2nd May 2018

The Department of Planning and Environment was on hand to open Port Macquarie’s newest attraction today, which is nearly half a billion years old.

The Port Macquarie Coastal Geotrail is a four kilometre walk from Shelly Beach to Rocky Beach that tells the story of plate tectonics and how Earth’s crust was formed along the stretch of coastline over the past 460 million years.

The geotrail features rocks formed by volcanoes, microscopic marine animals, ocean currents, and extreme temperatures and pressures, 100 kilometres below Earth’s surface.

The Department’s Geological Survey of NSW Executive Director Dr Chris Yeats said the geotrail provides a unique scientific recreational experience for the local community, school groups and visitors to the area.

“The Geological Survey of NSW is excited to be involved in this collaborative project that aims to improve the community's understanding of the unique geology of the coast near Port Macquarie,” Dr Yeats said.

“The Port Macquarie Geotrail is just the latest example of a number of geotourism projects that Geological Survey of NSW has supported in recent years, including the Gondwana Coast Fossil Walk in Ulladulla, and the production of free self-guided geotourism maps of Broken Hill, Cobar and the coastline at Newcastle.”

The Geological Survey of NSW has developed a free geotourism brochure and a mobile application that offers a self-guided tour.

The NSW GeoTours app is available for Android and Apple devices and can be pre-loaded onto mobile phones or tablets, with key sites geotagged stop-by-stop along a geotrail using the device’s inbuilt GPS.

The collaborative geotrail project has been led by the University of Newcastle and supported by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, the Geological Survey of NSW, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Birpai Local Aboriginal Land Council.