Hastings River Trail

The Hastings River rises in the Great Dividing Range in the surrounding Oxley Wild Rivers National Park and Werrikimbe National Park and flows generally south, southeast and east, joined by seven tributaries before reaching 180 kilometres later its mouth at Port Macquarie.

Unlike the other rivers its upper reaches are still accessible through the national parks in the region and special river side villages like Ellenborough, and Beechwood as well as the larger centre of Wauchope. However it is lower reaches where today the Hastings River has become central to the identity Port Macquarie and its tourism industry.

Here are our Top Ten experiences on the Hastings River:

Mid North Coast Maritime Museum

Latitude -31.4306078°
Longitude 152.9217594°
  • 2-6 William St Port Macquarie 2444

The importance of shipping to the early development of Port Macquarie, combined with a dangerous harbour entrance, resulted in many shipwrecks. At the Pilot’s Cottages, built in 1896, you can see salvaged items from these wrecks and many more items from the vibrant maritime history of the area. The cottages are now one of three venues of the Mid North Coast Maritime Museum. Open daily 10am to 4pm.

Telephone (02) 6583 1866


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Port Macquarie Museum

Latitude -31.4292246°
Longitude 152.9101258°
  • 22 Clarence St Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Dating from c1836 the Historical Society Museum building is one of the only remaining convict built structures left in Port Macquarie. The award winning museum houses an extensive collection of over 20,000 artefacts, spread over a number of themed buildings and displays. It is the ideal place to see and hear the stories of one of the earliest settlements outside of Sydney.

Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Telephone (02) 6583 1108.

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Boorgana Nature Reserve

Latitude -31.6119054°
Longitude 152.3594992°
  • Colling Rd, Boorganna NSW 2429

The obvious place to visit in in the upper reaches of the river is the Boorgana Nature Reserve. Parts of this reserve were gazetted in 1904, making it the second oldest in NSW. It now extends over nearly 400 hectares and includes the impressive Rawson Falls. This is best reached from the picnic area which is located 6.5km west of the town of Comboyne. From the picnic area you can stroll down the 2.7 km walking track which descends into the rainforest. About half way along this track Rawson Lookout overlooks the 40 metre drop of the falls. Be warned however that the walk back is all uphill. For more information visit http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/NationalParks/parkHome.aspx?id=N0410

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Rocks Ferry Reserve

Latitude -31.4520351°
Longitude 152.7429231°
  • Unnamed Road, Wauchope NSW 2446

The Rocks Ferry Reserve is a fantastic place for a picnic with free barbecues, toilets, playground facilities and an artificial beach. With easy access to the water it is a great place to try your hand at fishing or to launch a boat, canoe or kayak. 4 km Rocks Ferry Walking Trail will take you along the picturesque Hastings River in Wauchope. The nearby Jack Dwyer Reserve allows for elevated views of the Hastings River and has shaded seating areas and boardwalks suitable for those with mobility issues.

Download a copy of the Walking Trail here

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The heart of Port Macquarie

Latitude -31.4288292°
Longitude 152.9122352°
  • 1 Munster St, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

There are so many opportunities to take to the water right in the heart of Port Macquarie. Just along Town Green to the west you will find a number of various cruises and boat trips. You can take sunset cruises, lunch cruises, adventure rides, eco cruises and more on everything from Chinese junks to jet boats.

For more information contact the Port Macquarie VIC at 1300 303 155 (available within Australia only) or (02) 6581 8000,

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Town Green

Latitude -31.4282172°
Longitude 152.8897264°
  • Horton St, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

From Town Green you can also take a leisurely walk along the Hastings River foreshore. A feature at Town Green is the Lady Nelson Wharf named after one of the three ships that arrived at this point in 1821 to establish the penal settlement of Port Macquarie. From here head west along the boardwalk past the local cruise boats and fish co-op. Crossing over Kooloonbung Creek you arrive at Westport Park with its stunning views of the river and the town. Your walk continues around the Port Macquarie Marina to Settlement City from where you can bus back to town or simply retrace your steps.

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Succulent Oysters Today


The local oyster industry now over 125 years old has grown to be an important part of the food and wine experiences that Port Macquarie is increasingly becoming known for. From basic oysters to eat at the beach or BBQ to fine dining restaurants and food festivals local oysters is centre stage.

Ferry Across The Hastings River

Latitude -31.406722°
Longitude 152.8998331°
  • Port Macquarie NSW 2444

A unique experience for many today is to revisit the past by taking a car ferry across the Hastings River. There are two vehicle ferry services. The Settlement Point ferry operates between Settlement Point Road and North Shore Drive. The Hibbard ferry operates between Boundary Street and Riverside Drive.  The Settlement Point Ferry operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week except on the fourth Wednesday of each month when the ferry is serviced between 9.30am and 3.00pm. The Hibbard Ferry has more restricted hours. For detailed information visit www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/Places/Getting-around/Ferries

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Art on the Wall

Latitude -31.428274°
Longitude 152.9150705°
  • Town Beach Park, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

As with other areas on the Mid North Coast what were built as important infrastructure ( river breakwalls ) have now become features in terms of public art telling so many in stories of individuals, both local and tourists. The Hastings River break wall is now an integral part of the coastal walk that stretches over 10 kilometres along the town’s river and beaches.

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Tacking Point Lighthouse

Latitude -31.4756088°
Longitude 152.9347589°
  • Lighthouse Rd, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Built in 1879 and designed by Colonial architect James Barnet, the Tacking Point Lighthouse was critical to improved safety on the sea and water.  The Keeper was withdrawn in 1919 when the light was replaced by automatic flashing lights. The foundations of the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage can be seen next to the lighthouse. Recent works on site has also seen the erection of six major interpretation signs on a variety of subjects including the history of the lighthouse, the history and layout of the lighthouse keeper’s cottage and local shipwrecks.

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