Endless pristine waterways and sleepy seaside villages...

If you're staying in Port Macquarie and looking for a day trip this one has it all; nature walks, scenic lookouts, more beaches, a lake, National Parks plus fresh local seafood if that's your fancy.  To get started head south out of Port Macquarie on Ocean Drive.  This road hugs the coast passing through the coastal villages of Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills.  Which in themselves are both worthy of a visit but today we're heading further south!  On the drive there are spectacular coastal views from the headlands looking over some 14 kilometres of pristine beaches. 

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Your drive today is taking you to North Haven, Laurieton and Dunbogan.  First stop is at the picturesque riverside park at North Haven, on the northern bank of the Camden Haven River, take a stroll along the breakwall or swim in the netted tidal pool to cool off.  There are plenty of great cafe's to grab a coffee or a bite of morning tea.  

Continuing on you drive into Laurieton which is nestled under the shadow of impressive North Brother Mountain. Home to plenty of cafes, a delightful art-deco cinema, clubs and a great pub. If you enjoy a good local market the Laurieton Riverwalk Markets are on the third Sunday of each month.  As you pass through Laurieton town centre you'll continue your meander along the banks of the Camden Haven River before crossing the bridge and turning left onto The Boulevard to visit Dunbogan, the charming Dunbogan Boat Shed & Art Gallery, and Camden Head.  The name Dunbogan makes this unique little village worth a visit regardless of it's waterside charms. 

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  • Sunrise Kangaroos At Diamond Head By Matt Cramer
  • If you continue on straight after the bridge along Diamond Head Road it will take you to Crowdy Bay National Park. All access is by unsealed roads and you would need several hours to explore this fascinating coastal park including Diamond Head. (4WD vehicle is recommended).

The Boulevard continues to Camden Head and Kattang Nature Reserve which has 58 hectares of coastal bush bordered by the vertical cliffs of Perpendicular Point. Charles Hamey Lookout provides views in all directions. The lookout is one of several in Kattang Nature Reserve which is well known for its signed walks, birdlife, spring wild flowers and a great spot for whale and dolphin watching.

  • Kattang Nature Reserve Walk
  • At the end of Camden Head Road you arrive at Pilot Beach, this is the mouth of the Camden Haven River. Pilot Beach is inside the breakwall and offers sheltered swimming and is a popular beach for families.  Wash House Beach is on the other side of the breakwall, a long stretch of beach with waves, shade from Silky Oaks and rock platforms to explore.  This spot offers the best of both worlds.

  • Dunbogan Boatshed By Lindsay Moller
  • As you're heading through Dunbogan, be sure to stop by the Dunbogan Boat Shed (now home to an Art Gallery as well) for coffee, treats, and icecream. You can also grab some fish food and feed the many fish that congregate around the piers! 

    Please note that due to the March 21 floods, boat hire is no longer offered at Dunbogan Boat Shed and Marina.

Heading back towards Laurieton directly after the Dunbogan Bridge is the local marina which is a port of call for yachts travelling up and down the coast.  Pop into Laurieton Riverside Seafoods for some fresh local seafood then head through Laurieton town centre and take a right onto Henry Kendall Drive to arrive at  Henry Kendall Reserve on the shores of Stingray Creek to enjoy your picnic.  From here you are close enough to take a stroll along the Queens Lake walking track.

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With your touring done for the day wind your way back to the base of the mountain and turn left to Kew where you will join the Pacific Highway for your return to Port Macquarie.

Day trip facts at a glance:

  • Approx. Driving Time:  1.5 hours 
  • Approx. Duration:  4 hours but longer if including swimming, eating and leisurely sightseeing.
  • Distance:  150km
  • Experiences:  Beaches, scenic lookouts, historic sites, lakes, cafes & restaurants
  • Walking track Areas: Camden Head - Kattang Nature Reserve, Laurieton & Queens Lake
  • Road conditions:  Mostly sealed road, (Unsealed to Charles Hamey Lookout and Crowdy Bay National Park). Please note that the road to North Brother lookout is closed due to landslips.

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