Newcastle to Port Macquarie

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by Hertz AU - 14 January 2019

Newcastle to Port Macquarie

The iconic north coast of New South Wales, known as the Legendary Pacific Coast, is one of Australia’s best coastal drives.

This stunning drive has something for everyone, from gorgeous beaches and towns, to National Parks, historic sites, wildlife, wineries and every water sport imaginable.

Pick up your Hertz rental car and hit the road for a most enjoyable journey.

Start in Newcastle

Newcastle, affectionately known as “Newie”, is Australia’s second oldest city and only a two hour drive from Sydney. Like Sydney, Newcastle is surrounded by a harbour and glorious beaches – but with a population of just under 300,000, it feels intimate and is perfect for a quiet weekend getaway. Newcastle is also the gateway to the Hunter Valley, which is one of Australia’s major wine regions and definitely worth exploring.

Newcastle punches well above its weight, with superb surf beaches, historical architecture, and a sunny climate. Fine dining establishments, cool bars, quirky boutiques, a diverse arts scene and a laid-back attitude combine to make it well worth a visit.

Stop 1: Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay is the main town in beautiful Port Stephens, and with beautiful beaches, aquatic adventures aplenty and loads of waterside restaurants, it’s a place that begs to be explored.

You’ll find lots of fun things to do in Nelson Bay, from dolphin watching to sunset cruises and lazy beach afternoons. The beaches are also sheltered, which makes them ideal for families with young children.

A scenic ferry ride on the northern shore is a wonderful way to enjoy the magic of the inlet. More than 100 dolphins live in the pristine blue waters of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park. Keep your eyes peeled for a pod that may well swim alongside the boat.

Dolphin watching cruises depart all year from the Nelson Bay marina, while whale watching boat tours operate between May and November, when thousands of humpbacks and other whales migrate along the NSW coast. Other aquatic activities on offer include snorkelling, diving, sailing, parasailing and fishing.

Stop 2: Forster

From Nelson Bay, head for Forster, a cute coastal town just under two hours away. Here you’ll find beaches with turquoise water where you can go scuba diving, fishing and windsurfing.

The beaches around Forster are beautiful. Forster Main Beach is a sheltered, which makes it ideal for families. Generally, there is no large surf, however, if it does get big, the ocean baths are very close by.

For those looking to get active, Pilot Hill and Second Head both offer nice walking trails. A short walk from Main Beach is Pebbly Beach, a popular location for snorkelling. Other beaches to enjoy include One Mile Beach and McBrides Beach, both ideal escapes for a day. Seven Mile Beach stretches south from Cape Hawke to Booti Hill and is great for fishing and surfing.

Final stop: Port Macquarie

The final destination on this road trip is Port Macquarie, a vibrant town and popular holiday destination for families and people of all ages. Situated at the estuary of the Hastings River, with calm waterways, boardwalks, bountiful fishing, national parks and surfing beaches, it’s a place many visitors return to time and again.

Port Macquarie is an outdoor person’s paradise, with walking trails and beaches aplenty. For the adventurous, try taking on the 9km coastal walk from Town Beach to Lighthouse Beach. The walk takes in beaches, headlands, sites of historic importance and the Sea Acres National Park.

When visiting Port Macquarie, make sure to stop by the koala hospital located in the grounds of Roto House on the outskirts of town. The hospital is the world’s first dedicated solely to the care and preservation of koalas. Walks and tours take place everyday – and you might even get to cuddle one.

The coast of New South Wales is a place of enviable beauty, hire a car from Hertz today and get out and explore.

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Article by Hertz AU

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