Okay, I’ll admit it. I didn’t think Port Macquarie’s Coastal Walk was going to be anywhere near as beautiful as it was. And it really was. If you are currently on a journey along Australia’s East Coast or are planning one, you have to add Port Macquarie to your list of go-to places, if only for a day to complete the 9km Coastal Walk.
Beginning at Town Beach, you can admire the colourfully-painted breakwall as you stroll slowly along the beach, pacing yourself for what’s to come. Town Beach, as you can guess from the name is the closest beach to the main town of Port and is accompanied by a holiday park, skate park and a small reserve which regularly hosts foodie markets. On passing Salty Crew Kiosk at the end of the beach (which also does great iced lattes and muffins FYI), you’ll find yourself following a path that will bring you to two options… basically to check out Flagstaff Lookout or to not check out Flagstaff Lookout and continue on the route. I would choose option 1, otherwise you won’t be able to witness this view…
Once you’ve gazed at the above view for a few minutes, you’ll be ready to move on to the next stop, Oxley Beach. Trust me, there’s even more amazing vistas to come. Following an incline after Oxley Beach, you’ll arrive at Windmill Hill Reserve – a brief break from coastal views – before continuing on to find Rocky Beach.
Next up is a strong contender for the best beach on the entire walk (in my humble opinion). After you’ve walked the sandy trails that seem almost never-ending as though to tease you, you’ll find yourself on a downward, winding road. It is at the bottom of this road that it starts to appear in all its glory: Flynn’s Beach.
You will feel like you’ve arrived onto a tiny paradise, a desert island – although not quite deserted but dotted with surfers, sunbathers and snappers along the shoreline (I was the latter, spending ages photographing the crashing waves against the rock formations in the water).
It’s worth taking a break at Flynn’s as it’s the half-way point and the only place you’ll easily find a delicious lunch at Sandbox, with tables on a wooden deck looking out across the beach.
When you can manage to drag yourself away from Flynns, you’ll reach Nobbys Beach, perhaps my second favourite section of the walk, though it’s hard to choose.
After passing Nobbys Head, your next stop will be Shelly Beach, a very long stretch of sand, a place to admire the distant rainforest and watch paragliders, though surprisingly not a lotta shells to be found!
Taking you away from the coast for a while is the next stage of the walk through Sea Acres Rainforest (important to mention that here or in fact on the majority of the trails during the walk, you could be joined by lizards or snakes… Joy!) However breaking this up temporarily is Miner’s Beach, quite a deserted area but then, it is a nudist beach!
Miner’s Beach and bare bums firmly in the distance, you’ll now be back on the rainforest route of the walk. For a while, it may seem like these trails never end and you’ve lost complete sight of the ocean but be patient and you’ll soon hear the sound of cars and realise that somehow you have left the rainforest and arrived on a road.
It is this road that leads you to your first viewpoint of the grand finale, Tacking Point Lighthouse. It also leads you downwards to Little Bay Beach where the end point is almost close enough to touch!
Stop for a breather at Little Bay and then make your way up the wooden steps to reach the Lighthouse.
YOU’VE DONE IT!
Now all that’s left is to take some victory photos of the Lighthouse before trundling down to Lighthouse Beach for a well-deserved bask in the sun OR you can catch the 322 bus back to town!