Port Macquarie is a lovely beach town in Australia that the locals affectionately call Port. The center of town is filled with excitement, but relaxation is only steps away at any of the multiple beaches. There are so many things to do in Port Macquarie, including a few free options for those looking to keep their budget in check while on holiday.
Our pick of the top 10 free activities
1. Visit the Koalas at the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie
It is always free to go visit the koalas at the Koala Hospital Port Macquarie. During a guided tour, you will see how these animals are cared for. Many koalas at this hospital are injured, so they require special treatment, as they are being nursed back to health. While it is free to visit this hospital, you can adopt a koala to help provide the needed funding to keep the hospital going.
2. Conquer the Port Macquarie Coastal Walk
The Port Macquarie Coastal Walk is nine kilometers in length, and it takes approximately three hours to walk it all the way to your starting point. You will see incredible views along the shoreline and may find yourself stopping numerous times to take pictures or to simply enjoy everything around you.
3. Go Whale Watching
You must plan your visit to Port Macquarie carefully if you want to go whale watching when you are there. The whales are not in this area all year long, so you must make sure you are there when they are! While you can go out with any of the many tour groups, you can catch a glimpse of these creatures from almost anywhere along the shoreline.
4. Visit Old Bottlebutt
Old Bottlebutt is an infamous tree within the Burrawan State Forest. The tree is more than two hundred years old and its unique shape is what makes it famous. You must hike to see this tree, but the trail is a loop that is only six hundred meters long.
5. Watch the Sunrise or Sunset
Both the sunrise and sunset in Port Macquarie are amazing, so it doesn’t really matter which one you take the time to see. Early risers will love heading out to watch the sun come up, while any night owls will love seeing the sunset. One of the best places for either one is Lighthouse Beach. However, after being in Port Macquarie for a couple days, you may discover other spectacular options as well.
6. Visit the Wauchope Farmers Market
Farmers’ markets aren’t always considered free, because you usually end up purchasing something at them. However, if you can simply wander around without temptation, visiting the Wauchope Farmers’ Market is an excellent way to spend a Saturday. This farmer’s market is only open on the fourth Saturday of every month, so you will need to plan your trip accordingly if you want to see it.
7. Explore the Historic Roto House
The Roto House was constructed by John Flynn back in 1891 and future generations lived there until 1979. It is now part of the National Parks and Wildlife Service. You can wander around this home on your own, but there are volunteers to share valuable information with you.
8. Visit the St. Thomas’ Anglican Church
There is never a fee to enter a church and you will definitely want to see the inside of this one when you are on holiday in Port Macquarie. While you can visit this church at any time, you are also welcomed to join the congregation during one of the services.
9. Dolphin Spotting along the Hastings River Breakwall
Everyone seems to love watching dolphins jump out of the water, so get in on the action down in Port Macquarie. A walk along the Hastings River Breakwall will have you watching the dolphins right near the sandbar. You will find this area packed on the weekends, so you may want to try to time your visit for the middle of the week when some of the locals are at work or school.
10. Spend time at the Beach
There are a few beaches along the shoreline of Port Macquarie, so it will be easier than you think to sink your toes in the sand and go for a little swim. It is difficult to choose a favorite beach in Port Macquarie, but after visiting a couple different options, you may discover your personal favorite before you head home.
These are ten of the best things to do in Port Macquarie for free. You may stumble on a few others during your visit, so it is best to leave some time available on your itinerary. If you don’t, you will need to skip over a couple and leave them for the next time you are in the area.