Well, hello everyone and welcome to another Blog post.
Today's subject is Port Macquarie NSW Australia, this place is my hometown & I'm probably a little biased in what I say about it, however, it truly is a stunningly beautiful part of the world & has SO MUCH to offer a keen photographer.
In the past couple of years, I've been very fortunate to travel the world with my photography business & see & shoot some truly jaw-dropping scenery. I must also say however, it has also given me a new appreciation for my hometown. Everytime the plane flies back into Port Macquarie I look out the window & think WOW this place really is beautiful & has a coastline that rivals anywhere in the world !
I wanted to talk you through my hometown from my eyes & how I see it from a photography point of view, so here goes.
Port Macquarie -
Port Macquarie is located at the mouth of the Hastings River 390km north of Sydney on the Mid North Coast of NSW, a beautiful coastal city of around 50'000 people and a very comfortable year-round subtropical climate with mild winters & warm summers. Port Macquarie has EIGHT beautiful beaches, a rainforest national park & a wild population of Koala bears. (A must see local attraction to support the beautiful Koalas is the volunteer-run Koala Hospital.)
The Photography -
As mentioned above, Port Macquarie has EIGHT beaches, so the photography really is for me focused on these beaches and the "seascape" aspect of photography. All beaches face east over the Pacific Ocean so it does certainly lend itself to shooting sunrises over sunsets, however, the "reverse sunsets" (meaning- facing your camera away from the sun) can also be very good in the right weather conditions.
There are a two very popular iconic local photos that tourists seek out and they are the Tacking Point Lighthouse & the Port Macquarie Breakwall. The Lighthouse really is a great photo & because of its position can be shot nicely at either sunrise or sunset, I would lean towards sunrise a little more merely because I think the light is slightly better & there is likely to be fewer people in your shot, however, the Lighthouse produces so many great photos at all times of the day and the best images I've seen of it are taken during the summer thunderstorms, the storms often add another element with cranky dark clouds & lightning. The local photographers often congregate at the lighthouse when summer storms are approaching. Another photo of the Lighthouse that is becoming popular amongst keen photographers is an "Astro" shot or taken at night time trying to incorporate the Milky Way & stars, the best time of the year for night photography is definitely the winter months (May-August).
The next of the two iconic locations is the Port Macquarie Breakwall, the breakwall is famous for its painted rocks, it makes for many great photos both at sunrise & sunset, the breakwall runs east - west so it faces the sunrise & sunset, my preference again is probably sunrise based only on the fact that there will be fewer people around likely to get in your shot. The breakwall can also make for great aerial photos to add a different perspective on things.
There is also several other standout locations for photography, & here is a list of my local favourites.
Pinnacle Rock - This is a large rock named by the locals, it offers a great landscape shot in many conditions but is best suited to a highish tide & sunrise, Pinnacle Rock is accessed by parking at the Tacking Point Lighthouse carpark & taking the stairs down to Lighthouse Beach, at the bottom of the stairs turn sharp left & follow the rocks along until you see the rock.
Watonga Rocks - Watonga Rocks are a formation of several very large rocks located on Lighthouse Beach, they are best suited to a sunrise & high tide & even work well after heavy seas & rain as it can form a small lagoon & give great sand textures & sometimes reflections. Watonga Rocks are accessed by the beach access point across the road from Watonga Street.
Flynns Beach - Flynns Beach has some really unique rock formations right in front of the south end of the surf club, you can't miss these rocks & they're very easily accessed. The best time to shoot here is sunrise & on a highish tide for some waterflow around the rocks.
Oxley Beach - On the northern end of Oxley Beach there is a rock shelf that can also involve a waterfall in the right conditons, it is easily accessed on foot from the beach, this rock shelf can deliver some classic seascape waterflow shots. The best conditions are definitely a high tide & a reasonable sea swell (be careful here as it can be dangerous at times with bigger swells & waves etc.) this location is also best at sunrise.
The Connie Maria - The Connie Maria is an old wooden boat that is usually tied to a very rustic old broken wood jetty on the Hastings River, it faces North so can be suited to sunrise or sunset photography. The key here is to get the tide right & it is best suited to a mid tide. The Connie Maria is easily accessed from Boundary Street off Hastings River drive near the boarding point for the Hibbard Ferry.
There are so many other excellent photographic locations around the Greater Port Macquarie region, if you take the time to walk or drive around you'll easily find some.
Local tips -
As for local tips on Port Macquarie here are a few of my words of advice-
- The best time for photography in Port Macquarie is the cooler months from May-September, I think the light is better, there is a much better chance of a colourful sky, & the air is cleaner & less haze.
- The best cafe's in town if like me you love good coffee & food are LV's On Clarence & The Rivermark Cafe on Hastings River Drive.
- A great place to stay is The Macquarie Waters Hotel, often my photography workshop clients stay here & the guys offer a discount for my clients, its a first class hotel right in the middle of town (tell them I sent you).
Well, that's about it on my brief photography overview of Port Macquarie, I hope the above info helps you out with your Photography adventure to Port Macquarie & I'm sure you won't be disappointed with whats on offer, it's an incredible part of the world with SO MANY Landscape Photography opportunities.
If you'd like to join one of my Port Macquarie Photography Tours or any of my various season Tours around the world or even do a One on One photography tuition with me take this link to my website for more info - www.brettwoodphotos.com
All the best & happy shooting Brett.