Port Macquarie on Foot

With scenic river and ocean frontage and a convict and exploration history that goes back to 1818, Port Macquarie has plenty of short and long distance walking routes to keep everybody contented.

Visitors have the choice of the stroll along the river foreshore cycleway, trekking the extended coastal and rainforest tracks or exploring the sign-posted history walk around town.

Port Macquarie was the first and last settlement to be planned under the influence of picturesque ideals. When Governor Lachlan Macquarie visited the penal settlement in November 1821 he was so impressed with the beauty of the area that he commenced a building program that took into consideration the scenic aspects of the site.

Prominent buildings were to be located on high points with an emphasis on views to and from the water. The settlement was laid out to follow the shoreline rather than on a usual grid system. Key buildings were placed for visual effect according to the topography rather than on a usual official axis.

The History Walk is a good place to start so that the nearly 200 years of European settlement can be understood in context. A free walks brochure, written by Richard Grimmond is available from the Visitor Centre in The Glasshouse cultural centre in Clarence Street. Most sites have a large information sign that is easily located…

Story and Images Gregory Powell.