Port Macquarie is by all accounts an action-packed destination. Originally a penal colony in New South Wales, Australia, the port town has turned into a playground of activities for locals and tourists year-round.
We decided to take a look at what we thought were the five best attractions in Port Macquarie. Whether you’re a Kiwi, a native Aussie, or a traveler from around the world, we’re sure you’ll love what this great, eclectic town has to offer.
Billabong Zoo Koala and Wildlife Park
Home to one of the most renowned koala-breeding programmes in the world, Billabong Zoo Koala and Wildlife Park is a destination centered around conservation, education, and interaction. Featuring Australian and exotic animals from around the world, the Billabong Zoo and Wildlife Park is a nature-lover’s dream.
Animal experts give insightful “Zoo Talks,” offered free with admission, where you can step into the world of the animals and learn more about their habits, needs, and their place in the world today. Additionally, you can schedule “Up Close and Personal” encounters with many of the animals, something many zoos do not offer.
For a truly immersive wildlife experience, Billabong Zoo and Koala Wildlife Park is a great way to jump into the world of the animal kingdom. Visit their website here.
Roses Vineyard and Animal Farm
Perfect for a family day out, Roses Vineyard and Animal Farm offers the tranquil beauty of a family-owned vineyard and a child-friendly petting zoo full of different farm animals.
As the petting zoo is mostly populated with small animals—some of which are still being bottle-fed—parents can relax around the vineyard knowing their children are in good hands. Enjoy lunch and a great glass of wine, pressed from grapes on the vineyard, while the children play.
Googik Heritage Walking Track
Sometimes we all need an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Nestled in the Lake Innes Nature Reserve, this two-kilometre track is is perfect for a robust hike, a leisurely stroll, and is popular among nature cyclists.
One of the best-kept secrets of Port Macquarie is the bird-watching available. Dozens of species collect here, such as beautiful Black Swans, ducks, and ospreys. Great for a much-needed weekend getaway or an educational hike for the kids.
See their website here for more information.
Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail
Koalas are an integral part of the Australian identity, and the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail is an homage to that heritage. Packed with 62 sitting koala sculptures painted in many different ways, this destination would be great for an all-day outing with friends and family.
The various sculptures are colored in distinct identities, each expressing a different artistic or cultural ideal. For instance, “Professor Eugene Eucalyptus” is made to look like a university professor, while “Woody, the Forestry Koala” is painted as if it were mirroring the surrounding forests.
For more information, visit their website here.
Tacking Point Lighthouse
One of the oldest lighthouses in Australia, Tacking Point Lighthouse is a historic treasure of Port Macquarie. Located eight kilometres south of Port Macquarie, the lighthouse crowns a high hilltop at the end of a nine-kilometre coastal trail.
Named by explorer Matthew Flinders after his early 19th-century circumnavigation around Australia, the lighthouse was built to address the problem of shipwrecks in the area at the time. The high elevation makes the Tacking Point Lighthouse shorter than average—only reaching about eight metres high.
For more information, visit the lighthouse’s Wikipedia page here.