By Paddy McCann
Wauchope is an RV jewel on the New South Wales MidNorth Coast with exceedingly friendly locals, low-cost RV accommodation, delightful shops, healthcare and mechanical repairers for larger vehicles.
Wauchope (pronounced War-hope) is set on the lush banks of the Hastings River and offers a rural escape just 20 minutes inland from Port Macquarie. Wauchope is home to Timbertown Heritage Park which harks back to the town’s timber industry foundations.
If you like history, walking trails, fishing, golfing or just relaxing you will love Wauchope. The showground camping facilities (from $20 per night) are a gentle stroll to the town hospital, main street shops, a very peaceful library and the post office.
Wauchope’s main street includes dress shops, arts, crafts and galleries, op shops galore, a ‘Department Store’ eight hairdressers, three butchers, two bakeries and two supermarkets, plus many, many excellent cafes.
You can now also camp from just $10 per night at Timbertown Heritage Park. It’s possibly even more convenient with Timbertown shopping village, a Thai restaurant, cafe, pub, health services and a lovely nursery just across the road. Timbertown Heritage Park has been upgraded significantly in recent years, and it is a delightful place to stroll and explore.
Weekends and school holidays are when the park is most vibrant with the most shows and experiences happening around these lively periods. During the week, you can still stroll and view the park as a static display which is also very enjoyable. Day tripping around Wauchope, you will be spoiled for choice. Catch a bus or drive to nearby Port Macquarie to find major retail hubs and a magnificent coastal walk past beautiful beaches (including two that are dog-friendly) and the famous Sea Acres Rainforest Centre.
Drop into Abundance Cafe and Nursery in Sancrox for lakeside dining and Billabong Wildlife Park for abundant Australian flora and fauna. A twisty but easy 35-minute mountain drive west will bring you to the picturesque village of Comboyne for pick-yourown blueberries (when in season) and onward to Ellenborough Falls for a magnificent 200m waterfall with 641 steps to the bottom if you are game. Try lunch at ‘The Byabarra’ on the return to Wauchope and don’t forget famous Long Flat, 35 minutes west of Wauchope with free RV camping at the extremely peaceful Ellenborough Reserve.
A 15-minute drive south of Wauchope is the Old Bottlebutt where visitors can enjoy a 600-metre walk through the forest to an ancient bloodwood tree. Other sites nearby include Swans Crossing and Coopernook Forest Headquarters, both popular free camps.
Wauchope also has two spacious and affordable RV campgrounds, along with a friendly small town feeling that is hard to beat. You may never want to leave!