Macquarie Nature Reserve

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Overview

Visit peaceful Macquarie Nature Reserve, where you can discover historic heritage at Roto House and enjoy a family picnic. It’s also a great place for weddings near Port Macquarie.

Read more about Macquarie Nature Reserve

Close to the heart of Port Macquarie and just a few hundred metres from the beach, Macquarie Nature Reserve offers a peaceful setting surrounded by the region’s past.

Driving up the long curving driveway, you’ll be thrown back in time as you catch glimpses of the beautiful old Roto House. The nature reserve is also an important wildlife corridor, and is home to a koala hospital. Children will love learning from the volunteers about the work of the Koala Preservation Society to rehabilitate and release sick and orphaned koalas.

It’s so picturesque here that many choose to have their wedding or special celebration in the lovely gardens. Others prefer to spend a relaxing afternoon picnicking in the shade of the large old magnolia tree near Roto House, or wandering through the extensive grounds of tall eucalypts, exotic plants and gardens.

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/visit-a-park/parks/macquarie-nature-reserve/local-alerts

Contact

  • 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.

  • More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Macquarie Nature Reserve.

Getting there and parking

From Port Macquarie CBD:

  • Head east along Gordon Street to the roundabout intersection with Lord Street
  • Turn right into Lord Street and head south
  • Follow the brown and white tourism signs for Historic Roto House and the Koala Hospital, turning left into Roto Place.
  • Turn right into Roto House historic site

From Wauchope:

  • Head east along Oxley Highway to Port Macquarie and continue along Gordon Street to the roundabout intersection with Lord Street
  • Turn right into Lord Street and head south
  • Follow the brown and white tourism signs for Historic Roto House and the Koala Hospital, turning left into Roto Place.
  • Turn right into the Roto House historic site

Parking

By bike

Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

By public transport

For information about public transport options, visit the NSW country transport info website.

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

Amenities

Picnic tables

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency Plus 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.

Nearby towns

Port Macquarie (2 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 (20 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

Kempsey (51 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

Learn more

Macquarie Nature Reserve is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

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.

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.

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. 

Education resources (1)

What we're doing

Macquarie Nature Reserve has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents.