Overnight in Port Macquarie

Our first port of call after Wolgan Valley was Port Macquarie, a popular seaside resort, with a temperate climate, on the NSW mid-north coast, about 390 km (242 miles) north of Sydney, and 570 km (354 miles) south of Brisbane. The town sits on the mouth of the Hastings river and it boasts many gorgeous beaches, a lush hinterland plus a surprisingly diverse range of attractions.

Rich in history, vibrant with art and alive with culture, Port Macquarie is a treasure trove of impressive convict built buildings to ancient Aboriginal land, from expressive public art to exotic exhibitions, and with an abundance of festivals and cultural events.

The town which is named after a former Governor of NSW was a penal colony for around 20 years from 1820. Its thick bush, tough terrain and indigenous folks (the Birpai) keen to return escaping prisoners in return for tobacco and blankets, provided large amounts of both isolation and hard labour to keep the criminals under control. These criminals would have been persistent offenders from the Sydney penal colony.

I’d picked it for an overnight stop as it was roughly midway between the Blue Mountains and Byron Bay. After almost returning to Sydney, we drove along the Pacific Highway, marvelling at the lush green pastures and rain forest either side of the road. The occasional burst of yellow blossoms looked just like mimosa, reminding me of home.

We arrived in time for a stroll around town before dinner in a great fish restaurant opposite our hotel. After a good night’s sleep, we enjoyed a longer walk around town taking photographs before eating breakfast in an organic cafe.

The town had been a great spot for an overnighter, let’s hope my other picks are as successful. All too soon we were back on the Pacific Highway heading for a few days in Byron Bay.

24 Comments on “Overnight in Port Macquarie

  1. Hi Sheree, I arrived back in Brisbane yesterday and almost immediately I have come down with a very bad cold. Just so pleased it waited till I came home. Now, I am not sure when or in fact if I can meet up with you. So disappointing as I was looking forward to meeting you. Anyhow, I will keep you posted and if I can work it with you, we will. My email address is lynd09@gmail.com
    Hope you are enjoying yourself here. Lyn

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lyn, my husband and I are having a fantastic time in Brisbane. We’ve been following the excellent advice from your blog (and others). So sorry to hear about your cold. That’s long haul travel for you. No worries if we can’t meet up as I already have a pretty jam-packed agenda. Kind regards Sheree (email: sheree@wanadoo.fr).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d love to visit Australia one day, it’s such a fascinating country. The travel is a little off-putting (I live in England so it’s quite a distance) but reading about it makes me think it would be definitely worthwhile.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It’s definitely worth a visit but because of the distance you need to go for longer and break up the journey. You’ll find posts on my blog on my earlier visits in 2010, 2016 and 2017.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, what a spectacular place you’ve shared with us 💚 You must’ve really enjoyed the views there. I love the little statue and the quaintness of the town. It looks so sweet and pleasant. Thank you for making me smile this morning 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was another great post! I am really touring around with you, in Australia. 🙂 The pictures are amazing! I hope I could know the culture there someday… 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very nice post. Thanks for introducing me to Port Macquarie. It looks like a pleasant place to visit. I grew up in a small historical village near Montreal, and when I am traveling I always seek for such towns. Lovely photos BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

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