The best drives around Port Macquarie
Discover New South Wales’ mid-north coast with these day trips.
The motorcycle-friendly Wauchope is only twenty minutes’ drive from Port Macquarie, but its country charm makes it feel hours from the city.
Wauchope is a great destination for visitors who want to experience Australian pioneering life. Journey back in time to a 19th century timber village at the Timbertown Heritage Theme Park, complete with steam train and Cobb & Co Coach rides.
Visitors can head south from Port Macquarie along Ocean Drive, which offers 14km of stunning New South Wales coastal views. Along the way is the picturesque Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills villages.
Travel further south to Laurieton and North Brother Mountain which has a lookout over the Greater Port Macquarie region. Make sure you stop along the way at Miss Nellie's Café for a tea and scones just like your grandma made.
Day trippers can continue through Dunbogan onto Diamond Head Road, which leads inland to Crowdy Bay National Park. From this point, all roads are unsealed and only accessible by 4WD vehicles.
While Port Macquarie offers some amazing coastal drives, past Wauchope is day trip for those seeking an inland adventure. Travel west along the Oxley Highway towards the small town of Comboyne, which is great for a coffee stop.
Further west from Comboyne is New South Wales’ second oldest reserve – the Boorgana Nature Reserve. The park has several walking tracks that lead through magnificent rainforest to the Rawson Lookout and Mumford Creek.
About half an hour drive from Port Macquarie, near Wauchope, is the family-run Bago Vineyards – where the white port is a favourite among visitors. The cellar door and outdoor entertainment area sits atop a hill overlooking rows of grape vines and the Bago maze, which landscape architect Ian Mobbs took more than eight years to create.
Nearby is Cassegrain Winery, well known in New South Wales for its beautiful wines made using a blend of French and Australian wine making traditions. The winery’s Season Café-Restaurant, with picnic areas nestled in a rose garden, is a great place to stop off for lunch.
The Douglas Vale Historic Homestead and Vineyard in the Hastings region was built in 1862 and its homestead has been classified by the National Trust of Australia as a heritage site. The vineyard is volunteer run and produces wine from the original Isabella grape.
For groups that can’t decide on a designated driver, Frankie’s Tours offer a pre-planned winery tour around the Greater Port Macquarie region.
Visit Port Macquarie for more information on regional day trips.
Photo by Remy Brand