Port Macquarie art and history roadtrip

The superb natural environs of the Mid North Coast are rich with public art, annual festivals, historic features, local creations and hidden gems.

The beautiful Camden Haven is located three and a half hours from Sydney, thirty minutes south of Port Macquarie and forty minutes north of Taree. Camden Haven is the place to get away from the hectic world and you can’t get more restful than the Camden Haven Museum situated in the beautiful School of Arts building at Laurieton.

From Camden Haven, travel north to one of Australia's oldest penal settlements. Greater Port Macquarie is home to a number of historic buildings and sites that date back to the colonial and convict days. A stroll along the sign-posted heritage walking trail will take visitors to 13 of the town's historic and archaeological sites. Amongst these is the building where the award winning Port Macquarie Historical Society Museum is conveniently located.

The Museum explores the heritage of the local region from Port Macquarie's establishment as a penal settlement in 1821, through the years of free settlement as a coastal village developing into the popular tourist destination it is today.

Greater Port Macquarie is also home to a large number of artists in all genres, and was awarded the prestigious NSW 4th City of the Arts. The stunning Glasshouse in Port Macquarie is proof of why the city is considered such a cultural gem. This architecturally designed arts facility contains one of Australia’s finest contemporary arts venues.

Not surprisingly Greater Port Macquarie is steeped in maritime history, and at the Mid-north Coast Maritime Museum you have the opportunity to relive over 100 years of sea adventuring heritage. The displays include superbly built scale models of a variety of vessels, charts, maps, paintings and an extensive collection of historical maritime photographs.

Finally drive north along the Pacific Highway for another 45 minutes to Kempsey in the Macleay Valley. One of the best ways to appreciate the diverse history is to visit the Macleay River Historical Society's award winning Museum in South Kempsey. The Museum, housed in the unique Glenn Murcutt Building is adjacent to the Visitor Information Centre. A standout amongst museums it houses a catalogued archive of over 40,000 images and photographs.

For more information on accommodation and dining go to Visit NSW  or www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au.

For a complete portrait of the region's arts and culture program visit Arts Mid-North Coast.

Museums & Galleries of NSW helps small-medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres create exciting experiences for visitors and, through this, thriving local NSW communities. We don't run museums, galleries and cultural centres but we care about those who do. We develop their skills, connect them with others in the industry, provide funding, point visitors their way, and give them access to ground-breaking exhibitions.

Museums & Galleries of NSW is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Stay in touch


Our latest e-news is packed with news, events, and exhibition info.