• Tawny Frogmouth Owls By Matt Cramer
  • With over 300 bird species and large areas of connected natural habitat, from our beaches and estuaries to the mountains of the Great Divide, what better place to spend a few hours or even a few days bird watching. If this is your passion or you’re just interested in a quiet day communing with nature and watching our birds then there are many places to go or why not make a day trip of it. 

Port Macquarie and Surrounds 

In our leafy city you will find many places to find birds, including the walk around Koolunbung Creek track located in the heart of the CBD where the Tawny Frogmouth Owls live with many other species. A short distance away you can explore either by foot or on bike the Googik Track in Lake Innes Nature Reserve. A walk through the Sea Acres Nature Reserve is a great spot where there are woodland and rainforest birds including the beautiful Noisy Pitta and Regent Bowerbird. If water or sea birds are your fancy, try Scanning Pelican Island in the Hastings River, walk any of our beaches or sea watch from Tacking Point Lighthouse.


  • Wompoo Fruit Dove
  • Take the Settlement Point Ferry 

    to the North Shore and beyond for some very special birdsMake sure you check out the birds at the northern tip of Pelican Island before you board the Ferry. Behind the beach is a lovely pocket of rainforest where Wompoo and Rose-crowned Fruit Doves can be found along with other rainforest specials. 

  • Glossy Black Cockatoo
  • Beautiful Camden Haven 

    and to the south there are many places here, firstly as you head south from Port Macquarie is Lake Cathie, a gorgeous spot to explore around the estuary or the inlets and lakes. Further south at Laurieton is Kattang Nature Reserve for heathland birds and Glossy Black-Cocaktoo, the perfumed colourful wild flowers in Spring are an added bonus. 

  • White Bellied Sea Eagle
  • Nearby is Googley’s Lagoon for Sea Eagle and coastal birds and home to an abundance of other wildlife.  A trip by car, or for the more energetic by foot, up North Brother Mountain in the Dooragan National Park provides wonderful views and again forest and rainforest birds. The tracks along the southern shore of Queens Lake and through Henry Kendall are good sites for bird life too. 

You might be fortunate to see the majestic Osprey and there are wading birds on the sand spits to the east plus of course the forest birds. To the West is the Lorne Valley where there are many places to search and Swan’s Crossing is a good place for a picnic and interesting birds.

  • Osprey
  • Wading Bird Red Necked Stint
  • Bassian Thrush

You might like to take the Forest Walking Track further south in Crowdy Bay National Park and perhaps to Harrington, it’s all wild country and there are many birds and other animals for those who go looking for them. To the West is Maria River Road which opens up the possibilities of Ground Parrots, Grass Owls, Australasian Bitterns, Lewin’s Rails and many others. Hard birds to see but worth the time and effort if you’re keen.

  • Brown Falcon Bird
  • Wauchope and the West

    The King Creek swamp is always good for water birds and you might find Snipe and Jacana amongst the more common species. Yippin Creek is a nice place to walk and a detour up to Comboyne opens up wonderful scenery and the possibility of more rainforest species at Boorgana Nature reserve.

    Further West is Ellenborough where a walk around the reserve in the centre of the village is always good for Bower Birds, cuckoos and perhaps some quail. Heading further west towards Yarras and Birdwood keep a look out for spotted Harrier and Brown Falcon. Again there are more dryland birds here where you should find Logrunners, Bassian Thrush and Noisy Pitta and might be lucky enough to find the Paradise Rifle Bird. Heading further west will yield wonderful country and perhaps more birds at Ellenborough Falls. 

The far West

If you’re looking for some adventure and new birds then try Werrikimbe National Park beyond Bellangry along Hastings Forest Way where the elusive Rufous Scrub-bird is heard but challenges you to see it. There are many other specials here including Olive Whistler, Sooty Owl, Flame Robin and Superb Lyrebird. Be sure to make a detour to Wilson River reserve, perhaps for a picnic or a dip in the waterfall pool. There are plenty of rainforest birds along the way. Alternatively head further west on the Oxley Highway, stopping from time to time as the road rises after the Mount Seaview turnoff.  At Knodingbul Road you can take a loop back to the highway and here again are the Scrub-bird, Paradise Riflebird and many other rainforest species

  • Flame Robin Bird
  • Olive Whistler
  • Superb Lyrebird

Hastings Birdwatchers

Hastings Birdwatchers are a group of bird watchers in the area and hold regular field trips to all these places and many more  on the first Friday of every month and the third Sunday of alternate months. There are also quarterly evening talks and other activities. To see their itinerary and brochures on where to see birds in the area visit the Hastings Birdwatchers Website.

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