Port Macquarie coastal walk

Sea Acres National Park

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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.

Where
Sea Acres National Park
Distance
9km one-way
Time suggested
3 - 4hrs
Grade
Grade 4
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note
The walk can be divided into four sections:
  • Westport to Town Beach (2km)
  • Town Beach to Flynns Beach (2.2km)
  • Flynns Beach to Shelly Beach (2.2km)
  • Shelly Beach to Tacking Point (2.7km)

You can access the 2.7 km long section of the coastal walk that goes through Sea Acres National Park via :

  • Shelly Beach car park to the north, or 
  • Lighthouse Road to the south.

Please note that the Port Macquarie coastal walk does not connect to the Sea Acres Rainforest Boardwalk.

The south end of Port Macquarie coastal walk is one of the few places on the NSW coast where the forest meets the foam. Spot historical sites along the way while enjoying stunning seaside scenery.

You might spot a whale or two on their annual migration between May and November. Don't forget to record whale sightings at Wild About Whales

Starting the walk at Town Beach, you'll wind around the coastline via Flagstaff, Rocky Beach lookout, and Nobby’s Beach. Get your camera out at Harry's lookout to capture views over to Sea Acres, before ending your walk at Tacking Point lighthouse. 

You can break the walk up into shorter sections if you prefer, especially if you're walking with kids. There are lots of opportunities to cool off with a swim along the way or to have a barbecue. Shelley Beach is a favourite spot for both activities.

Take a virtual tour of Port Macquarie coastal walk 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/walking-tracks/port-macquarie-coastal-walk/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Port Macquarie coastal walk.

Track grading

Grade 4

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    3 - 4hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Clearly sign posted

  • Gradient

    Very steep

  • Distance

    9km one-way

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Formed track, some obstacles

  • Experience required

    No experience required

Getting there and parking

The coastal walk starts at Westport Park in the town centre of Port Macquarie.

Parking

Parking is available in Port Macquarie or at the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, as well as at various beaches and lookouts along the way.

Best times to visit

Summer

Head to the cool rainforest to escape the summer heat.

Winter

Take binoculars and a camera on beach walks to look to sea for migrating whales.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Bushwalking safety

If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

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).

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.

Visitor centre

Nearby towns

Kempsey (58 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 (19 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 (46 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

Port Macquarie coastal walk is in Sea Acres National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Ancient connections

Rocky coastline with a distant lighthouse, Sea Acres  National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

Sea Acres National Park is the traditional country of the Birpai People. The park's landscape has provided a rich source of food, medicines and shelter for thousands of years. Evidence of Aboriginal inhabitants has been found in Sea Acres National Park, and it's likely that the Birpai used the area for fishing, hunting and gathering.

Find out more about this special place

Rainforest boardwalk, Sea Acres National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

If you are looking for an educational experience within Sea Acres National Park then take some time out to have a look at The Spirit of the Land exhibition. This multimedia exhibition takes you on a virtual tour of Birpai Country and introduces you to key Birpai stories.

  • 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.
  • Sea Acres Rainforest Centre 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.

Midnight feast

Brush tail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), Sea Acres National Park. Photo: Ken Stepnell/OEH

In the evening, when all the visitors have left, the rainforest of Sea Acres comes alive as bats, possums and bush rats start their day. Rats forage for food in the forest undergrowth, possums hang from trees to munch on berries and leaves, and flying foxes swoop from one tree to another. The park is also the occasional home to koalas which feed on the eucalypts along the western boundary. The park is an important habitat for koalas in the Port Macquarie area as it is one of the largest naturally-vegetated areas remaining and contains some of their favourite food.

  • Yoga in the rainforest Experience the nature of stillness on a guided meditative walk with Simon Adel (from Port Yoga) in the rainforest of Sea Acres National Park. It's a great way to start your weekend.

Worlds away

Rocky coastine in Sea Acres National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

When you venture out on the boardwalk, immersed in the still beauty of the rainforest, you’ll really believe you've travelled back in time. And you're right. The environment here has remained unchanged for thousands of years. Engage your senses and let the rainforest and its residents take you away to another place. The rainforest is a haven for myriad birds, so look out for the colourful wompoo fruit dove and rose crowned fruit dove and listen for the distinctive yowl of the green catbird. You're bound to see a brush turkey or two foraging on the forest floor.

  • Sea Acres Rainforest boardwalk The Sea Acres Rainforest boardwalk is best experienced on a guided tour. An easy 1.3km walk through the rainforest canopy, you’ll see forest birds and animals.

Plants and animals you may see

Animals

  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

    White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

  • Australian brush turkey, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

    Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami)

    The Australian brush turkey, also known as bush or scrub turkey, can be found in rainforests along eastern NSW. With a striking red head, blue-black plumage and booming call, these distinctive Australian birds are easy to spot while bird watching in several NSW national parks.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

Coastal Walk, Sea Acres National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary