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During our we uncovered two fabulous areas in NSW, Australia which I think are worthy of a mention. The Great Macquaries – Port Macquarie located on the mid north NSW coast, and Lake Macquarie located on the central NSW coast. Both, funnily enough, are named after Governor Lachlan Macquarie, the last autocratic Governor of New South Wales who reigned from 1810 to 1821.
Was first settled as a penal settlement in New South Wales in 1821. Shortly afterwards the first sugar cane crops were planted here and the Settlers quickly took advantage of the area’s good pastoral land, timber resources and fisheries.
The town is located on the coast, at the mouth of the Hastings River and has beautiful beaches and seaside villages including Laurieton, Lake Cathie, Camden Haven and North Haven while Wauchope and Kendall are just two of the rural communities in this beautiful coastal region of NSW that’s packed with stunning natural attractions – beaches, lakes and rivers, rainforests, national parks and nature reserves.
The top 10 things to do in Port Macquarie are:
1. Cruise along the Hastings River – whale-watching, dolphin spotting or on a fast jet-boat.
2. Go to the Glasshouse – see a show or an exhibition at the new arts, conference and entertainment centre.
3. Drive out to the Hinterland – Wauchope is the gateway to 40,000 hectares of lush green valleys, forests and cute villages for a scenic drive to charming Beechwood and dairy-farming Comboyne.
4. Surf or swim at Lighthouse Beach or Flynns Beach.
5. Visit the Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park – offers a wide variety of Australian and exotic animals, reptiles and birds and lots of interactive shows all day.
6. Tour the Wineries – visit the cellar doors, some with cafes, at the local wineries at Cassegrain, Bago, Innes Lake, Innes View Vineyard, Long Point, Rose’s Vineyard and historic Douglas Vale Vineyard.
7. Go on a Historical Walk – through Port Macquarie’s CBD to the Maritime Museum, the convict built St Thomas’ Church, the Historic Court House and the Historical Society’s Museum.
8. Drive out to North Brother Mountain – enjoy a picnic with panoramic views 560m above sea level at North Brother Mountain in Camden Haven.
9. Cuddle a koala at the Koala Hospital – rescues 250-300 koalas every year with a feed, walk and talk tour every day at 3pm.
10. See the views from Tacking Point Lighthouse – Australia’s third oldest lighthouse, at the top of Lighthouse Beach for spectacular view of Port Macquarie’s beautiful coastline and beaches.
One of the largest coastal saltwater lakes in Australia, is set between 30 Km of pristine coastline and the beautiful forests of the Watagan Mountains. Lake Macquarie comprises of over 90 town centres and smaller communities dotted across the area’s beach, lake and mountain landscape.
It is a water-lover’s haven with the huge expanse of Lake Macquarie with 110 square kilometres of water and a coastline with superb beaches.
The top 10 things to do in Lake Macquarie are:
2. Walk or cycle the Fernleigh Track – a popular heritage railway corridor featuring old stations and a 180m tunnel.
3. Experience Warners Bay foreshore – take a walk at Warners Bay and don’t miss the Redbluff elevated boardwalk.
4. See the studio of Sir William Dobell in Wangi Wangi – esteemed Australian artist.
5. Ski, sail, swim, cruise or kayak on the lake.
6. Shop til you drop – visit the largest shopping centre in the Hunter at Charleston Square.
7. Explore the Watagans National Park – bushwalk to waterfalls and spectacular lookouts.
8. Swim or surf at one of Lake Macquarie’s four patrolled Surf Beaches – Catherine Hill Bay, Redhead, Blacksmiths or Caves Beach.
9. Hire a fishing boat and go fishing – there are 30 boat ramps, 25 jetties and 110 square Kms of water and an abundance of fish.
10. Tour around the lake and check out over 90 villages and town centres with over 100 restaurants and cafes to sustain you.
I must admit I can’t decide which of the two Great Macquaries that I preferred more. They both have so much to offer and their natural beauty is something to behold.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.