking and swimming.
Next to the calm waters is the Queens Lake picnic area, with picnic tables and wood barbecues – you’ll need to bring firewood. In the towering forests around the picnic spot is an array of native animals, including koalas that have been cared for in the Koala Hospital in nearby Port Macquarie.
The river is home to dolphins, stingrays and turtles. Hire a kayak or take a river cruise and experience up close the marine life in the estuary and the birds of prey soaring above. Dunbogan Boatshed offers kayaks and stand-up paddleboards - a great way to see bottlenose dolphins and white-bellied sea eagles.
Grants Beach, also known as North Haven Beach, curves about 3.5km along the stunning coastline. The southern end is a popular surfing area, with the inlet breakwall creating great right-handers in southerly swells. There are picnic tables, showers and other amenities adjacent the southern end.
The delightful Grants Beach Coastal Walk winds through heathland wildflowers, swamp paperbarks and eucalypts to Grants Head, a vantage point for whale watching between May and November. Just north is the 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 breathtaking views of the waterways and beyond. South across the river mouth is Perpendicular Point, another top location for watching humpbacks and other whales.
Accommodation options in and around North Haven range from holiday parks to beach houses and motels. The town is four hours’ drive north of Sydney and about six hours south of Brisbane. You can also fly into Port Macquarie Airport and rent a car for the short drive south to North Haven.