You'll pass historic sites, stunning coastal scenery, beaches, and rainforest along the Port Macquarie coastal walk. It can be enjoyed as a full day walk or broken up into several short walks.
Itinerary: Mid-north coast magic
Discover the often overlooked treasures of the mid-north coast on this relaxed itinerary from Port Macquarie, a holiday town around 400km north of Sydney. There’s a rare tract of coastal rainforest, magical dive spots and countless idyllic bays and beaches from which to swim, surf, paddle and fish.
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Enjoy long walks around the coastline, spotting dolphins or whales on their winter and spring migrations. Slip on a snorkel to peer at the fish, turtles and stingrays which also thrive in the clear waters offshore.
This scenic stretch of coast offers surprising heritage sites, soul-stirring views and lots of picnic spots and campgrounds with absolute beach frontage. It’s an all-round holiday backdrop, whether you’re on a romantic road trip or a family camping adventure.
- There are regular flights to Port Macquarie from Sydney and Brisbane
- Or it’s around a 5 hour drive north of Sydney, or a 6 hour drive south of Brisbane.
- There is also train access to Wauchope, which is 20 minutes inland from Port Macquarie. There is a coach connection between the two towns. Visit NSW TrainLink for timetables, fares and online bookings.
- For up-to-date weather forecasts, please visit the Bureau of Meteorology website.
Day 1: Begin your coastal discovery
From Sydney, follow the Pacific Highway north to Port Macquarie and Sea Acres National Park, where the beach is swathed in rainforest. Do the 4-hour Port Macquarie coastal walk from Town Beach to Tacking Point lighthouse, stopping at lookouts and at Rocky, Shelley or Flynn’s Beaches to swim, picnic or barbecue. Be sure to visit the Rainforest Centre and Boardwalk, where you can learn about the park’s natural wonders with a volunteer guide or savour a good meal at the Rainforest Cafe. Take a detour through Macquarie Nature Reserve and step back in time as you explore the rooms of Roto House. Then make your way north to nearby Limeburners Creek National Park and stay the night at picturesque Melaleuca or Point Plomer campgrounds.
Close to Port Macquarie, Sea Acres Rainforest Centre is the gateway to your rainforest experience. Friendly staff provide information and there is a café where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch.
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.
Point Plomer campground is ideal for a family holiday, or a relaxing weekend getaway. Golden beaches, lush rainforest, world class surfing, swimming, and fishing await you.
Day 2: Time to unwind
Drive north to Hat Head National Park and take in the historic beauty of Smoky Cape Lighthouse as you explore the natural paradise of the surrounding headland. Once you've seen the spectacular views from the top, make your way to Arakoon National Park, near South West Rocks. Take a walk around Trial Bay Gaol, a picturesque ruin that was once a granite-walled 19th century prison. Pack your lunch to enjoy at picturesque Little Bay picnic area. Finish the day with a relaxing dinner at Trial Bay Kiosk Restaurant and fall asleep to the sound of rolling waves at Trial Bay Gaol campground.
Hat Head National Park on the mid-north coast of NSW near South West Rocks is a natural paradise. Explore the lighthouse, camp by the beach and go fishing and swimming.
For a glimpse into Australian history, head to South West Rocks to explore the historic ruins of Trial Bay Gaol. Make sure you see the view from the sentry’s lookout.
Little Bay, a popular beach picnic spot near South West Rocks on the north coast, features barbecues, shaded tables, children’s play equipment and a kangaroo or two.
Trial Bay Kiosk Restaurant is fully licensed, offering fine dining, fresh fish and local produce with scenic views over historic Trial Bay in Arakoon National Park.
Trial Bay Gaol campground is right by the beach and perfect for a family camping holiday. Bring your caravan, motorhome or tent for a weekend of swimming, fishing and fun.
- 2 days