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St Thomas' Church, Port Macquarie
St Thomas' Church, Port Macquarie
Author: Cgoodwin (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Port Macquarie is a port city on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is located at the mouth of the Hastings River, about 390 km (242 mi) north of Sydney and 570 km (354 mi) south of Brisbane. The city has a population of 44,000 people.

Guide to Port Macquarie Hotels

Here's a list of hotels in Port Macquarie that you can book online, with full description, star rating, address, location map, evaluation, and prices as offered by different booking sites. This helps you to make your room booking with the site that offers the best price.

More on Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie was founded by surveyor John Oxley in 1818. He was journeying from the interior to the coast. Arriving at the mouth of the Hastings River, he named the site in honor of Lachlan Macquarie, the Governor of New South Wales.

Port Macquarie began as a penal settlement. It replaced Newcastle at the prison camp for convicts who committed secondary crimes while in New South Wales. This was because Newcastle was no longer ideal as it had lost its isolation, being surrounded by farms. The thick bush and rough terrain of Port Macquarie would ensure irredeemable criminals do not escape.

Ben's Chair, the view point with Tacking Point Lighthouse, Port Macquarie
Ben's Chair, the view point with Tacking Point Lighthouse, Port Macquarie
Author: Marshypoo (Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

In addition to the hardcore convicts, Port Macquarie also received educated convicts who had voiced opposing views against then governor, Ralph Darling. They were joined by disabled convicts, often men with just one arm, and put to hard labor breaking stones.

Eventually the Port Macquarie area also began to develop, as the land was cleared for sugar cane plantations. This forced the penal settlement to relocate once again, to Moreton Bay. Meanwhile, civic infrastructure was improving at Port Macquarie. The St Thomas' Anglican Church was built in 1828. Port Macquarie became a municipality in 1887.

Visiting Port Macquarie

There are three flights per day from Sydney to Port Macquarie. Flight takes about an hour. Bus services by Greyhound and Premier Motor Service connects Port Macquarie with Sydney and Brisbane. Journey takes 8 hours from Sydney and 10 hours from Brisbane. You can also drive from Sydney to Port Macquarie on National Route 1 heading north. The same highway heading south from Brisbane takes you there as well.

Tacking Point Lighthouse, Port Macquarie
Author: © Cgoodwin

Places of Interest in Port Macquarie

  1. St Thomas' Church
    Anglican parish church built in the Georgian style in 1828. It is one of the oldest churches in Australia and one of the few remaining ones to be built using convict labor.

  2. Tacking Point Lighthouse
    Lighthouse at Ben's Chair, a location with scenic views of the ocean. Built in 1879, it is the third oldest lighthouse in Australia.