Where the Hastings River meets the sea in New South Wales, Australia, you’ll find the charming town of Port Macquarie. This beautiful seaside escape is best known for its stunning beaches, great surf, and laid back atmosphere. It was one of our favourite stops on our Brisbane to Sydney road trip!
Most visitors to Port Macquarie are looking to relax and getaway and the Port Macquarie beaches offer the perfect environment to do just that.
Top 5 Port Macquarie Beaches
Town Beach is one of the best Macquarie Beaches for surfing. Although protected from strong winds, the waves at Town Beach are perfect for riding into shore, and in the south section of the beach, there is a small walking trail leading up to a lookout spot called Flagstaff Point.
If you want to be active at the beach but don’t like to surf, try out the skate park or the outdoor gym. In addition, on the northern side of the beach, you’ll find a large breakwater full of colourfully painted rocks where visitors love to take pictures.
Right next to the beach, you’ll find the Maritime Museum and a park area where you can barbeque if you like. It’s a great beach for families and has toilets, showers, a cafe, and a parking lot right nearby.
Flynns Beach is an awesome all-around beach perfect for families, couples, or solo travelers. The beach is about half a kilometre long and sandwiched between two different rock formations to the north and south.
Popular activities here include swimming, barbequing, or eating at one of the many picnic tables in the grove of trees right behind the beach. There are toilets, a snack bar, and a lifeguard on duty, and it is easily accessible to those with disabilities.
Perhaps the best thing to do at Flynns Beach is to surf. If you don’t know-how, there’s a surf club right nearby where you can take lessons.
If you want to get away from the crowds and have the place to yourself, then head to North Beach. Although not technically inside the town limits, it is still considered one of the best Port Macquarie Beaches, being particularly well-known for surfing, fishing, and for being one of the only beaches that allow dogs on the sand.
To get to North Beach, you’ll have to cross the Hastings River via the Settlement Point Ferry. From there, it’s just a few minutes’ walk to the beach. However, it is best explored with a car, since you are allowed to drive a 4WD on this beach and can venture into Limeburners Creek National Park to the north.
Another perfect surfing beach is Lighthouse Beach in the southernmost part of Port Macquarie. Currents here are strong and the waves are powerful, so it is recommended for surfers at the intermediate level and higher. This is the longest beach in town, offering visitors plenty of space to take a nice long walk.
On the north end of the beach, make sure not to miss the Tacking Point Lighthouse, a historic building constructed in 1879. Just to the south, visit the Watonga Rocks and explore the rest of the beach that stretches beyond.
Shelly Beach is an idyllic stretch of white sand backed by a tall, sloping cliff. It’s one of the most peaceful and secluded Port Macquarie beaches and it’s perfect for those who want to get away from it all. Swimming at this beach is very good, but currents can get quite strong so it is best to use caution.
Nobby Head is on the northernmost point of this beach, and just to the south of that is the John Downes Park, a lovely little nature reserve with walking trails. The southern part of Shelly Beach is also a great place to explore nature, with Harry’s Lookout offering stunning views over the sea.
Keep walking farther south and you’ll enter the Flora and Fauna Reserve as well as Sea Acres National Park, two places definitely worth a visit.
Other Port Macquarie Beaches
Just to the south of Town Beach is Oxley Beach, a calm and secluded stretch of sand. This is one of the best Port Macquarie beaches for those who want some peace and quiet, and there is a short nature walk trail right behind the beach.
Rocky Beach certainly lives up to its name. If you love climbing over beach rocks, make sure not to miss this one. Not as many people come here to spend the day due to its terrain, but it makes for some awesome climbing, walking, and exploring around large and small rock formations.
For stunning views of the beach down below, make sure to hike up to the Rocky Beach lookout point. It’s one of the best views from all of the Port Macquarie beaches.
The most dog-friendly beach in Port Macquarie is definitely Nobbys Beach. Even if you don’t have a dog yourself, it might be worth it to visit this beach just to watch the dogs playing in the surf and sand.
The beach is very beautiful and secluded, offering a lot of peace and quiet. Be sure to walk all the way to the south end of the beach to Nobby Head, a massive rock formation that you can climb up to see the Henry Gardiner monument.
Miners Beach is another secluded beach with nature trails that offer stunning views of the sea. Just south of Shelly Beach, Miners can be visited and explored in half a day and is also connected to Sea Acres National Park.
This Port Macquarie Beach is one of the least visited because, in order to access it, you must hike in from Lighthouse Road which runs parallel to the beach.
All things considered, there really aren’t any bad Port Macquarie beaches. Each one of them is beautiful in its own way and has something different to offer. Choosing which ones to visit depends mainly on what you want to do there and your personal preferences.