The Camden Haven

Bonny Hills

Discover nature’s delights at Bonny Hills, a short 15 minute drive from Port Macquarie and to the north of the Camden Haven.  Bonny Hills includes secluded coastal beaches, lakes and rivers, lookouts, waterfalls and bush walks.

Beautiful Rainbow Beach (patrolled in season) stretches three kilometres north to Lake Cathie and is perfect for family activities, beach combing and fishing.  There are excellent award-winning caravan and camping parks located at Bonny Hills for your next holiday or short break.

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Comboyne is a picturesque village situated on the Comboyne Plateau, some 60 km south-west of Port Macquarie, 35 km west of Kew and 54 km north-west of Taree. It is an attractive agricultural area with fertile soils and a high rainfall.  It is said the word “Comboyne” is a corruption of the local indigenous people’s name for “a place of kangaroos”.

Previously, the area was covered in sub-tropical rainforest which has almost all been cleared by the early 20th century. The early explorers originally sought the valuable timber of the Australian Red Cedar, today it is dotted with dairy farms and provides a spectacular drive on the way to Ellenborough Falls in Elands.  The second oldest natural reserve in the state is at nearby Boorganna Nature Reserve which preserves a remnant of sub-tropical rainforest.

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Dunbogan is located 30 minutes south of Port Macquarie in the Camden Haven. It is a small and sleepy village with its sheltered swimming beaches and traditional boat shed, opposite the bustling Laurieton which is nestled at the foot of North Brother Mountain.  Dunbogan Boatshed is nestled on the banks of the Camden Haven River and built in the 1940’s it still carries the charm of an old boatshed, with some new touches – coffee and treats, bait and tackle, fish feeding, kayak, tinny and barbecue boat hire, and marina.

Locals and tourists can enjoy a quality coffee on the deck, while they soak up the view of the yachts on the water, with the breathtaking back drop of North Brother Mountain. You may even catch sight of a dolphin feeding amongst the nearby reeds, while you feed the fish from the deck.

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Herons Creek

Herons Creek was a small township and is one of the original timber towns of the Mid North Coast of NSW steeped in history.  Today it is a dispersed rural district reclaiming its sense of community and encompassing  areas as far north as Bago Rd, west to Cedar & Upper Cedar Creek, south west to Logans Crossing, east to Queens Lake, and south to within 1.5 kms from Kew.  It can now be said to consist of a number of suburbs, such as Bobs Creek, Cedar Creek, Upper Cedar Creek and Logans Crossing. Some roads have been isolated due to the highway upgrade, forming their own areas, such as Cluleys Rd and Miles Rd.  The area is approximately 10 square kilometres with more than 170 homes spread though out the district.

In the late 1800’s the area was settled by a number of pioneer families many of whom are still represented by their descendants today. The once thriving self-sufficient village had a railway station with regular trains to bigger towns, a hall, corner-shop, garages and Post Office, bit is now trying to foster positive connections to members of the community. The last village shop and garage closed over 6 years ago, however, visit their website for more information on their diverse and interesting heritage tourist trail.

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Kendall was originally named Camden Haven, as it is located on the Camden Haven River. It was renamed Kendall in 1891, after the Australian poet Henry Kendall and he lived in the area from 1875 to 1881 when he was the first Forest Inspector for New South Wales. Kendall is located 3 kilometres from Kew and 36 kilometres southwest of Port Macquarie via the Pacific Highway.

The original residents of the Kendall area were the Birpai people.  Take the Poets Walk in Kendall or drive to Middle Brother State Forest, located on the slopes of Middle Brother Mountain which was named by Captain James Cook.

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Kew is located at the intersection of the Pacific Highway and Ocean Drive, the road to the larger town of Laurieton.  The small town is now bypassed and has the Camden Haven visitor centre, a pub, a post office, a small police station, roadhouse and a general store.  The Kew Bowling Club is located on Camden Haven Golf Course, just 100 metres west of the Pacific Highway traffic lights.

The world famous aviator Nancy Bird Walton was born in Kew, in 1915.  She was a pioneering Australian aviator and was the founder and patron of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association.  In the 1930s, defying the traditional role of females of her time, she became a fully qualified pilot at the age of 19, and became the youngest Australian woman to gain a pilot’s licence.

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Lake Cathie

Located only 15 minutes drive south of Port Macquarie and to the north of the Camden Haven,  Lake Cathie is a popular holiday destination because of its tranquil location which hosts the lake, lagoon and beaches.  Its main feature is the tidal lake fed by the ocean daily.

There is a variety of accommodation in the area and all the facilities you will need are available at the local shopping village.  Lake Cathie is a popular swimming and fishing spot all year round for families.

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Located at the base of North Brother Mountain in Dooragan National Park, Laurieton is one of the villages that make up the Camden Haven area. Laurieton offers an idyllic holiday spot for families, nature-lovers and anyone who enjoys a holiday by the beach. The town is well serviced by plenty of places to eat – from cafes to pubs and clubs,€“ as well as offering a good range of accommodation.

There are plenty of things to see and do around Laurieton.  A highlight is the drive to the summit of North Brother Mountain to enjoy panoramic views of the coast and Camden Haven Inlet. Within the park, there are three wheelchair-accessible lookouts, a picnic area and three walks of varying length and grade. The most popular is the Rainforest Loop, a half-hour walk through subtropical rainforest

Go kayaking and see dolphins, fish and bird life along the Camden Haven River and surrounding lakes, Watsons Taylor and Queens Lake. These lakes and the river are home to some of the largest wetland eco systems on the North Coast providing habitats for a wide range of native birds and other wildlife such as koalas and kangaroos.

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Lorne  is a small village west of Kew best known for macadamias.  A meandering drive through rolling hills will bring you to this village. Visitors on bus tours can sample freshly roasted and flavoured macadamia nuts, or take home delicious jam, chutney or chocolates. This countryside provides beautiful valley views towards Middle Brother Mountain in the lush hinterland of the Camden Haven.

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North Haven

North Haven is surrounded by lakes, beaches, national parks and nature reserves. Wherever you stay in North Haven, you’ll be close to nature and find plenty of things to see and do. Water sports are top of the must-do list.  Grants Beach is popular with surfers and  the southern end of the beach is protected by a breakwall that offers great right-handers with a southerly swell. The beach is also patrolled during school holidays and has picnic spots and other facilities.

Fishing is popular at any time of the year in the local waterways. Make sure you have a fishing license before trying your hand at the wide range of fishing on offer from freshwater bass in the upper reaches of the river to estuarine species such as bream, flathead and luderick in the lakes. Go kayaking or sailing on the peaceful waters of Queens Lake and keep an eye out for bird life in Queens Lake Nature Reserve.

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