The Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area.
The Port Macquarie-Hastings local government area has a number of small villages and the three main townships of Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Laurieton. The total population exceeds 76,000 with more than half living in the Port Macquarie precinct.
Situated on the coast, Port Macquarie is the largest town with a population of 44,313 people (Snapshots, Edition 19) and serves as a major tourist destination in addition to being the major regional centre for the area.
The township of Wauchope, 21 kilometres or 20 minutes by car from Port Macquarie, serves as the regional centre for the inland area, particularly for the rural communities and the associated agricultural industries.
The Camden Haven, located at the southern extremity, is a rapidly growing area and includes the towns of Kendall, Kew, North Haven, Dunbogan and West Haven, with Laurieton as the main service centre.
Smaller rural population centres and surrounding villages include: Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills, the Comboyne Plateau (Comboyne and Comboyne West) and rural villages (Beechwood, Ellenborough, Long Flat, Pappinbarra, Hollisdale, Upper Pappinbarra, Bellangry, Pembrooke, Ballengarra, Rollands Plains, Upper Rollands Plains, Telegraph Point and North Shore).
The Hastings covers an area of 3686.1 square kilometres and is located 420 kilometres north of Sydney and 510 kilometres south of Brisbane. The area is bisected north to south by the Pacific Highway, which is the main road link between Sydney and Brisbane, and the State Rail Line. A large proportion of the area is taken up by State Forest and the Werrikimbe National Park.
The topography of the area is very diverse ranging from sand dunes, coastal wetlands, flood plains and rugged mountain regions. The area enjoys one of the best climate in Australia, with the maximum temperature rarely going above 30 degrees celcius or below 15 degrees celcius.