Port Macquarie Accommodation

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Exploring Port Macquarie

The thriving city of Port Macquarie is the fastest-growing of all New South Wales cities and towns, and is set along the coastline, 390 kilometres from Sydney. Divided by the Hastings River, the city draws visitors to its famous Billabong Koala Park as well as to enjoy the sight of koalas sharing their original habitation with incoming humans. Port Macquarie is also a popular destination for retirees looking to spend time on the beaches and waterways from their new homes in the waterside residential suburbs stretching from the north shore to Lighthouse Beach.

The city’s sub-tropical climate is perfect for beach-lovers, with nine sandy strands to choose from, and the local airport offers regular daily flights to Sydney and outlying towns. For a day in more peaceful surroundings, Lake Cathie is 15 minutes away by car and boasts a lagoon and beaches, as well as the lovely lake itself. Attractions in Port Macquarie include activities, such as boating, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, heritage tours, Chinese junk cruise, and even camel rides on the sands.

Sights nearby

The Hunter Valley, home to Port Macquarie, is known for its vineyards and its stunning countryside, and the city has enough museums and heritage buildings to please history buffs looking for activities after days on the beach.

- Douglas Vale Historic Vineyard

Classified by the Australian National Trust, Douglas Vale was one of the earliest vineyards in the region and was famous for its wines between 1867 and 1918. Visitors can tour the acres of vines and the remaining areas of formal gardens.

- Lake Cathie

This pretty, small beach resort is a 15-minute drive from Lake Macquarie and is known for its lagoon and unspoiled beaches, as well as for the lake itself. Fishing, boating, and water sports are popular and, in the grand old Australian tradition of super-sized landmark objects, the bowling club’s green features an enormous, bright blue bowling ball.

- Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park

Everyone’s favourite attraction here is the Koala Park, with its huge number of protected koalas which are well-used to admiration and petting by visitors. Kangaroos and spider monkeys are kept in the park as well as reptiles, wombats, wallabies, and many more indigenous species. The park boasts Australia’s best-known koala breeding centre and makes for a great day out for families.

- Port Macquarie Heritage Walking Trail

The city is one of the oldest penal settlements on the Australian continent, with the walking trail leading visitors past 13 fascinating heritage sites and historic buildings. The Historical Society is found in a convict-built house dating from 1836 and St Thomas’s Church is the fifth-oldest house of worship in the country. The North Coast Maritime Museum displays the city’s rich seafaring history through model ships, memorabilia, charts, maps, and old photographs.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Port Macquarie’s growing reputation as the gourmet hub of South Wales’ mid North Coast is built on award-winning, locally-produced wines and ultra-fresh, locally-grown produce. Bistros, a la carte restaurants, friendly family eateries, traditional fish and chip shops, contemporary cafés, and romantic hideaways for dinner a deux all contribute to the foodie scene. Seafood is a favourite, and restaurants in the better hotels, such as the Aston Hill Motor Lodge and the Rydges Port Macquarie, will satisfy even the fussiest eater. Retail therapy is an essential part of any holiday, with Clarence and Horton streets hubs for unique boutiques and craft stores, and the Foreshore Market fun as well as a showcase of local produce.

Public transport

Getting to Port Macquarie is easy by car, long-distance bus, ferry, or by air to the city’s small airport. Self-drive from Sydney makes use of a scenic route along the coastline and is the most convenient way to tour the Hunter Valley. Coastal walks link many of the city districts, cycling is encouraged, and shuttle buses link the shopping areas, the beaches, and many of the attractions. Two ferries run to nearby points of beauty along the coast.