Things To Do In Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie is known for two things. It has incredible beaches, and it also has koalas. While it is home to many of these, it offers so much more. We have it all, whether you want to go swimming at the base of a huge waterfall, explore the pristine rainforest, or relax in a local craft brewery.

This guide will help you find the major attractions if you are beginning your East Coast road trip and have limited time. It also includes many lesser-known spots that you can explore if you want to go beyond the obvious.

Watch for dolphins at the Tacking Point Lighthouse

The Tacking Point Lighthouse was one of the highlights of our first trip to Australia. The Tacking Point Lighthouse was one of my favorite memories from the trip. We watched dolphins playing in the waves as we sat next to the lighthouse.

You won’t see dolphins every time, but this is an excellent place to search for them. Also, you can look out for migrating whales between May and November.

The ocean views are worth it, even if you’re not lucky enough to see any marine life. The area is also great for sunrises and sunsets (our photos were taken at sunset).

If you feel energetic, the lighthouse is also the end of the Port Macquarie Coastal Walk.

Koala Hospital: Meet the cute locals

The Koala Hospital is a wonderful place to visit. The Koala Hospital allows you to see the koalas up close and take in their quirks. This is something that’s becoming increasingly hard to do out in the bush in NSW.

It is best to visit the hospital early in the day or during the afternoon feeding when koalas will be most active. (We saw this at 2.30 pm, but it could vary slightly from day to day). When the eucalyptus bunches arrive, the koalas will come down from their tree to eat. We saw this happen at 2.30 p.m., but it may vary slightly day by day.

The sanctuary is a rescue center for rescued koalas. Some will stay here because of injuries, but those that can be released into the wild back will.

The current visit is self-guided, but there are always staff members around the enclosures who can tell you more about the koalas and other general information.

Relax in a rock pool hidden away

I usually prefer wild swimming holes to rock pools. But the one on the southern end of Miners Beach made me reconsider my choice!

The pool is huge, with clear water and a lot of fish. Some were even colorful, which gave me the feeling that I was snorkeling without needing any equipment.

We couldn’t believe that we had the pool to ourselves, even on a hot summer Saturday! The pool was at low tide, which is great. However, high tide could cover it.

From the closest parking lot, it is only 400m to Miners Beach. The path is in excellent condition, and it’s mostly downhill.

The pool is located on the right side of the beach, just a few stones away. From the moment you step onto the beach, it only takes a couple of minutes.

Be in awe of the tallest waterfall in NSW

Ellenborough Falls is not only the tallest waterfall in NSW but also the second-highest waterfall in Australia.

It is amazing to see it, even from the viewing platform near the parking lot. The view from the bottom of the waterfall is truly amazing.

Be in awe of the tallest waterfall in NSW

Ellenborough Falls is not only the tallest waterfall in NSW but also the second-highest in Australia.

It is amazing to see it, even from the viewing platform near the parking lot. The view from the bottom of the waterfall is truly amazing.

Explore the stunning rainforest boardwalk

Sea Acres Rainforest Boardwalk allows you to enjoy a section of pristine rainforest without having to worry about difficult terrain.

The 1.3km boardwalk takes you through a dense forest of hanging vines, tree ferns, and sandpaper figures. The forest canopy offers plenty of shade, even on sunny days.

You might be lucky enough to spot the Powerful Owls, which was a highlight for us. You can ask the visitor center where they last were spotted to get a general idea of where to look.

Waitui Falls has a beautiful pool of emerald water

The swimming hole is stunning. The water is a beautiful emerald green, and the surrounding forest and small waterfall are very atmospheric.

It is easy to reach the pool, with only 100m between the two directions, and it is equally easy to access the water.

It is popular, so if you want some peace, you should avoid weekends or come early or later in the day.

Watonga Rocks is a beautiful place to visit

Lighthouse Beach in NSW is among the most beautiful beaches. The beach stretches 9 kilometers long, giving you plenty of space to create your private oasis, even during the busiest days.

Watonga Rocks is a fantastic place for a walk or to surf. But we prefer just sitting and taking it all in. The grippy surface of these unusual rock formations makes it easy to climb up and get a better view.

One even has a small opening that gives the cave a sea cave feel. The rocks were still visible at high tide, so timing was not an issue.

There is a parking area near the rocks. Then it’s only a few minutes walk.

Try a local craft beer

Black Duck Brewery has the best-tasting paddles I’ve ever had at only $7, and they don’t compromise the taste.

There are many options for those who love their ales. They also make non-alcoholic ginger beer on-site.

The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, with both indoor and outdoor seating. The alcoholic ginger ale was sold out, and as I don’t drink beer, I went for the non-alcoholic version.

It was made with real ginger instead of syrup, and it tasted amazing. I was surprised that it cost only $3!

Enjoy a walk along the Breakwall

Breakwall is an 800 popular m walk. The colorful rocks that line this entire path are the highlight.

It is a mixture of humorous messages, inspirational quotes, memorials, and just a little bit of fun. I stopped often to examine them more closely, as many of them caught my attention.

The Breakwall begins at Town Green and ends by Town Beach. (Or you can go the other way around). This is another place where dolphins are often spotted, but we have never been lucky.

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