national parks, reserves + forests

North Brother Lookout

Sea Acres Rainforest Centre in Sea Acres National Park is set amongst rare subtropical rainforest. This NSW National Parks Information Centre also offers visitors inspiring nature based and cultural experiences along a 1.3 km elevated wheelchair and stroller friendly boardwalk. Take a tour with one of our volunteer Rainforest Guides or join a Birpai Aboriginal Guide for a cultural bush tucker experience.  Sea Acres offers a beautiful range of unique gifts, including Aboriginal Art, homewares, educational toys and books. Discover the Hello Koala sculpture trail and learn the importance of protecting our koalas.  Complete your day by relaxing on the deck of the Rainforest Café and enjoy a delicious lunch, morning or afternoon tea.  5km south of the CBD, the centre is open 9am to 4.30pm 7 days. For more information please phone the Rainforest Centre on 6582 3355.

Dooragan National Park on North Brother Mountain overlooks Queens Lake and Camden Haven. Viewing platforms at the summit offer the most breath-taking views and are a must to visit. There is an easy 30 minute walk through lush rainforest, or try the Top Track which is a moderate 1 hour walk. You can return to the summit or continue on the Laurieton Track, which is a demanding 2 hour walk. Make sure to have a vehicle waiting at the other end.

Kattang Nature Reserve is accessed through Laurieton and across the Dunbogan bridge. The main feature is the majestic Perpendicular Point with its spectacular vertical cliffs plummeting 40 metres to the sea below. The reserve is surrounded by rock platforms, with the Camden River estuary to the north. The Flower Bowl Circuit (2km) is an easy walk with stunning coastal views or try the Perpendicular Point Walk (3.6km return) with panoramic views.

Crowdy Bay National Park heading south through Camden Haven and past the Dunbogan turn off, you'll find Crowdy Bay's long sweeping beaches, dramatic headland, extensive wetlands, rainforest pockets and untouched coastal land featuring beautiful wildflower displays. There are three camping areas around Diamond Head and several day use areas along the coast.

Boorganna Nature Reserve is a significant remnant of the extensive rainforest that once covered the Comboyne Plateau. The reserve protects 396 hectares of diverse vegetation ranging from Eucalypt forest to subtropical rainforest. Stroll the 2.7km walk that starts at the picnic area and descends through the tranquil rainforest to Rawson Falls. The return trip (uphill) takes about 2 hours at a steady pace. Bring your bird book, as the reserve is very popular for bird watching (best observed during the early hours of the day).

Burrawan State Forest located just 10 kilometres south of Wauchope you will find the world's largest Red Bloodwood tree! Tourism award-winning 'Old Bottlebutt' is unique in shape with its flared 'butt' with a girth of more than 16 metres. At 51 metres high and over 200 years old, this magnificent tree is the main feature on a beautiful 600 metre loop walking track that starts and ends at the Burrawan picnic area. From Wauchope travel south of Bago Road 10 kilometres, then turn left onto Internal Break Road and follow the signs. Open 24 hours, 7 days including public holidays.

Port Macquarie Galleries and Exhibitions

Port Macquarie celebrates its artists in a variety of ways. It has galleries, art trails, and hosts art exhibitions as some of the ways of celebrating its artists. You will see beautiful sculptures and captivating artworks while having a drink of some old beer. Here are few places you can visit to see how Port Macquarie celebrates its local artists.

Hello Koala Sculpture Trail

If you go across the Port Macquarie Hastings area - you can get a fantastic view of Koala statues scattered in the space. The artist trail project won Gold at the NSW Tourism awards of 2017. It also featured in the 2018 Australian Tourism Finals in February representing NSW. The sculpture trail is much acclaimed as Trip Advisor ranks it third amongst the list of things to do when in Macquarie. There are 12 Koala statues right in the middle of town, and 19 others a few minutes' drive away from the city centre.

Long Point Vineyard and Gallery

A few minutes from the Port is Long Point. Here, there is an art gallery with a beautiful collection of art made by local artists as well as sculptures that are permanently placed outdoors. This art gallery is a must visit. Here there is also a charming vineyard, where you can indulge in excellent wines and spirits.

Arthouse Industries

Glass studio features appealing artwork, clothing and handmade gifts. Here you can go for workshops as well as attend Lampwork glass demonstrations. In this industry, you will find an award-winning glass artist, Skye, who makes jewellery. She demonstrates from the studio how she moulds molten glass to create her wearable pieces. You can indulge your creative self here.

Glasshouse Regional Gallery

This is an art gallery at Port Macquarie which is the regional creative premier hub for culture, and the arts. An art exhibition at the gallery features sculptural, design, historical, traditional, indigenous, and contemporary pieces. There is no fee charged to go into the gallery.

Stitched 'n' Framed

This is the biggest patchwork shop in Port Macquarie. Fabrics can be purchased at the store or online. The staff at the store have years of experience doing patchwork. They mainly deal with modern, pretty and reproduction patchwork. They are the most recent Quilt Guild of Port Macquarie. They have a dealership for Handy Quilter, Baby Lock, Janome and Bernina machines. Famous and visiting tutors hold social sewing groups and classes in two workshop areas at the shop. When you are in Port Macquarie, be sure to indulge in the art available in the area.

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Top Whale Watching Opportunities: Tours and our favourite vantage points in Port Macquarie

Top Whale Watching Opportunities: Tours and our favourite vantage points in Port Macquarie

May 22 2018
Written by Pix Jonasson for Discover Media Australia The Port Macquarie region makes for the perfect coastal holiday to watch migrating whales along the NSW coast. Each year between May and November, the Port Macquarie coastal region is a haven for whale watching. A...