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Explore Port Macquarie

Effective branding and marketing of residential developments is a delicate skill, which Toast has honed since our conception in early 2007.

In my opinion the most important part of our process is undoubtedly the thorough research phase that we conduct as a matter of course on every project.  From this phase we look to profile the appropriate target market, the competing projects as well as find out about points of interest in and around local areas. This research and strategy acts as the map, which navigates the entire project. It enables us to unearth the unique selling proposition of each project and create campaigns, which inspire, encourage and ultimately influence purchases.

Toast was fortunate to have caught the attention of an established development company with an exciting opportunity work on a campaign within the Port Macquarie area of the NSW Mid North Coast. Not overly familiar with this location I hopped into my car with my surfboard for company and sped north up the freeway in search of answers


On arrival I was welcomed with a warm tropical climate, breathtaking scenery and a distinct welcoming aura. I started by intrepidly investigating the idyllic location, immersing myself in the unique proposition of being a part of this imminently emerging community.

Next stop – Port Macquarie Historical Society and Museum – What better place to start to understand the cultural heritage of this picturesque town. There was lot’s to learn as I wandered through this quaint museum discovering the areas significant antique collections and rich local social history.

I stumbled across a convict register, which listed all convicts who were brought to Port Macquarie between 1821 and 1837. My suspicions were confirmed – Toast’s Design Director, Olly Barnes


and Digital Manager, Luke Chapman had both been hiding their criminal ancestry.



Could this be the Olly’s great, great grandfather? The infamous convict John Barnes himself? The family resemblance is un-canny!

Usually the first part of a property marketing campaign is to provide naming suggestions – certainly one of the outcomes of this trip was to inspire a number of potential name to be shortlisted and presented to the client. Names are often subjective. A certain name might sound great to one person and can be disliked by another for completely trivial reasons. In my opinion a name that leverages from a strategically led conceptual direction is always most effective.

Naming of developments often takes days of research; fortunately, during my visit to the museum I stumbled across a book that could save me a great deal of time. It’s called ‘What’s in a name?’ It provides rationale and historical relevance behind all of the names in and around the Hastings region. As one of Australia’s oldest settlements this kind of cultural heritage could provide the inspiration that I am looking for.


My insight and familiarity into Port Macquarie was growing rapidly. It was now time to move on.  My quest for knowledge led me to the waterfront. The town of Port Macquarie boasts an impressive panoramic of Pelican Island, Settlement Point, the Hastings River as well as a distant view of the barreling surf of North Wall beach. I am told that with the right size and swell direction a perfect, long, mellow wave breaks over the shallow riverbed, providing two to three hundred meter rides all the way to through Pelican Point.



Along the waterfront inside the bay I was transfixed on the large number of dolphins eagerly hunting for food just meters from the shore. Momentarily something diverted my attention – along side the break wall I noticed what I thought was large amounts of litter that must have been washed ashore.


As I approached closer I realized that this was not litter after all but an ever-evolving street art scene.  Literally hundreds of rocks had been painted with imaginative masterpieces and messages to loved ones. I am not sure of how this tradition originated however I was told by a local that the council put a fine in place years ago for anyone caught painting on the rocks. This was not effective so they now encourage locals and tourists alike to get involved with painting this unique coastal canvas.




The following day was spent with a quick visit to the Glasshouse Theatre & Art gallery. This award winning building designed by architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer offers a 600 seat theatre, rehearsal / performance studio, world class gallery, conference facilities and Tourism Information Centre. Could this local government investment be the start of an emerging cultural and creative scene within Port Macquarie I wondered?


This was this followed by an insightful guided canopy tour of the local rainforest as well as some visits to some competing residential developments within the local area.


With my research on the Port Macquarie area now complete, the only thing left was to take a paddle out to Middle Rock and take advantage of the warm water and perfect offshore surf conditions before I embark on a casual drive back to Sydney – armed with the knowledge and valuable insights that will enable Toast to deliver an astonishing brand and marketing campaign for this unique development.