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2 days Itinerary

Itinerary: Mid-north coast magic

Overview

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.

Getting there:

  • 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.

Sculpture along Port Macquarie Coastal walk, Sea Acres National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Port Macquarie coastal walk

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.

Price
Free. Free park entry.
Distance
9km one-way
Time
3 - 4hrs
Grade
Grade 4
Where
Sea Acres National Park in North Coast
Man sitting beside his tent looking out at the ocean, at Limeburners Creek National Park. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

Point Plomer campground

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.

Price
Budget. Park entry fees apply.
Sites
90
Suitable for
Tent, Camper trailer site, Caravan site, Camping beside my vehicle
Where
Limeburners Creek National Park in North Coast

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.

Trial Bay Gaol, Arakoon National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Trial Bay Gaol

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.

Price
Fees apply. Free park entry.
Wheelchair
access
Hard
Where
Arakoon National Park in North Coast
Aerial view of Trial Bay Gaol campground, Arakoon National Park. Photo: Rob Mulally/DPIE

Trial Bay Gaol campground

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.

Price
Budget. Free park entry.
Suitable for
Tent, Camper trailer site, Caravan site, Camping beside my vehicle
Where
Arakoon National Park in North Coast
Length
2 days
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