James Magnussen, swimmer
Born and raised in Port Macquarie, one of Australia’s best-known swimmers James Magnussen, won the silver medal in the 100 metre freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics. He began competing internationally in 2010, winning the Australian Swimming Championships and taking gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
James grew up enjoying the laid-back sporting life in Port Macquarie and trained at the outdoor pool, going onto become an international hero in Shanghai’s 2011 World Championships. James’ determination, desire for a healthy, outdoor life and to compete in sport and major events, reflects the values of the Port Macquarie community.
He is the current 100-metre freestyle world champion and holds the 4th fastest swim in history in the 100-metre freestyle with a time of 47.10, which also stands as the fastest swim in textile swimwear material.
James has won a total of seven medals in major international competition, three gold, three silver and one bronze, spanning the Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Pan Pacific Championships. His nicknames include The Magnet, the Missile and Maggie. He is a local legend.
Harry Thompson – nature and community legend
Harry Thompson was an artist and unofficial caretaker of Port Macquarie’s most popular coastal location, Harry’s Lookout, which is now named after him.
Harry lived in a caravan on Shelly Beach front and looked after the reserve from 1960 until his death in 2000. A unique sculptural park is dedicated to Harry’s memory including a large totem, a bush track of 254 hand carved steps, an archway used for weddings, bush furniture and a sculptural interpretation of Harry’s famous caravan.
His passion to give to the community and care for the fragile coastal environment makes him a local legend.
Baz Lurmann – Director
Australia’s famed director Baz Luhrmann of The Great Gatsby, Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge grew up in Heron’s Creek, a small township south of Port Macquarie.
Baz and his family lived there for 10 years and ran a roadside service station. The location of his home is one of 30 historic sites showcased in the new Herons Creek Heritage and Tourist Trail.
Baz was first bitten by the motion picture industry locally as his father was a projectionist at the Plaza Theatre in Laurieton. The environment helped shaped his imagination, as he said: “Our little town was full of such rich stories and great characters”.
He is a local legend.