Port Macquarie is your fully commercialised tourist resort and waterways recreational mecca. To the credit of the planners, the balance and integration developments have maintained holiday and lifestyle character. Port Macquarie is also a nice place to live. Having a number of beaches Port Macquarie is known as the Boogie Board Capitol of Australia.
The site of Port Macquarie was first visited by Europeans in 1818 when John Oxley reached the Pacific Ocean from the interior, after his journey to explore inland New South Wales. He named the location after the Governor of NSW.
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'.
In 1821, Port Macquarie was founded as the first Penal Settlement, replacing Newcastle as the destination for convicts that had committed secondary crimes in NSW.
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. Be sure to visit and do the staircase to the top of the bell tower. The now United Church is also over 100 years old. The Catholic though has the commanding presence in the city.