Port Macquarie, New South Wales
Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Port Macquarie
state = nsw
caption = Location of Port Macquarie in New South Wales (red)
lga = Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
county = Macquarie
postcode = 2444
pop = 39,219 (2006)Census 2006 AUS | id = UCL166000 | name = Port Macquarie (Urban Centre/Locality) | accessdate=2007-09-06|quick=on]
maxtemp = 22.2
mintemp = 13.1
rainfall = 1539.7
stategov = Port Macquarie
fedgov = Lyne
dist1 = 400
dist2 = 510
dist3 = 19
Port Macquarie is a large town on the mid-North Coast of New South Wales,
Australia, located about 390 km north of Sydney, and 570km south of Brisbane. The town is located on the coast, at the mouth of the Hastings River. The nearest railway town is Wauchopeabout 19 kilometres to the west.
The site of Port Macquarie was first visited by Europeans in
1818when John Oxleyreached the Pacific Oceanfrom the interior, after his journey to explore inland New South Wales. He named the location after the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie.
Oxley noted that 'the port abounds with fish, the sharks were larger and more numerous than I have ever before observed. The forest hills and rising grounds abounded with large kangaroos and the marshes afford shelter and support to innumerable wild fowl. Independent of the Hastings River, the area is generally well watered, there is a fine spring at the very entrance to the Port'. During 1821 the city was founded as a
penal settlementfor convicts sentenced for crimes committed in NSW. In 1823 the first sugar cane to be cultivated in Australia was planted there. The region was opened to settlers in 1830 after it was decided to abandon Port Macquarie as a penal settlement. It was soon being settled having the good pastoral land, timber resources and fisheries that it did. In 1840 the “Wool Road” from the Northern Tablelands was under construction to enable wooland other produce to be shipped from the port. Port Macquarie was declared a municipality in 1887, but the town never progressed as a port due to presence of a notorious coastal bar across the mouth of the river.
St Thomas’ Anglican Church is a Georgian building designed by Lieutenant T Owen and was built by convicts under military supervision during 1824-1828. This church is among the oldest in Australia and one of the few remaining convict built churches. Inside there are red cedar
box pewsthat were peculiar to that period in church architecture. [Donald, J.Kay, Exploring the North Coast and New England, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1978, ISBN 0864171218] The Walker Pipe Organ is the only one of its type in the southern hemisphere. The castellated tower permits excellent views of the coastline, town and river. This church is now classified by the National Trust of Australia(NSW) and it is also registered on the National Estate.
Over 20 shipwrecks occurred in the Tacking Point area before a lighthouse was designed by
James Barnetand erected there in 1879 by Shepard and Mortley. Tacking Point Lighthouseis classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
Much of the land used to build the town's shopping centres and other structures in recent years was originally owned by the
Roman Catholic Churchfact|date=May 2008, who many claimwho|date=May 2008 are in large part responsible for the town's growth and development.
Port Macquarie is a popular retirement location and popular tourist destinationfact|date=May 2008. It is known for its extensive beaches and waterwaysfact|date=May 2008. The town is also known for its
koalapopulation, being the home the Billabong Koala Park, and the Koala Preservation Society's Koala Hospital, caring for koalas injured through bushfire, dog attacks and collisions with vehicles.
In recent times, real estate developments have led to clashes with residents, in particular the Rydges Hotel (formerly Four Points by Sheraton) built opposite the Town Greenfact|date=May 2008. The Post Office on the Town Green was demolished to make way for a new apartment block, a development that saw the controversial removal of several large fig trees and subsequent debate in the community about the value of public space.fact|date=May 2008
The residential suburbs stretch to Lighthouse Beach in the south, Thrumster to the west and to the so-called "North Shore" on the north bank of the river. Settlement Point has a new canal development, being one of the most expensive real estate developments in the town. More recentlywhen|date=May 2008, Sovereign Hills (Area 13) has begun development in the west. It will include new schools, shopping facilities and residential areas.fact|date=May 2008
In the 2006 Census the wider area of the Hastings Valley had a total population of 68,429 up 9.5% from the 2001 Census.
In the last two years the
Newcastle Jetshave played one of their Pre-Season Cup matches at the Port Macquarie Regional Stadium.
Beaches include (in order from north to south): North Shore, Town Beach, Oxley Beach, Rocky Beach, Flynns Beach, Nobbys Beach, Shelly Beach, Miners Beach and Lighthouse Beach. Only Town, Flynns and Lighthouse Beaches are manned by Surf Life Saving Clubs and Lighthouse is only watched at the north end. There is an active surf culture with the beaches being the main tourist attractionfact|date=May 2008.
* Port Macquarie Primary School
* Westport Public School
* Hastings Public School
* Tacking Point Public School
* St. Joseph's Primary
* St. Peter's Primary
* St. Agnes' Primary
Other private schools
* St Columba Anglican School
* Adventist Primary School
* Heritage Christian School
* Port Macquarie High School
* Westport High School
* St. Joseph's High School (Catholic, incorporating Regional and St. Paul's junior campuses and MacKillop Senior College)
* St. Columba Anglican School
* Heritage Christian School
Australian Technical College(years 11-12; formerly Vocational College, a part of St. Joseph's High School)
Other educational facilities
There is also a
TAFEcampus for further qualifications. Courses are also offered by the University of Newcastlethrough the TAFE campus.
Port Macquarie is linked by daily air services to both Sydney and Brisbane.
Road access is via the Pacific and Oxley Highways. The Pacific Highway lies between Port Macquarie and Wauchope, and is the main road for tourists travelling from coastal areas. Improvements to the Oxley and Pacific Highway has seen steady improvements in travel times between Sydney and the mid-north coast region from 6 hours to just 4 hours (from Wahroonga to the Oxley Highway interchange);
The four proposed or in-construction road projects that are underway:
* Karuah to Bulahdelah section 2 and 3 - Under construction [http://www.k2b.abigroup.com.au/] (Karuah to Bulahdelah section 1 - Completed December 2006 [http://www.bh.com.au/k2b1/] ).
BulahdelahBypass - Early works commenced in November 2007. [ [http://taree.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=general&story_id=1027551&category=general $123 million Bulahdelah highway bypass approved] ] [http://myallcoast.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=general&story_id=1047686&category=general] [http://myallcoast.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?story_id=1037321] [http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/pacifichighwayupgrade/bulahdelah/index.html] [http://taree.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?story_id=1027551] [http://www.auslink.gov.au/projects/ProjectDetails.aspx?Project_id=NSWUA0007] . The Bulahdelah bypass/upgrade will fill the only missing link between Hexham and Port Macquarie once the Karuah to Bulahdelah section(s) 2 and 3 and the Coopernook to Herons Creek upgrades are open in 2009. [ cite web|url= http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/jl/releases/2006/May/l50_2006.htm |publisher= New South Wales Department of Local Government, Territories and Roads |title= Bulahdelah Bypass Funding Approved |date=2007-06-21]
* Coopernook to Herons Creek - Under construction. [ [http://www.c2hc.com.au/index.html Coopernook to Herons Creek website] ] [ [http://taree.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=general&story_id=1040894&category=general Moorland truck stop's uncertain future] ]
* The Oxley Highway upgrade, from a 2 lane undivided road to a 4-lane divided carriageway, from Wrights Road to the Pacific Highway, stage 1 - Pre-construction. [ [http://126.96.36.199/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/northcoast/oxleyhwy/index.html RTA; Oxley Highway Upgrade - Wrights Road to the Pacific Highway Port Macquarie] ]
These four projects are all from the
AusLinkfunding on a 50/50 "joint basis" from the Commonwealth and the state of NSW (50% from Commonwealth Government and the other 50% from the NSW Government [ [http://www.ministers.dotars.gov.au/mv/releases/2007/May/TRS02_budget_2007.htm AusLink budget 2007/08 - PRESSING AHEAD WITH THE PACIFIC AND HUME HIGHWAYS] ] .
Rail access to Port Macquarie is via bus transfer from the North Coast Railway Line which stops at Wauchope (19 km inland).
Port Macquarie Airporthas regular flights to Sydney with QantasLinkand Virgin Blue, and also to Lord Howe Island with QantasLink.
Festival of the Sun(December)
* Sundowner BREAM Classic (November)
* Panthers Ironman (April)
* [http://www.hastings.nsw.gov.au Port Macquarie-Hastings Council]
* [http://www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au Port Macquarie Tourist Information]
* [http://www.koalahospital.org.au Port Macquarie Koala Hospital]
* [http://www.fotsun.com Festival of the Sun]
* [http://www.pmhmband.midcoast.com.au Port Macquarie Hastings Municipal Band]
* [http://www.focusmag.com.au Greater Port Macquarie Focus Magazine]
* [http://www.scas.nsw.edu.au St Columba Anglican School]
* [http://www.discoverportmacquarie.com.au Greater Port Macquarie Discover Magazine]
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