Roto House

Macquarie Nature Reserve

Overview

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.

Type
Historic buildings/places
Where
2 Roto Place, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444 - in Macquarie Nature Reserve
Accessibility
Easy
Price
Free
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
bring
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 directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

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

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

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.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

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

Autumn is a very attractive time in the park as the days grow crisper and the light becomes softer.

Spring

Visit the park in spring to see the busy birds and the magnolia in bloom.

Winter

Enjoy the cosy atmosphere of Roto House on a cold day.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

18°C and 27°C

Highest recorded

42.3°C

Winter temperature

Average

8°C and 19°C

Lowest recorded

0°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

February

Driest month

September

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

298.2mm

Facilities

Drinking water is not available, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Amenities

Picnic tables

Carpark

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

Accessibility

Disability access level - easy

This area is fully wheelchair-accessible.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

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.

www.visitnsw.com

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.

www.visitnsw.com

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. 

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Roto House is in Macquarie Nature Reserve. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Explore diverse habitats

Macquarie Nature Reserve. Photo: David Finnegan

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

Macquarie Pass National Park. Photo: T Moody

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

Roto House, Macquarie Nature Reserve. Photo: David Finnegan

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.

Education resources (1)

Roto House, Macquarie Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government