Summer is almost here and Port Macquarie is a getaway to add to your bucket list.
Boasting 17 picture-perfect beaches flanked by lush hinterlands, “The Port” is home to some of Australia’s most loved wildlife, and natural wonders, art and history is almost everywhere you turn. Foodies are in for a field day, with food trails, restaurants and bars to enjoy, day and night.
The vibe is both vibrant and laid-back so you can go as fast or as slow as you want.
And the best part? It’s all within a short drive from the town centre.
Your itinerary to one of Australia’s greatest treasures starts here.
Get among all creatures, great and small
Port Macquarie loves its koalas. You won’t have to look too hard to spot one in the wild, as the town is home to a significant population of these furry friends. At the award winning Billabong Zoo, you can pat koalas and many other Australian reptiles and mammals like snakes, cheetahs, meerkats and more. At the world first Koala Hospital, you can watch koalas get back to good health in their natural habitat and learn about koala conservation.
Whale watching is a must if you’re visiting between May and November. There are many vantage points across the town’s stunning coastline, and companies like Port Jet offer whale and dolphin spotting tours, while Cruise Port Macquarie offer river cruise dolphin tours.
Go on a camel safari along Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie’s most beautiful southerly beach. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a dolphin or whale while on safari.
Port Macquarie is a haven for nature lovers. Escape to the rainforest at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, where you can walk along the Rainforest Boardwalk, and relax at the Rainforest Café. Beach walkers can do the coastal walk, taking in 9kms of stunning coastline, lush rainforests and historical sights. It’s an easy walk, but you can access shorter trails and still soak up the scenery.
Love the wind in your hair? Beach to Bush Trike Tours offers guided one hour to half day coast to bush tours, or go deep sea fishing with Port Macquarie Fishing Charters.
Head off the beaten track to Rawson Lookout, and take the Rawson Falls walk to enjoy scenic waterfalls, birdlife and a swimming hole or go camping at Mount Boss State Forest, a secluded place with beautiful rock formations and a cool waterhole for a summertime swim.
Eat your heart out
Bago Maze and Winery is both picturesque and magical. Their famous hedge maze, one of the world’s largest, spans more than 2kms and is packed with hidden walkways and musical instruments. Have a glass of wine and charcuterie platter at the cellar door, then get lost in the maze.
Get among the food and wine scene with Taste Trails, five different culinary adventures taking in the best in of the region at your leisure.
Enjoy premium seafood at the iconic Whalebone Wharf or Bill's Fishhouse and Bar, and the award winning Stunned Mullet is the ultimate in classy beach bar. For a more laid-back dining experience, you can’t go past a beach picnic, with many fish and chips shops serving excellent local produce.
After dark, take a stroll with an ice cream from artisan gelato makers, Blue Cow Gelato. Head to Stick Bar for a cocktail and yakitori, or a glass of wine at Bar Florian for a slice of Venice on the NSW Central Coast.
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