Things To Do In Port Macquarie
The town of Port Macquarie is about four hours away from Sydney and belongs to the Middle North Coast of the New South Wales territory. Port Macquarie is all about making the most of the great outdoors. It has earned a well known reputation as one of Australia’s favorite holiday destinations. Its spectacular coastline is its major tourist crowd drawing attraction ranging from safe family and child friendly beaches to adrenaline rushing surf breaks. Reaching into the mighty Pacific Ocean, the captivating Hastings River is the main entry point for Port Macquarie. Dolphin watching is the daily event here and regular boat cruise packages help locals and tourists get up close and personal with one of nature’s most loved marine animals. For the thrilling and intimate experience with the dolphins, a boat with an attached “boom net”, where kids and adults can ride makes the encounter with the friendly sea creatures of Port Macquarie even more memorable.
When To Go:
The best months to go on a holiday or visit this city are from the months of March, September, all the way to December. These months are characterized by good weather and coincide with the school vacation, the ideal time when most kids and families hit the beaches and try out all types of water sports activities like; swimming, diving, snorkelling and surfing, which is what Port Macquarie is more famous for. If you’re the type of traveler who wants to avoid too much crowd or group of families lounging around the beach and prepare quiet and serene moments at the beach most of the time, plan your holiday after the end of the school vacation. Regarding the climate, it is considered as one of the most habitable cities in the New South Wales area because of its humid and tropical atmosphere all year round. However, avoiding the chances of getting inconvenienced by traffic, long lines, sudden rainstorms, and too much crowds in any attraction at certain months is the key to enjoying a good vacation whether you’re alone or with your family.
The weather can be monitored easily on the Internet now complete with one week forecast of any upcoming storms or if the city is going to be sunny with clear blue skies all week long. Since Port Macquarie faces the Pacific Ocean, it is common for countries or islands located along this ocean to experience intermittent or unpredictable weather like; it can be sunny now, but after an hour there are brief rain showers that can be felt without even a warning or advice from the weather forecasters. The truth is; the climate is heavily influenced by the movements of the wind, water current, atmospheric moisture and humidity all coming from the ocean. To be safe, keep a small folding umbrella or a clear plastic raincoat in your luggage or monitor the weekly weather forecast when planning your holiday vacation in Port Macquarie.
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Here are the major attractions and things to do in the city of Port Macquarie…
Tacking Point Lighthouse
The southernmost part of Port Macquarie houses the ruggedly beautiful Tacking Point Lighthouse. This is Australia’s third oldest lighthouse. The adjacent Lighthouse Beach is also ruled by another animal species you will not expect roaming around this all green terrain- the camels. Camels have been traversing the Australian landscape since the 1840s. These animals play an important role in the early days of European settlement and livelihood. Today, the camels are still the source of income and tourism where guides lead the walking tour of the Tacking Point Lighthouse and the beach for guests while astride the back of the camel. The lighthouse, the camels, the corresponding Lighthouse Beach is a gorgeous setting that makes a perfect photograph about a day in Port Macquarie.
The drive from the central business district of Port Macquarie takes about 10 minutes and the parking spaces are available in small numbers. It's a little 'lighthouse' with beautiful views and it's best to appear shortly before the sunset! This point is also the best place to go whale spotting (May – November), so don’t forget your binoculars or cameras along when visiting the Tacking Point Lighthouse.
The Coastal Walk is a fantastic walking trail overlooking a number of beaches and bays on well paved roads and part stairs paths. It is a wonderful walk in the morning and the right start for visitors to know more about Port Macquarie. The Coastal Walk consists of several beaches that you can commit to visiting while in Port Macquarie. It’s like having a preview of what beaches you must include in your itinerary of Port Macquarie. The beaches in Australia are fantastic, and the walk only emphasizes it even more. You can also take a long walk to the Lighthouse Beach.
It is nice to see the view of the white sandy beaches, hear the roar of the sea in one side and simply observe the great coast with whales on the other side. Many animals can be seen here, even camels walking along the coastal side. This fenced and well maintained walkway is one way of getting close to the nature and wildlife of Port Macquarie.
You can swim, snorkel, and even learn how to surf, but there is no need to get wet to enjoy Port Macquarie’s beaches. The world class Coastal Walk is a 9 km trail installed along the landscape from the north and southern part of the city. It is accessible to people of all ages and levels of fitness, the seven different scenic trails passed through the daring terrains ranges from sheer rocky outcrops to lush rainforests all taking in the amazing views of Port Macquarie.
Every Sunday a guided tour is given by one of the volunteers of the Koala Hospital. The tour gives you a good impression of what is needed to keep the Koalas in Australia alive. Volunteers stand day and night while trying to heal the koalas and doing their best on how to put them back in their own habitat. The hospital is equipped with nice staff and good information about the koalas in Australia. If you're hoping to hold or hug a koala here, it is not possible and if you listen closely to the short seminar given by the staff before the tour starts, you will find that there is no need to hold them up close. Only the staff can get intimate with these cute creatures at the Koala Hospital and because most of the animals are sick, the fear of cross contamination with the sick Koalas may further aggravate their situation while they are being nourished back to wellness. If you want to help the center, you can adopt a koala for US$50 a year.
A visit here is a must if you’re spending a holiday along the east coast of Australia. More than a zoo, the koala hospital welcomes koala turned in by people who find them wounded or by the hunters themselves if they found sick koalas in the forest. It is a place surrounded by nature, especially in a forest of eucalyptus trees that the koalas eat to survive. The guide explains what the staff and caregivers of the koala hospital do, and explain some interesting facts about these animals. You cannot touch the animals because they are all being treated and may still be sick or very much debilitated, but it is a right choice to not to touch these animals regardless of their condition. This place is the best example of how animals should be loved, sheltered, and nurtured in their own habitat. It is an ideal place for kids where they will learn about pet care and unconditional love for animals.
Here, they do everything to make the koalas get back on their feet again and return them back to nature. For this reason you also must not hold, and cuddling is not also allowed because this will not help in their efforts to rehabilitate the wild. However, it is a good way to educate everyone, especially kids about how to care for the animals. It is really a nice experience to sit in the woods and watch Galah and the Kookaburras. Furthermore, you can combine this with the Roto house that sits next to it. It is free, but a donation is appreciated. People who work there are all volunteers, and the hospital does not receive government aid, only the people who buy the products in the shop, or those that adopt a koala or donate! It's worth the visit!
This attraction is situated within the premises of the Koala Hospital and one of the must see places in Port Macquarie. This restored colonial wooden house was established since the 1800s. The house museum leaves a good impression on how life used to be during the early times. All the furniture remains intact as well as the plates, kitchen utensils, glasses, cups, paintings, chandeliers, and other untouched details of the Roto House. A guide will welcome you at the entrance and accompany your walking tour of the house.
If you need details about an item or photograph she will gladly discuss the story behind it. The house was purposely built for Governor Innes. He was the man instrumental to the economic success not only of the Port Macquarie but the entire New South Wales territory. This tourist attraction is now being preserved and maintained by the parks and wildlife authority of Port Macquarie. There is no admission fee if you need to go around and learn the history of this more than a hundred year old house.
Hello Koalas Public Art Sculpture Trail
The Hello Koalas Public Art Sculpture Trail is located at the park facing the Port Macquarie’s busy harbor and promenade area. It’s one of the fun ways to introduce koalas for kids. Each sculpture is colorful; some are dressed, while most are meticulously designed with intricate, floral, and abstract markings.
Every item comes with information, date of creation, and the local artist responsible for such design and interpretation of the koalas. The unique concept is meant to amuse the guests, entertain kids, and spark awareness about the need to protect one of the national animals of Australia.
Billabong Wildlife Park
The Billabong Wildlife Park is an old animal sanctuary in Port Macquarie, but it is still worth seeing. This is the place where you can interact or have a private tour with the koalas (only one opportunity in the morning is offered at 10:30 AM) and it is really great to experience it here. You will be able to pet and feed them. You can have great pictures of the kangaroo park where you could feed the wallabies and a kangaroo for $1 and it is worth it. These animals are very docile and can go up close to eat in the hands of children. The wombat park is well done because you can clearly observe how active they are whether outside or inside. The animals are partly held in some small enclosures and make partially a bad impression, but for families with children it is pretty much interesting with a relatively high entrance fee.
The Wildlife Park is very well laid out. There is a large area where one gets the opportunity to feed the endemic animals of Australia. There is also a wide variety of birds and other wildlife to admire. Unfortunately, the park is not easily accessible by public transportation. The Billabong Wildlife Park has an impressive number of koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies, reptiles, emus, dingoes and wombats. It is now currently making an enclosure intended for a snow leopard that this park will acquire in the future.
Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park
The Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park is the official sanctuary of bats and other animals in Port Macquarie. You can also observe monitor lizards, rare insects, turtles, water dragons, snakes, migratory birds, and a well conserved mangrove area.
If you plan to explore this nature park in Port Macquarie, remember to take a repellent against mosquitoes and other insects. Visit can be done within an hour and the staff can guide and answer any questions regarding how the animals are preserved in this serene nature park that is easily accessible from the central part of Port Macquarie.
Sea Acres Rainforest Centre Port Macquarie
Whoever makes a visit to the Koala Hospital, must also visit the nearby Sea Acres Rainforest Centre Port Macquarie. The small but newly built visitor center leads out to a boardwalk, where a tour must be done together with a forest ranger.
You will get acquainted with all the things seen in a forest like; what strangler figs are, the importance of having a subtropical rainforest in a country that has lots of active wildlife animals, or even as simple as what the jumping ants are. The tour covers almost half of the rainforest area, along with a tour of the koala and bird sanctuary. Highly recommended is the child-friendly Leisure Walk designed for the whole family.
Port Macquarie Cruise Adventures
One of the most exciting things to do while in Port Macquarie is to go whale watching. The Port Macquarie Cruise Adventures offer guided boat tours to the area where most of the whales usually gather at certain months of the year in Australia. You will not have any regrets once you choose their services because, the hunting team is well skilled in determining where these mighty sea creatures converge and appear.
A tour normally takes two hours and the diligent effort of the skipper to not give up will totally impress you. He will keep turning the vessel until you get to see the stunning whales of Port Macquarie. The tour is fantastic, the accommodations are good, food and refreshments are well provided, and they guarantee that you will have a fun time seeing and appreciating the whale spotting adventure and a chance to see the whales at a much closer range possible.
If it’s your first time to experience whale watching adventure into the Australian waters, trust the skilled whale spotters of Port Jet to deliver the best experience about whale spotting in Port Macquarie. Choosing these professionals and the journey into the ocean is a terrific experience complemented by the unparalleled beauty of the whales you will see in Port Macquarie. There are whales, dolphins, giant turtles and the lovely captain even leads the animals by swimming in the sea. It's a fantastic sea chasing whale’s trip you will never find in other tour providers here in Port Macquarie. If you want this kind of adventure, you need to make reservations in advance. The tour usually starts with an early morning trip. A modern and comfortable speed boat will be waiting for guests on the dock in the morning. Each one will be given a life jacket; the skipper will give out reminders to stay safe and what to do while watching the whales. The staff is well experienced, friendly and cheerful and the best team you can find when it comes to whale watching activities in the immediate vicinity of the Port Macquarie harbor.
Port Macquarie is a nice starting point for all sorts of adventure into the wildlife of Australia aside from exploring the beach, which is just around every corner of the city. There are beaches with natural rainforests and worth discovering for a day or two. Most of the attractions are focused on their natural environment and the need to conserve resources and protect the rich wildlife of Port Macquarie. If you plan on having a vacation characterized by whale watching adventures, observing animal preservation efforts, knowing historic and scenic sights, a visit to the Port Macquarie is the best place in Australia to experience all of that.
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