Stories of the coast…
Urban walk reveals a rugged coastline
In Port Macquarie and feel like a little exercise to compensate for last night’s too-big a dinner and too-many a glass of wine? Well, there a fine coastal track that will restore your metabolism and clear your brain.
IF BEACHES and headlands appeal to you, don’t miss the Port Macquarie Coast Walk. You will get more than your fill.
You won’t need hiking boots for this easy walk. For nine kilometers the walk undulates along a smooth, well-maintained track through patches of bushland and along the beaches of Sea Acres National Park, a narrow strip occupying the coastal cliffs between the residential area and the sea.
An urban walk
This is an urban walk rather than a bushwalk. The track is easy to follow and can be walked either way, starting or finishing at Tacking Point lighthouse and Town Beach, close to Port Macquarie’s central business district. If you are enthusiastic, start or end in town to add a couple kilometres. The bus service from town passes a few streets from Lighthouse Beach from where the lighthouse is reached by a track that climbs the headland.
The walk can be done in its entirety or in sections and is suitable for older walkers and families. The first few hundred metres from Town Beach is accessible to people with walking aids. Town Beach has a cafe. If you are into coastal geography, the four kiklometre stretch of the track between Shelly Beach and Rocky Beach is the Port Macquarie Coastal Geotrail. Interpretive signs tell the story of plate tectonics and how local geology was formed. Pick up the brochure at the tourist information centre in town.
This is the coastal subtropics and summer temperatures can be high although walkers can relieve the heat by stopping for a swim at the beaches along the track. Town Beach, at the northern, town end of the walk is patrolled by lifeguards. Best to take a bottle of water with you, and a hat. There are bubblers at the beaches reachable by vehicle. Winter is mild here and walking the track in that season avoids summer’s sweaty heat.
For the desperately uncaffinated, the beachside cafe at Flynns Beach will restore your brain chemistry to normal.
Fi and I walked the full nine kilometres from the lighthouse to Town Beach and back again, making an easy 18 kilometer day. That was in early winter. Walking the full length brought a new perspective in revealing the ruggedness of the basalt terrain. Were we doing it in summer we would make an early start to avoid the afternoon heat.
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