Port Macquarie Things to Do

  • Picking strawberries at Ricardos
    Picking strawberries at Ricardos
    by iandsmith
  • The shop, well, part thereof
    The shop, well, part thereof
    by iandsmith
  • More tomatoes
    More tomatoes
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Best Rated Things to Do in Port Macquarie

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    Timbertown - part 1

    by iandsmith Updated Aug 23, 2004

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    How could you not love your draught horse

    Timbertown is an attempt at creating what a community from the late 19th and early 20th century might have looked like.
    Personally, I have always enjoyed the atmosphere there, except one day when I was doing a call at one of the restaurants and the temperature in the shade was, wait for it, 43 degrees. Heaven knows what it was in the carpark where I pulled up.
    That day was an exception however and, with the wonderfully tall and shady trees around, it provided some relief. Most of the time it's very pleasant temperature wise.
    This is a shot of Mandy and one of her horses. I wouldn't say Mandy likes horses. No, that would be totally inadequate. Passionately in love with our four footed bretheren would be getting closer but still inadequate. To find out how passionate, go see her and her horses. Allow half an hour if you're not interested in horses, all day if you are.

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Horse Riding

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    Timbertown - part IV

    by iandsmith Updated Mar 19, 2005

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    Fancy a cuppa?

    This delightful lady's name is Lee. Lee runs the team rooms at Timbertown and has recently bought the restaurant across the road and she's very nice to boot.
    What this leads me to is the story behind Timbertown. Originally it was set up as a private venture and functioned that way for quite a few years. The restaurant at the front made money; I know this because I used to supply chemicals to the two Lebanese who ran it.
    The whole project itself however was not really financially viable and, eventually, it was closing. Enter the local council who took over and ran it somewhat differently and, though it was still popular, money was being lost and they too decided closing was the only option. The good townsfolk of Wauchope, an easy 20 minutes inland from Port, found that the turnover at local businesses was down over 15% due to Timbertown's closure.
    Thus, a little while later it reopened, with some private enterprise, some volunteers and a whole lot of goodwill.
    Personally, I wish them well. It is extremely rare to find this type of attraction. A genuine attempt at rustic replication without all the hype and bluster of many other modern theme parks. Entry can be free but a donation in the box provided will help us all keep this type of venue operating.

    Related to:
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Historical Travel
    • Food and Dining

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    The Astronomical Observatory

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 2, 2007

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    Port Macquarie Observatory

    We attended the Wednesday night Public Viewing and Presentation Night and were surprised to find more than 40 guests , the observatory was as tight as a jar of jelly beans. There was a central hall with a large screen where they showed a 20 minute documentary explaining the stars and universe, it was very well done. The presentation included astronautes in the space station and living with the change in gravity.

    We then filed into the observatory room where each person had a very short time on the telescope which had been set up for a view of Saturn. Later in the evening we returned to the telescope to view Alpha Sentori. It was a most interesting evening a little hampered through the large attendance due to it being school holidays.

    Viewings are scheduled for Wednesdays and Sundays and bookings are requested. Cost Au$15 family, $5 adults, $4 child.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Seniors

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    "Alma Doepel" Sailing Ship

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 2, 2007

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    The "Alma Doepel" is the only Australian built commercial square rigged sailing vessel to have survived. Presently moored at the town wharf the ship is being renovated and upon gaining a licence will be used as a sail training ship. Some details about this sailing ship:

    Launched 10th October, 1903
    Built at Belligen, NSW ( a few hours drive away)
    Length (hull) 35.4 metres
    Overall 45.57 metres
    Breadth 8.1 metres
    Draught 2.29 metres
    Sail Area 387 m2
    Tonnage 251 tons

    Materials: Wood throughout except steel lower masts.
    We were shown all over the ship, including the bunk area (18 bunks) and a glimpse of the engine room.
    Well worth a visit and I recommend you allocate an hour as there is much to see. Entry AU$3 per person.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Historical Museum - History Of The Pioneers

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 3, 2007

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    Historical Museum, Port Macquarie
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    This museum is a must see for anyone visiting Port Macquarie who wishes to know a little about the history of the town and its pioneers. Initial settlement in 1821 was as a penal settlement and there are many exhibits within the museum relating to those days. The 2 story building has 14 rooms containing exhibits, some of the larger rooms having a mulitude of exhibits from the first years and right up to the 20th century with everyday furniture and applicances dating back to the pre and post WW11. Some rooms are set up to resemble how the pioneer families lived, a combined bedroom for parents and child etc etc.

    Give yourself at least an hour or longer to see the exhibits, it is well worth the time and entry is very cheap.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Timbertown - part V

    by iandsmith Written Aug 11, 2004

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    Looks like tractor, sounds like a tractor, is one

    Scattered around the venue are bits of equipment and machinery, such as this steam tractor here.
    It all adds to the atmosphere and there are no security guards around to keep you at arms length. You can touch and feel the beasts and, as described elsewhere, hear their roar as they burst with life.
    It costs nothing to get in and thus is one of the best value theme parks anywhere!

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Sunday Market - Art Society Market & Bazaar

    by Mikebb Written Apr 22, 2007

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    Some of The Colourful Market Stalls
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    This market is located approx 5 minutes drive from town along the Hastings River Drive. There were about 40 stalls selling everything from old tools , locally grown fruit & vegetables, craft, flowers and snack food and drinks.

    The market is run by the local Art Society which also opens it Gallery, which is an old house on the site, and has many painting on display and sale.

    Well worth a visit and I am sure the kids will love it. The market is open every Sunday, 8am to 1pm.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Lets Go Fishing

    by Mikebb Updated Mar 28, 2007

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    Blackfish, A Nice Size
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    The Hastings River is a great place to fish, just in front of the town centre there is a rocky breakwall all the way to the river mouth, it is from this point you can see fishermen enjoying their sport. We went for a walk along the riverfront mid morning and saw several fishermen in action, one guy was particularly successful catching 2 large Blackfish during the 10 minutes we watched. The weather was so good it was a joy to be down by the river.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Fishing
    • Family Travel

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    Timbertown - part III

    by iandsmith Written Aug 11, 2004

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    Chug a lug chug a lug

    There are many more engines than train engines on display however. There is a replica old timber mill with machines still working, tended by keen volunteers.
    The sound of the piston punching power through and the sight of a massive flywheel continuing the power brings a glow to the hearts of the mechanically minded.
    Actually seeing these old machines working is something that many children find fascinating.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Theme Park Trips
    • Budget Travel

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    Timbertown - part II

    by iandsmith Written Aug 11, 2004

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    Just like new

    As you enter Timbertown, one of the first things you come across is the railway station. There is a small loop of railway track and the train, with passenger carriages, goes every hour.
    The exuding steam gasping in the filtered sunlight, the whistle beckoning patrons, the chuff-chuff as it commences its run, just try keeping your kids off that one!
    The train is of the type used to haul logs a century ago and its circuit through the forest is a fair indicator of the type of terrain this vehicle would have traversed in its heyday.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

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    Ellenborough Falls

    by iandsmith Written Aug 18, 2004

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    A world of its own

    One of Australia's best known waterfalls, Ellenborough is situated on the high plateau and lush rolling hills around Elands, about an hour's drive from Port Macquarie.
    These days there are some good facilities there. For instance, there is a kiosk, toilets, tables and chairs and a sealed carpark, the latter in contrast to the dirt road you will have to traverse to get there.
    There is a 600 metre walk around to the opposite side where there is a lookout and a wooden stairway to the base of the falls.
    These falls are one of scores that abound in the area. To find the others requires research or someone who knows the area.
    You can see some of what I'm talking about in my Comboyne pages.

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

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    Comboyne

    by iandsmith Written Aug 18, 2004

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    Al fresco dining at its finest, mind the leeches

    One of the unspoilt gems of the Australian rainforest, this is one of the most accessible yet least visited areas I know of.
    Stunningly beautiful waterfalls, magnificent forest, abundant wildlife; it's all there for the nature lover and only 40 minutes from Port Macquarie.
    Apart from Ellenborough Falls, hardly anyone is aware of how many cascades they are driving past. I've unearthed scores over the last decade and continue to be amazed at the wealth of beauty that abounds in this area. If all that isn't enough then the vistas off Upper Landsdowne Road across to the Tasman Sea would be enough to satisfy the jaded viewer of landscapes.
    There is limited accommodation in the town so staying at Port Macquarie isn't a bad option if you want to see the area. There is a cafe and small supermarket in the town when you're up there so you won't starve.

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

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    Adventure Flights - Akuna Seaplanes

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Seaplane With Roaring Engine Preparing For Take Of
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    We were looking through the "Alma Doepel" sailing ship when I heard an engine roar, looking up I saw the float plane 20 metres away roaring its engine and preparing for take off. We quickly took a few more photos and watched as the small plane eventually got airborne about 300 metres away.

    Light planes are not for me but for those interested in Adventure Flights, scenic and thrillseeker flights then give Akuna Seaplanes a call.

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Singles
    • Family Travel

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    The Walk II

    by iandsmith Updated Sep 28, 2004

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    View from Windmill Hill Lookout

    At the end of the Uptin Walk there is Flagstaff Hill, just 83 steps up and you're there..........or, 83 steps down and you're not there! It has a seat to rest on and lovely views back towards Town Beach and on to Oxley Beach.
    From here it becomes the Doctor's Walk that takes you around to Windmill Hill Lookout and the appropriately named Rocky Beach, a name that highlights the problems associated with surfing around Port, i.e. most of the beaches have rocky reefs and small islands which cause chaos to the wave patterns.
    This does not detract from the scenic beauty of the walk however, in fact, it may even enhance it.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

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    THE KOALA HOSPITAL

    by balhannah Written Nov 8, 2013

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    I had read about a Koala Hospital at Port Macquaie, so put it on my list of "must sees."

    I walked through the Port Macquarie Nature Reserve where there would have been Koalas in the trees. I didn't see any, and I was looking! The walkway led me to the Koala Hospital.
    Here, I found the Koalas in large enclosures, all were asleep as it was the middle of the day. Information on each Koala on how it was injured and where it came from etc, was attached to each pen. Some very sad stories, although the upside is they are alive and doing well in the Hospital.
    You can walk through and view all for FREE, DONATION TINS are scattered around if you wish to help.

    WHY DONATE..... Because this Hospital is a registered Charity and is entirely run by volunteers. To raise enough money to keep the centre running, money has to be raised some way. Approx $160,000 is needed per year.

    The centre has a FREE GUIDED TOUR AT 3PM EVERY DAY.
    They can't charge a fee because they are a charity, so they rely on donations given by the public who take these tours.
    The tour takes you around the enclosures where the Koalas are recovering after receiving treatment. The plus with the tour, is you see them being fed and hear first hand the sad stories of how they came to be here.

    More on next review

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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Port Macquarie Things to Do

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