2018 marks 200 years since John Oxley and his team of 15 explorers traversed the mountains from the west and surveyed our region for early European settlement. For thousands of years before our region was inhabited by the Birpai people, the traditional custodians of our land.
Port Macquarie was named by John Oxley after the governor of NSW, Lachlan Macquarie in 1818. The Hastings River was named after the Governor General of India at around the same time. Although the area had been first noticed by Captain Cook on his voyage along the coast in 1770 and again later by Matthew Flinders in 1802, it was not explored in any detail until Oxley returned in 1819. Macquarie initiated Oxley's expedition as he was interested in the sites potential as a penal settlement.
The penal settlement would be established in 1821 under Captain Francis Allman who landed at the "town green" at the top of what is now Clarence Street. Captain Allman immediately began directing the 60 convicts sent to establish the settlement, to clear the area of trees and begin farming in order to become self-sufficient.
Over the period 2018 – 2021, Council is looking to bring the community together to commemorate this milestone period of our region’s history and celebrate our rich and diverse region - the history, the heritage and people who make our region what it is.
Find out what's happening in the region to celebrate
200 Together – An Exploration through Time
A number of community-led bicentenary events are taking place throughout the region during 2018. These events will culminate in Council’s own bicentenary event “200 Together - An Exploration through Time” which will be held on October 28th from 11am – 5pm on Town Green & Town Square.
The family-focused event will provide the community with the opportunity to celebrate our region’s Bicentenary and explore our region’s history by participating in interactive art & cultural elements, taking a walking tour of our key historical sites and listening to the stories of our region. When they want to wind down they can sit and enjoy the main stage entertainment as well be treated to the delicious food offerings available at the event from local businesses on Town Green as well as local stall holders on Town Square. Attendees will have the chance to immerse themselves in a cultural fusion of local art, musical performances and street performers.
The event will include:
- Main stage of music and performance
- Live entertainment across the site
- Activities to celebrate our Aboriginal culture
- Heritage walking tours across the CBD (every hour on the hour)
- Cultural & Heritage displays
- Food & market stalls
* Alcohol will not be available for sale at the event itself, however BYO alcohol will be permissible for consumption on the Town Green.
Download the event map.7MB pdf(PDF, 7MB)
Vendor and Performer Callout
Expressions of interest for Food Vendors and Market Stall Holders closed mid-September and all sites have now been allocated.
Celebrating Bicentenary Events & Projects
To commemorate our region’s significant milestone and to help the community come together and celebrate this rich and diverse region, Council is helping the community celebrate the 2018 Bicentenary.
Visit our Bicentenary community events listing for celebrations happening across the region.
If you are holding a community event to celebrate our Bicentenary, please let us know by submitting your event (Be sure to check the "Is this a Bicentenary event?" checkbox)
For more information on our Bicentenary:
This page was last updated on: 19 October 2018