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Greater Port Macquarie : Holiday Planner 2010
The Pacifc Ocean, golden beaches, lush rainforests and abundant wildlife, are just some of the reasons that so many people return to settle here. Morning surfng with the dolphins, a rainforest picnic by a waterfall or close encounters with migrating whales are daily lifestyle perks. get ∫ack to natur´ On the fringe of the CBD lies Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park, with 3kms of walking trails and boardwalks weaving through over 50 hectares of natural wetlands and mangroves. It's home to 165 species of birds, numerous reptiles and flying foxes that visitors can get closer to by canoe. At Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, you can take a special Bush Tucker Tour with Aboriginal guides along the 1.3km boardwalk. You'll discover how local Indigenous people used different rainforest plants for food and medicinal purposes with insights into local Birpai culture. On completion tasty bush tucker samples are available, prepared specially by the Rainforest Café. The bushland around Greater Port Macquarie is a natural koala habitat and you'll often see them in the wild, perched in eucalypts or wandering along the tops of fences. The word Koala is thought to have originated from the Birpai word 'Coola'. The Koala Hospital is run by volunteers of the Koala Preservation Society of NSW, committed to the welfare and preservation of wild koalas. It is the only official Koala Hospital in the world. The hospital cares for about 300 koalas each year. Visitors can view recuperating koalas moved from Intensive Care to the outdoor yards on a walk, talk and feed tour, daily at 3pm. aœuatic lif´ Greater Port Macquarie has 18 different beaches to choose from, of which 6 are lifeguard patrolled, 8 are dog friendly and almost all of them suitable for swimming and surfing. The intrinsic network of waterways surrounding Greater Port Macquarie, promises spectacular sights of marine life. Whale-watching is best in June through to November when thousands of Humpbacks and Southern Right Whales pass the coastline on their annual migration from the cold waters of Antarctica. Telltale signs to watch for are water spouting when the whales blow, tail splashing, or if you're lucky, leaping out of the water when breaching. The best vantage points are the headlands or on Whale-watching cruises, available from the marina at Town Wharf. Bottlenose dolphins are often spotted gliding through the Hastings and Camden Haven rivers throughout the year. There are several cruise operators that run Dolphin-watching trips with lucky passengers often treated to dolphins surfing the bow waves during the river cruise. www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au 14