- Large koala population & the Koala Hospital
- Award-winning restaurants & wineries
- Lush rainforest & golden beaches
- Family-friendly holiday fun
With its idyllic climate, beautiful beaches, laidback vibe and a sophisticated dining scene, Port Macquarie has become a favoured destination on the NSW mid-North Coast, luring holidaymakers for longer stays. Sitting at the mouth of the Hastings River, it’s a natural paradise where dolphins frolic, whales linger during their migration and koalas doze in the branches overhead.
Port Macquarie has the highest koala population on the east coast of Australia and is home to the famous Koala Hospital, which treats and rehabilitates around 250 sick or injured koalas a year. Book online to join a free guided tour of the facility, with 45-minute sessions held throughout the day. Follow the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail to find 79 painted fibreglass koalas dotted around the area.
At the Billabong Zoo: Koala and Wildlife Park you can pat a koala and see the work of the zoo’s world-renowned breeding program. You’ll also meet monster saltwater crocodile Shrek. Take the Port Macquarie Coastal Walk into the Sea Acres National Park and follow the 1.3km rainforest boardwalk, where you might spot a koala in the wild.
From dolphin watch cruises to kayak tours and surf schools, there is plenty of activities and attractions in Port Macquarie to keep the whole family busy. Stroll up the riverfront to Town Beach along the Breakwall, admiring rocks painted with tributes and messages by locals and visitors. Head to Ricardoes to pick buckets of fresh strawberries; ride a camel on Lighthouse Beach; or solve puzzles and mysteries as you tackle the town’s only escape room, Façade.
Heritage & culture
Established as a penal settlement in 1821, Port Macquarie’s history and heritage is celebrated on the Port Macquarie Hastings Heritage Walk, with two guided tours giving insight into the town’s colourful past. You can also visit Port Macquarie Museum or join a guided Aboriginal bush tucker tour at the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre.
Take a behind-the scenes tour of Port Macquarie’s regional gallery and performance space, The Glasshouse; and get to know the town through various festivals, arts and sporting events that feature on the annual calendar.
Food, glorious food
Port Macquarie is increasingly regarded as a foodie’s paradise, with fantastic restaurants, cafes and wineries both in town and the hinterland. From award-winning restaurants such as The Stunned Mullet, to quirky waterfront cafes such as Little Shack and family favourites like Burger Rebellion, there’s something for every palette and budget in Port Macquarie. At Cassegrain Wines, twotriplefour by Bills – sister property to the fish restaurant Bills Fishhouse and Bar – celebrates local produce and wines in a paddock-to-plate menu.
Getting there & where to stay
Port Macquarie is on the NSW mid North Coast, four hours’ drive north of Sydney and six hours' south of Brisbane. Interstate trains stop at nearby Kendall and Wauchope stations. There are also daily flights with Qantas and Rex into Port Macquarie Airport, just outside of the city.
You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in Port Macquarie with something to all budgets. Choose from holiday parks, campgrounds, backpacker hostels, hotels, beach houses, waterfront apartments and quiet country retreats.