Port Macquarie-Hastings (map) is a town and local government area located about 450km north of Sydney and 510km south of Brisbane. The main regional hub is situated on the coast on the south bank of the entrance of the Hastings River.

The first European to pass through the area was explorer John Oxley in 1818. He named the location after the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie. The river was named in honour of India's Governor General, Sir Warren Hastings. In 1821, sixty convicts, officers and their families sailed from Sydney onboard the Lady Nelson, The Mermaid & The Prince Regent. The contingent was commanded by Captain Francis Allman.

Settlement provided isolation for prisoners, an active timber industry and the cultivation of tropical fruits. In 1823 the first sugar cane was cultivated and by 1826 a school house was built under the instruction of Major Archibald Innes. Free settlement began in the 1830s; transportation of convicts to Port Macquarie ended in 1847.

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