Port Macquarie Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Port Macquarie

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    TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE

    by balhannah Written Nov 10, 2013

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    New in town, wonder where the info centre is, then ask a local like we did!

    The Information centre is in the new Glasshouse, a building that has seen a bit of controversy!
    You can't miss this building as its huge and made of all glass. There is street parking surrounding the building.
    The building has doors that open and close for you, just be a bit careful with them, as they tend to close on the next person about to walk through. This gave me a fright and I saw some others having the same problem, and they were like me.

    This centre has everything and plenty of people behind the counter to help with bookings, accommodation, tours, anything you wish to know. Souvenirs are available and plenty of free maps and information on Port Macquarie and surrounding areas.

    The Port Macquarie FREE HOLIDAY GUIDE is a must to pick up.
    It has maps of all the different trails, even where to find things to do in the city, the beaches, out of town, the scenic drives, DISCOUNT COUPONS, tours, dining, shopping and much more than I have mentioned, an excellent publication!
    In fact, Port Macquarie has gone all out to make it a very pleasurable stay in their city.

    Make this your first stop as I did, then I was armed and ready to enjoy my time in Port Macquarie.

    OPEN 7 DAYS
    9.00am to 5.30pm on weekdays, and 9.00am to 4.00pm on weekends and public holidays.

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    SEA ACRES

    by balhannah Written Nov 10, 2013

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    I had already walked through quite a bit of Sea Acres National Park on my Beaches and Headlands walk. Now, we have come to the centre to see what is there. Watch for the brown tourist sign on Pacific drive to find the FREE CARPARK.
    This National Park contains one of the largest areas of coastal rainforest that includes many different types of trees, vines, ferns and even a Sea Hibiscus. There are also non rainforest areas which include grassland, banksia woodland and eucalyptus forest which I had already walked through.
    Being Australia, I didn't feel the need to pay to walk the 1.3 km elevated rainforest boardwalk at the Centre. You can explore by yourself by using the self guiding information or take a guided tour with a local volunteer. It is even wheelchair, pram and stroller friendly.
    Over a 100 species of Birds have been seen in the reserve, including the rare Wompoo Fruit-dove, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove and Osprey. Reptiles include the Lace monitor, Land Mullet and the Diamond python. You will have a good chance of spotting a Koala.
    Interested in bushtucker? Join one of the group tours with local Aboriginal guides.

    Sea Acres National Park is located 4km south of Town Beach at Port Macquarie, in Sea Acres Nature Reserve just on Pacific Drive, and lies adjacent to Shelly Beach. Travelling south along Pacific Drive, take the first turn after the Shelly Beach Road.

    Opening Hours are 9am to 4.30pm daily.
    Entry fee for the boardwalk

    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching

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    ROCKY BEACH LOOK-OUT

    by balhannah Written Nov 10, 2013

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    View of Rocky Beach
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    Rocky Beach – as its name suggests, is quite rocky and not really swimmer friendly.
    I wasn't on the beach, but at the wonderful Rocky Beach lookout where the views are great! There was a garden seat [already taken by a couple], a picnic bench and a chain fence on which there were love locks.

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    • Photography
    • Beaches
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    ST. THOMAS' ANGLICAN CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Nov 10, 2013

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    St Thomas' Church

    By Australian standards, the St. Thomas Anglican Church is extremely old.
    The Church was actually built by convict labour in1824, during the reign of King George IV, when Port Macquarie was a penal settlement.

    IT IS THE OLDEST CHURCH OUTSIDE OF SYDNEY.

    The first service in 1828, was attended by the Chaplain, Camp Commandant, some English Infantry and prisoners who were guarded. Interesting is that it still has original family boxes built with high sides and raised, so the Convicts and Families couldn't see each other. A rent was paid to use them, this was abolished in 1905. These can be seen on the website.
    Beneath the floor of the front Pew is where Captain Rolland, who died of sunstroke is buried.
    The Organ is an 1856 Walker Organ, the only one in the southern hemisphere. Upstairs, are historic documents and photos.

    As the Church is old, is was built from hand made bricks, some with fingermarks in them to indicate the progressive tally. The mortar was made from oyster shells.

    THE CHURCH IS OPEN 9.30 am - 12 noon & 2pm _ 4pm Monday to Friday.
    ADMISSION - A gold coin donation.
    SERVICES.
    Sundays 8am in the church 10am in the hall (9.45am Praise singing)
    Tuesdays 5.15pm Healing Service in the Church
    Wednesdays 11am in the Colonial Chapel

    Heritage Listed

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    PORT MACQUARIE MARINA

    by balhannah Updated Nov 10, 2013

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    Port Macquarie Marina
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    During our time at Port Macquarie, my husband had been to the Marina with friends. He wanted to show me what it was like, so that is how I came to be there. There are shops at the marina and a Café with outdoor tables overlooking the Boats, quite nice.
    Some lovely big boats docked here, AND in the water were a lot of Fish that were obviously waiting to be fed! Next time, I will bring some bread to throw to the fish.

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    • Sailing and Boating

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    ART SOCIETY MARKETS

    by balhannah Written Nov 9, 2013

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    I always enjoy a Market, so when I saw one advertised near our Caravan Park, I just had to go!
    By the amount of cars here, it looked like everybody knew about it. We found a car-park and made for the market located at Hamilton House.
    There were quite a few stalls selling mainly handmade local arts and crafts, clothing, Leather ware & stock-whips, fresh produce and food.
    I didn't buy anything, but I did enjoy looking - You never know if you never go!

    The Market is held weekly from 8am to 1pm.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Women's Travel
    • Family Travel

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    HISTORIC CEMETERY

    by balhannah Written Nov 9, 2013

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    Located at the end of Horton street, on the other side of the roundabout, is the Port Macquarie historic cemetery.
    Be careful crossing the road here as it's quite a busy roundabout.
    I had already picked up the FREE BOOKLET ON THE HISTORIC CEMETERY from the tourist information centre. This pointed out the most interesting graves and gave written information on each.

    There was one earlier cemetery to this one, and that was the one on Allman Hill I had previously visited.
    Where I was now, was in use between 1824 & 1887. Here I found the names and ages of 1,500 convicts, soldiers, farmers shopkeeper and their wives and children who were buried here. Once, there was a grave marker by each, these have long since rotted away.

    So, with my booklet in hand, I entered the cemetery, turning left, I followed the path to a fenced tomb, the first on my list.
    A lot of the tombstones were very hard to read, so I was glad to have the booklet. I found John Verge [grave 1], was responsible for building a lot of the now heritage listed buildings in Sydney.
    Sad ones were when a child died at 14months through diarrhea, another at age 32, through Peritonitis, Hepatitis - age 33, killed by a falling tree, wounded at war and many more types of death.

    THE cemetery officially closed in 1886, and now is classified by the National Trust of Australia.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Historical Travel

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    WESLEYAN CHAPEL

    by balhannah Written Nov 9, 2013

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    Wesleyan Chapel
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    Also located along Horton street, is the dear little Wesleyan Chapel that's been standing here since 1845. It was the first Methodist Church on the North Coast, and one of the first built by voluntary subscription and mainly voluntary labour. As Port Macquaries population fell, so did the Church congregation, so in 1848. it closed its doors. In 1857, it opened its doors once again.
    During the 1870s, alterations were made to the nave and in 1928 replacements of the porch, although much is still the original. It was restored in 1995 and is used as a Chapel for special occasions.
    The building is classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

    The Chapel is open very limited hours
    Monday to Friday, 11am to 1pm.
    Walking: 5 minutes from the Town Green.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    ST. AGNES ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Nov 9, 2013

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    St. Agnes
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    One of the most prominent Churches in Port Macquarie is the Catholic St. Agnes Church which was built in 1940. Located high on the hill in Hay street, it was another church with closed doors! The Church has a high tower and several crosses, making it easy to use as a location finder!
    Look for the steps and notice to the Church as you walk along Horton street. The Church land takes up the whole block through from Horton to Hay street. There is the Church administration, Presbytery and the Mary MacKillop gift shop.

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    • Religious Travel

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    WALK HORTON STREET.

    by balhannah Written Nov 9, 2013

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    Horton street
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    Leaving the River area behind, I decide to walk Horton street in the CBD, the tree lined divided main street of Port Macquarie.
    The street is lined with shops on either side, and it's also where some heritage listed buildings are located. If you need a Bank and ATM machine, then you will find them here.

    I began with the Ritz Centre and then made my way along the street, coming to the heritage Westpac Bank. The site was originally owned by Corporal Michael Fahy of the 28Th Regiment, and bought by the Bank of New South Wales in 1882. The Bank was in the same building until 1891, when a new building was constructed. It was 1893 and the Westpac Bank was in operation again, and still is using the same building. Renovations have been done over the years, but it still has the same imposing façade.
    Open: Monday to Friday: 10am to 4pm. Saturday: 9am to 1pm.
    Another imposing Bank is the ANZ. I reach the first set of traffic lights, and there is a small clock, so if you want to know the time, look there!

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    THE RITZ CENTRE

    by balhannah Written Nov 9, 2013

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    Ritz centre

    Looking at the Ritz Centre immediately brought to mind Art Deco. I don't know when it was built, but it is a Port Macquarie landmark.
    It houses the Majestic Cinema if you wish to go to the Movies whilst on holiday. Other tenants were McDonalds, a fresh juice place, and a Ice-creamery.

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    STATUE OF SIR EDMUND BARTON

    by balhannah Updated Nov 9, 2013

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    Sir Edmund Barton

    The larger then life size bronze statue of Sir Edmund Barton I came across near the Royal Hotel.

    Sir Edmund Barton became Australia's first Prime Minister at a grand ceremony in Centennial Park, Sydney, on 1 January 1901
    In 1903, Barton resigned to become one of the three judges who founded Australia's High Court.
    He happened to be the member of Parliament for the Hastings and Macleay region before Federation.

    In 2002, for the Centenary of Federation, the sculpture was completed and put in the Town Green at the northern end of Horton Street, Port Macquarie.
    It is made, so somebody can sit either side of the statue, unfortunately, I was on my own and had nobody to take a photo for me!

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    • Historical Travel
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    BEACH & HEADLANDS WALK # 13

    by balhannah Updated Nov 9, 2013

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    Town Beach
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    My last Beach on my walk was Town Beach.
    As you most probably guessed, Town Beach is the closest beach to the town centre and is the most popular in Port Macquarie. The long beach, curves between the southern river entrance wall and Green Mound, a jagged headlad. There are numerous rocks in the surf increasing toward the Mound. It does has lovely fine sand, but has permanent rips against the entrance wall and the Mound - You shouldn't be swimming in this area.

    For swimming, DO SWIM BETWEEN THE FLAGS, where the Lifesavers are on patrol and ready to help if you have trouble. This location has been chosen because IT IS SAFE TO SWIM THERE.

    This is popular spot with board riders of which there were quite a few in the water the day I was there.
    Also why it's popular is that there is a Kiosk, a lawned picnic/bbq area, and FREE CAR PARKING which runs the length of the beach for 100 cars.

    This concludes my 9km walk along the beaches and headlands, one I really enjoyed and I hope you did too!
    I will now walk around the city centre.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Surfing

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    THE ROYAL HOTEL

    by balhannah Updated Nov 9, 2013

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    Located in a lovely position overlooking a lawned area and the waterfront, is the historic Royal Hotel. It was built in 1841, mainly to be used as accommodation for visiting officers and the new settlers. The hotel was burnt down in 1886 and rebuilt in 1887. In 1999 the building was completely restored back to the era of the 1880s.

    I am not sure if the Hotel still trades under that name, as where the patrons were seated was named the Beachhouse Cafe and Bar.
    What-ever it's named, it is a very popular place to come and enjoy a meal, then later party.
    It is known as the most up to date and fashionable bar in Port Macquarie, one to come and be seen! This is the place to enjoy a German Beer.

    OPEN...
    Mon - Thurs: 7.30am-Midnight
    Fri - Sat: 7.30am - Late
    Sunday: 7.30am - 10pm

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    BIRDWATCHING

    by balhannah Updated Nov 9, 2013

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    From Gaol Point, I followed the pathway to the historic graves. The path winds its way past some very tall Norfolk Island pines, giving me views of the best positioned Caravan Park in Port Macquarie. This is the Sundowner Breakwater Tourist Park, one you should keep in mind if you want self contained accommodation.
    This area is known to be where certain species of Birds frequent. For Bird - watchers, the council has been kind enough to erect a sign with pictures and descriptions of the Birds found in the area.

    The information centre has a Bird Watching spots pamphlet for FREE
    It happens to be one of the best I have come across, as it names of ALL the Birds found in the Hastings area [Port Macquarie & surrounds] and the names of all the locations where Birds have been sighted. A very helpful pamphlet for Birdwatchers.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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