Having moved 12 months ago (somewhat begrudgingly) from another stunning part of the north coast, Port Macquarie had some serious wooing to do to convince the hubby and kids we’d made the right decision.
Sure, the town itself is nestled prettily between the ocean and the mighty Hastings River. It’s also the perfect size, a substantial regional CBD with plenty of shopping, fabulous bars and cafes. There’s a prosperous buzz (even in winter), with happy restaurant patrons spilling out on to the waterside Town Green to wander, picnic, or throw a line out from the wharf. Kids on scooters and bikes ride up and along the break wall, which delivers them to one of the best skate parks on the coast, and playgrounds a plenty. I won’t carry on about the weather, suffice to say that CSIRO reckons it’s got the best climate in Australia, and I’ll second that.
And then there’s the Coastal Walk. The town centre is connected to the majestic Lighthouse to the south via a nine kilometre walking trail. Meandering around headlands, looping through the lush Sea Acres Nature Reserve, ducking in and out of rocky secluded coves and onto fine, powdery sand, you’d be pressed to find a more stunning coastal walk anywhere in the world. Add a couple of dog-friendly beaches, plus frequent visits from dolphins and whales, and morning walks (with my ever-grateful canine companion) have become our favourite part of the day. A walk I can now fit in to my busy work and parenting schedule, on account of my short seven-minute commute to work. Hallelujah!
They call it the ‘ten minute town’, and we’ve found this to be true. It seems to take no longer than ten minutes to get anywhere around town (including the airport where you can fly direct to Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne). Saturday sport in multiple locations? Easy done. Two birthday parties in one morning? No problem. Oh, and there’s FREE PARKING, EVERYWHERE! Ever wondered what life would be like without hours of commuting and a huge mortgage? I can tell you, it’s bloody fantastic.
But the clincher came this past weekend, when my two daughters returned from their regular Saturday morning kayak (“so many dolphins, Mum!”), to watch a Koala take up residence in our backyard gumtree with a gorgeous little baby on her back.
Wooing complete! Well played Port Macquarie, well played....
Kim Gallery is a new-ish Port Macquarian who is still very much enjoying an extended 'honeymoon phase' of her sea change in mid-2016.