Australasia/ Pacific

Mid North Coasting

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The many things to explore on the Mid North Coast

dungog markets2

Dungog Farmers Markets

Autumn brings a freshness to the air. The weather is still warm but the sting has been taken out of the sun. Grey nomads fill the roads with their sedans, station wagons, 4WD’s, caravans & motorhomes.

Urban escapees chill out in coastal coves & hinterland hot spots along the northern ribbon. School is in, so the nomads have the whole coast to themselves during the day.

Lake Macquarie is a geographical marvel only a short drive from Sydney. A fabulous water wonderland with lake & beach sharing your vision. The famous Belmont Park Lakeside Park is located right in the lake on a peninsular, perfect for fishing for whiting & bream or prawning, waterfront sites with everything.

Blacksmiths is a great surf beach known for its hosting of surf carnivals & large events in summer. Blacksmiths Beach Holiday Park is your stylish accommodation here. Swansea Gardens are located in a beautiful tree filled park right on the lake, great sunsets, terrific fishing & all local clubs & restaurants nearby. Wangi Point is nestled between Lake Macquarie & the national park. Quiet, natural settings to stay with great accommodation, go to

The hinterland hub that is not to be missed is Dungog. A town of heritage buildings bursting with history. Its main street has been declared an urban conservation zone. See yesterday today.

The fabulous Dungog Shire is renowned for its forests, mountains & picturesque river villages. This quality lifestyle hub is only 2½   hrs. North of Sydney.

Dungog Shire covers 2248 kilometres square & is boarded by the famous Barrington Tops on the Great Dividing Range. A place of remarkable beauty & prehistoric wilderness with great views from the many lookouts.

In Dungog Shire, there are numerous riverside picnic spots, some very remote walking trails through sub-tropical rainforests or through a misty swamp. Why not try a guided tour into the Barrington Tops National Park or catch a movie at Australia’s oldest Movie theatre; fab fun.

The locals are friendly & resilient in Dungog, having survived the 2 floods from the massive east coast low storms that lashed N.S.W. This community of loyal helpful people pulled through in true Australian country spirit, another great reason to give this area your support. You’re always welcome in Dungog.

The Dungog Shire operate their own conveniently located caravan park, so you can stay in Dungog for a night or a month go to for bookings.


Sunrise over Foster

Foster is a must see on any trip north, cosy coves & lovely beaches in a town where you can stock up on all your supplies, relax & unwind. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of wine & pick up some freshly shucked oysters from the pristine Wallis Lake waters at Graham Barclay Oysters in Forster, go to for orders.


Take a highly rewarding trip through the hinterland hills of the green Manning Valley & make sure you stop for a picnic or BBQ at the fabulous Villa d’Esta Vineyard on Wallambah Road, Dyers Crossing. Select hand pick an all naturally grown wine from their cellar of traditionally, handmade European style wines & enjoy a beautiful lunch in their magnificent settings, only 12 kms from Nabiac, come & enjoy, go to for info & orders.

national park

NSW State Forest

Make sure you visit one of the 125 NSW State Forests on your trip North. You will find well defined walking tracks with spectacular lookouts that oversee panoramic landscapes where wild animals abound in their natural habitat. Preserved monuments of prehistory watch over lush forests & raging rivers. All amenities are free. The newly established Coopernook Forest headquarters would be a good place to start. Located on the border of Coopernook & Landsdowne Forests it is a must see or respite for all travellers. Everything is free. Bush walks, picnics, or an overnight stay-Free! Free electric BBQs, free sheltered tables to picnic on. Free flat areas to set up your tent, caravan or motorhome between tall trees of the Eucalyptus family.

A clean, green area brimming with stories of the forest, the Tramway, cottage & Timber Mill. Make Coopernook Forest Headquarters your friendly forest oasis of calm on your journey up or down the coast. Take the Forest Road exit [via Jericho Rd.] off the Pacific Highway. Only 1½  hour drive to the coast, Crowdy Head & Harrington. Do not miss COOPERNOOK FOREST HEADQUARTERS, go to here & other NSW State Forests.

trial baby

Trial Bay Goal South West Rocks

On the coast, the historical town of South West Rocks has grey nomad written all over them. Trial Bay Gaol opened in 1886 is a landmark on the point here. Horseshoe Bay Markets are a special attraction, every second Sunday. Loads of stalls selling all modes of art, sweets, local organic treats, produce, vintage clothing, banana smoothies, craft, local hand-made scented candles & home décor. Live music & beautiful people make this market in the park a wonderful experience.

You will also find the BIG4 Sunshine at South West Rocks; surrounded by National Park with abundant wildlife in the park, & fantastic facilities & clean amenities, with a new restaurant on site serving home-made delights & the freshest local seafood. They have accommodation to suit everyone from powered camp sites, to ensuites, to open plan cabins & luxury villas.

At the moment they are offering a special to Go55 readers; only $40 a night for 2 people on a powered grass site with sullage & water (available all year until 15thDecember except the Easter Weekend). Call 1300 509 649 to book or head to


Nambucca Heads

Just a short drive away is Nambucca Heads, a perfect spot for retirees with everything nearby. This thriving centre on the mid north coast has plenty of pretty beaches for a swim or a walk. Great shopping & places to relax by the river or the surf & a diverse art & food scene makes Nambucca a real gem. A great place to meet up for a lunch, dinner or a few cold ones is the Nambucca Heads RSL. Hosting fantastic views, Nambucca RSL offers all recreational sports & racing on its screens, a fun place to mingle, friendly locals & fantastic food go to for more.

port macquarie

Scenic view of Nambucca Heads

To stay in Nambucca, you won’t find a better deal than at the Destiny Motor inn an award winning NRMA AAA rated motel in a landscaped garden setting. They have a 6 day 5 night package including all admissions & lunches, chef prepared meals, clean & spacious rooms with FoxTV, DVD player, all located on the ground floor + first class coach with meals included as well! On 5 acres of tropical paradise in Nambucca Heads, go to

The magic drive north in Autumn can’t be beaten, it’s the season of comfortable driving, mellow sun & light nights, enjoy the journey.


coffs harbour

Al Fresco dining Coffs Harbour






























  1. Jason Openheim

    Your Lord Howe features have been fantastic and brought back memories of our honeymoon on this friendly Island ,we are thinking of having a family holiday out there soon as my son is still a keen surfer and I like to fish and climb.-thanks Jason

  2. Robert Dawson

    I just read your article on Norfolk Island .I went there many years ago as part of a pacific Island cruise-do the boats still go there?I was surprised to learn you can buy a house or block of land there,as it used to be for locals only back when I went there,it would be a great place to live ,I reckon,the people there were good value,happy and friendly.

  3. drake thompson

    The Mid North Coast has always been a favourite road trip for my wife and I,so its great to get some nice info on where to stay as I have stuck to the same route when driving around there .I will certainly be turning off and having a gander at some of these lovely places mentioned ,its a wonderful area and the roads off the highway have some top little towns to stop in ,thanks again.

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