Port Macquarie, population 33 700, in Biripi country, was founded in 1821 as a remote convict settlement and lock-up for Sydneys worst convicts. As the population spread northwards from Sydney the penal settlement was closed, the worst criminals sent to Moreton Bay, Brisbane or Norfolk Island and free settlers were invited in. Located on the coast, 423 kilometres, 264.4 miles north of Sydney, the town is now a major seaside holiday resort.

To the north of the Port Macquarie town is Town Beach, situated at the mouth of the Hastings River. The rocks beneath Flagstaff Hill shelter the southern part of the beach so it offers safe swimming and the northern end is ideal for surfing. Seven other beaches extend southwards from Town Beach.

Port Marina has a boat ramp, a restaurant, a fishing wharf, bicycle hire and a boat-hire service, as well as the usual berths, moorings, slipway and bait shops.

Wander through 30 ha of tranquil rainforest on a 1.3 km multi-level boardwalk at the Sea Acres and take in the therapeutic surroundings.

Koalas can be seen in the natural bushland and landscaped gardens of Kingfisher Park. There are also farmyard pets, kangaroos, wallabies and Australian birds. Kingfisher Park is open daily.

Take a camel ride along the beach near Port Macquarie and experience the landscape from a unique point of view.

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