Port Macquarie and Yamba

Now it really felt like our road trip had started, after spending nearly a week in Sydney, we had lots of places to go through for just a day or 2, first one of which was Port Macquarie and it ended up being all about wildlife. On our first day there we were walking along the river that feeds in from the sea to the harbour and spotted some dolphins.

Later on we visited the local Koala Sanctuary were Mo was getting misty eyed hearing about the stories of injured Koalas that were being looked after in the sanctuary. It was free to visit so to raise money they have a little gift shop where one of the things they sell is a small cuddly Koala known as Barry. They have a board up beside the shop with photos of Barry in various places around the world so we bought one and have been taking a few photos of him.

A sick Koala

Last thing that day was a walk up to the lighthouse to see the view along the coast, everything was a bit grey but still worth seeing!

View from the Port Macquaire Lighthouse

Our final wildlife experience was the following day when we went out on a whale watching tour. As it was winter it ended up just being Mo and I and an American couple who went out with the guide. Once we were out of the shelter of the harbour the waves picked up and we were jumping way up before crashing down with a bang! It didn’t take long before we saw a couple of Minky whales, and a little while later some Humpback whales – you had to keep your eyes peeled to see them but we did manage to get up close to some of them to see them coming out of the water which was great. What wasn’t so great was the weather that closed in and soaked us through! The run back into the shore wasn’t enjoyable at all until we saw 5 or 6 dolphins jumping through the waves.

Safety first! There's a whale in the photo, honest! (Where's Whaley ;)

Next stop on the road trip was the small town of Yamba to stay with Morag’s Grandad’s cousin, Bill and his dog Boof. Gladly the weather had started to improve and we were treated to some sun and blue skies. Bill took us out to see the local sights including the area near the lighthouse were Boof gets to go for a walk, the town of Grafton for lunch and then the town of Maclean.


As you might have guessed from the name, Maclean is a town with a Scottish connection, in this case it was founded by some Scots and still has a lot of very visible links back home. The most obvious being the telegraph poles which all have a different tartan painted on, as well as a cairn and town chieftan. They also hold an annual highland games and have a pipe band parade through the town centre. It all felt very familiar! Bill also took us up to the lookout at the top of the hill were you can see the whole area.

Mo and I at the Maclean lookout MacRaes, we're everywhere

Then on the drive back to Yamba we were reminded where we were when we saw these!

This was in someone's front garden!

The following day we headed out to see more of the surrounding area and ended up in Iluka for lunch by the water. It was a very windy day so our plans to get the small ferry back were scuppered! So instead we went to Iluka Bluff which is a beach and cliff area to see the huge waves the wind was blowing up! The view from the top of the cliff was especially windswept!

I'm the queen of the world The waves at Bluff Point were biiiiig!

On our final morning at Bill’s, Mo and I went back through to Maclean to meet friends of my Auntie Andrea, a couple from Scotland who have lived in Australia (on and off) for many years. Kenny and Kath had us in for a cup of tea and some top notch home-made shortbread and entertained us with stories of the area and the locals, including Kenny’s rise to stardom as the town Chieftan – he is even the subject of a mural in the local bowling club!

Then it was back to Yamba to pack our things and say our good byes.

Thank you again to Bill (and of course Boof!) for their hospitality, it was very much appreciated, and to Kenny and Kath for being so welcoming.


  • Mum M says:

    Dont think I’d have managed the whale watching tour !! Once again it was nice to meet up with relatives and new friends who all made you feel very welcome .
    Love the kangaroo pose !
    Lots of love xxx

  • Aunty A says:

    Making L and I really jealous now being in Yamba and Maclean but so glad you were able to catch up on Kenny and Kath. It’s lovely round about there. Hope all going ok now in USA and can’t believe you’ll be home soon. (Just thought I’d throw that in just in case you forgot!!) Take care and love from us all here. A

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