PORT MACQUARIE is the embouchure or the River Hastings; its entrance is about two miles and two-thirds to the North-North-West of Tacking Point. It is a bar harbour, and, like Port Hunter, is of dangerous access, on account of the banks of sand that project from the low north sandy point of entrance, on which the sea breaks and forms sand rollers; these however serve to indicate the edge of the channel, which is about ninety yards wide. The south shore extends in a North-North-West direction from Tacking Point to Green Mound (a remarkable conical shaped hillock) whence the south shore of the entrance trends in nearly a west direction to the narrow entrance opposite Pelican Point.
Between Green Mound and the next projection the bar stretches across towards the sand rollers, and is about one hundred and twenty yards in extent.
The deepest channel over it is within thirty yards of two sunken rocks, the outermost of which bears from Green Mound North 45 degrees West (true) or North 55 degrees West, nine hundred yards. When Green Mound Point and the next point to the southward of it are in a line, you are within a few yards of the shoalest part of the bar. After passing the bar, there are from two to four fathoms water. Since the examination of this harbour, a penal settlement has been formed, and a pilot appointed to conduct vessels in and out. Off the entrance is a high rocky islet, the Nobby, within which the channel is shoal and dangerous to pass. There is good anchorage in four, five, or six fathoms, about half a mile outside of the bar, on a bank of sand, which gradually deepens for three miles to fourteen fathoms, upon any part of which a vessel may anchor to await high water.
Latitude of its entrance 31 degrees 25 minutes 32 seconds South.
Longitude 152 degrees 57 minutes 25 seconds East.
Variation of the compass 10 degrees 11 minutes 0 seconds East.
High water at full and change 8 hours 56 minutes.
Tide rises four to five feet.
The south-east trend of SMOKY CAPE is in latitude 30 degrees 55 minutes 40 seconds, longitude 153 degrees 4 minutes 30 seconds.
TRIAL BAY, so named by Lieutenant Oxley, who anchored in it on a second expedition to examine Port Macquarie previous to its being settled, is a convenient roadstead during southerly winds: it is situated on the north side of Smoky Cape, and affords an anchorage in three fathoms, protected from the sea as far as North-East by East. Fresh water may be procured from a stream that runs over the beach. Four miles to the north of Smoky Cape is an inlet having a bar harbour, on which there is but eight feet water.
SHOAL BAY is the next harbour to the northward: the following description of it is from Captain Flinders (Flinders’ Terra Australis, Introduction, cxcv.)