Macquarie Nature Reserve
Step back in time and explore the rooms of Roto House, a beautifully preserved, late-Victorian building. If you're lucky you might spot a koala in the surrounding trees.
- Historic buildings/places
- 2 Roto Place, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444 - in Macquarie Nature Reserve
- Opening times
Roto House is:
- Open daily 10am – 4.30pm, but closed on Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day morning.
- Roto House is staffed by volunteers, so occasionally visitors may find it closed due to unavailability of staff.
- What to
- Sunscreen, drinking water, hat
- Please note
- Bring your binoculars to see birds and koalas, as well as a camera.
From the moment you pass the picket fence and enter the bull-nosed verandah of Roto House, it feels as though you've stepped back in time. Passing inside the front door flanked by ruby lights, you'll enter a grand hallway decorated with cast iron lamps suspended from the ceiling.
Built by surveyor John Flynn in 1891, this 11 room weatherboard house constructed from local red mahogany was occupied by his family right up until 1979. It's still lovingly maintained by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to this day.
Volunteers are available to answer questions and show you around if you're part of a pre-booked tour group.
Weddings can also be booked here and there's plenty of space to set up a marquee. The house and gardens make a unique backdrop for any celebration, ensuring your photos will be special.
If you're just here for the afternoon, make sure the kids get to experience one of the highlights of the park; the Koala Hospital.
Take a virtual tour of Roto House captured with Google Street View Trekker.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/historic-buildings-places/roto-house/local-alerts
- National Parks Contact Centre
- 7am to 7pm daily
- 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS) for the cost of a local call within Australia excluding mobiles
- in Macquarie Nature Reserve in the North Coast region
Macquarie Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about Roto House.
Getting there and parking
Roto House is in Macquarie Nature Reserve:
- Access to the parking area and wheelchair-accessible pathways to Roto House and the Koala Hospital is from Roto Place, off Lord Street.
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available for cars and buses, including several designated disabled spots. It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking can be limited.
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting for you in Macquarie Nature Reserve. Here are some of the highlights.
Autumn is a very attractive time in the park as the days grow crisper and the light becomes softer.
Visit the park in spring to see the busy birds and the magnolia in bloom.
Enjoy the cosy atmosphere of Roto House on a cold day.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
18°C and 27°C
8°C and 19°C
The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day
Drinking water is not available, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - easy
This area is fully wheelchair-accessible.
Kempsey (75 km)
Kempsey is a historic river town close to national parks and majestic beaches. Kempsey is a convenient place for an overnight stop for anyone driving between Sydney and the North Coast.
Port Macquarie (15 km)
Vibrant Port Macquarie is surrounded by beautiful waterways - the Hastings River, canals, creeks, bays and the Pacific Ocean. The city also has a five-star collection of golden-sand beaches stretching from Port Macquarie Beach to Town Beach and north along the 16-km swathe of North Beach.
Wauchope (45 km)
Wauchope is great base for exploring nearby national parks that are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Follow the Hastings Forest Way to Werrikimbe National Park, a rugged wilderness of outstanding beauty spread with short and long walks. Willi Willi National Park is a rainforest mountain park with three beautiful walking tracks that follow the river and lead to a sparkling waterfall.
Roto House is in Macquarie Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Explore diverse habitats
Amid the urban landscape of the seaside town of Port Macquarie, the reserve and historic site protect a significant area of diverse vegetation, including rainforest, sclerophyll woodland, swamp vegetation and coastal banksia.
Meet the local wildlife
Surrounding Roto House and the Koala Hospital is open woodland with grassed areas, and you'll find heritage plantings dotted around the grounds. These are the remains of an orchard, vineyard, garden and exotic plantings. Look out for the large old magnolia, and its springtime fragrant white flowers, the size of a dinner dish. A gnarly mulberry bush can be seen at the southern end of the house, and large Norfolk and Bunyah pines are to the north of the house, where the Flynn family once had garden parties and played tennis with their guests. The reserve is part of a major habitat corridor for the koala and other animals native to the Port Macquarie region. Since 1975, the Koala Hospital has provided a shelter for koalas and is one of the leading koala recovery and rehabilitation centres in Australia. Other threatened species in the reserve are the barred cuckoo-shrike, square-tailed kite, grey-headed flying fox and glossy black cockatoo.
Visit historic Roto House
The distinctive feature of Macquarie Nature Reserve is the lovingly preserved Roto House, a rare surviving example of a late Victorian country house. Built for surveyor John Flynn in 1891, the house was occupied by his family right up until 1979 and was restored by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service in the early 1980s. Walk around the rooms imagining life for the area's settlers before enjoying a picnic in the pretty grounds.
- Roto House Step back in time and explore the rooms of Roto House, a beautifully preserved, late-Victorian building. If you're lucky you might spot a koala in the surrounding trees.