Getting the word out about Port Macquarie’s tourist facilities and amenities was essential in attracting visitors, increasing tourism investment and building the town’s branding and reputation as a tourist destination. In 1969, Port Macquarie Municipal Council’s decision to raise water and sewerage funds through a ‘lavatory levy’ on tourist accommodation pedestals caused outcry and was not the publicity the town wanted!
Book, Port Macquarie: Sanatorium of the North Coast, 1931
Port Macquarie’s first tourist information and souvenir book was produced by photographer Harry Krantz. The book focused on the town’s past, present and future as a tourist destination with many photographs and commentary. Krantz highlighted the health benefits of holidaying at Port Macquarie and promoted the book as the finest of its kind ever devised.
Souvenir Program, Civic Dinner, 1939
When Federal politicians and ministers, Sir Earle Page and the Hon. Archie Cameron visited Port Macquarie in March 1939 the town went all out to impress and impose on the visitors the importance of Port Macquarie as a future regional centre. The Mayor noting, on expressing his thanks to them, ‘If we don’t get anything out of the visit we will get some publicity’.
Book, The Port: Port Macquarie Pictorial, 1946
Every picture tells a story and ‘The Port’ book is full of photographs and advertisements for local businesses. The introduction states ‘Port is the tourists’ paradise. There is much more that could be said of this coastal resort: but our Pictorial will convey to all who peruse it, the many and beautiful places of interest that words fail to describe’.
Port Macquarie Information and Guide Book, 1954
Port Macquarie Municipal Council was proud of its 1954 information and guide book. The Mayor writing in an opening message ‘…It has been published with the fervent hope that it may be the means of enlightening people, at home and distant places, of the many attractions of our picturesquely situated town. It is not without good reason, that thousands of visitors invade this centre during all the months of the year…’.
Brochure, Australia’s Vacation Centre, 1969
During the 1960s there was a big push for greater promotion of Port Macquarie as a tourist town but there was one small hurdle – money. In 1969 the public were asked for their suggestions on how to best promote the town. One contributor suggested full page colour advertisements in magazines with tourist operators funding the cost because ‘you’ve got to spend a quid to get a quid’.
Postcard, Greetings from Port Macquarie, 1976
The first official Tourist Information Centre was in the converted band rotunda, an unusual nine sided structure at the northern end of Horton Street. Remodelled in 1962, the Tourist Centre provided information and served as a travel and tours booking office, initially staffed solely by volunteers. In 1964 a visiting Alderman described it as ‘the best asset this town has’.