Port Mac, as it is affectionately known to locals and visitors, is one of the main coastal towns on the NSW Mid North Coast and it is famous for its excellent beaches and picturesque river.
Spend your days exploring the many beaches or taking coastal walk, and then in the evening tantalise those taste buds in the exploding foodie scene taking off around Port Macquarie, where local produce is the name of the game.
Located about 380km north of Sydney and 540km south of Brisbane, Port Macquarie is a great place to stop to break up the long drive between these two cities or it is also perfect for a longer stay for families, couples and single alike.
Here is my list of things to do in Port Macquarie that will keep you busy for at least at few days.
Port Macquarie Town Beach Breakwall
Starting from the Town Green, take a stroll along the Hastings River toward the river mouth and Port Maquarie’s popular Town Beach.
The breakwall offers great views at any time of day, however these views turn from great to spectacular at sunrise and sunset. Check out the flat rocks that line the breakwall as you walk, each one is hand painted by locals and visitors looking to leave their make on this lovely town.
Check out the flat rocks that line the breakwall as you walk, each one is hand painted by locals and visitors looking to leave their make on this lovely town.
Visit a Winery
Cassegrain Winery is located just off the highway and is not only a great place to taste a local wine or two, but also to enjoy one of the best meals you are likely to find in the area.
Step down into the below ground cellar door where you will pass by ageing barrels of wine on your way to taste everything from Chardonnay to Merlot.
Then head back up stairs to twotriplefour, the on-site restaurant, where their food philosophy is proudly local paddock to plate. The majority of the ingredients are sourced from within a 50km radius and then menu changes regularly to accommodate what’s fresh and in season.
Address: 10 Winery Dr, Port Macquarie
Cellar Door Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm
twotriplefour Hours: Wed-Sun 10am-4pm for Brunch and Lunch
Pick Strawberries at Ricardoes
A little outside of the main town closer to the highway is Ricardoes Tomatoes. While they do grow and sell delicious tomatoes, as the name suggests, Ricardoes is also home to a working strawberry farm.
Head to the main shop to grab a bucket and then you are free to roam the strawberry patches and pick your own strawberries to take home. You pay for what you pick!
While you are there, check out the shop, full of delicious preserves, most made on-site and the cafe which is said to have “the best scones in the world” according to this Daily Mail acticle, which I can tell you from experience may very well be true!
Address: 221 Blackmans Point Rd, Blackmans Point
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm Sat-Sun 8am-5pm | Cafe 9am-3pm daily
Check out the Beaches
I mentioned the popular Town Beach earlier, but that isn’t the only great beach in town.
Heading south along the coast from the centre of town you’ve got Oxley Beach, Rocky Beach, popular Flynns Beach and Nobbys Beach, Shelly Beach, Miner Beach and finally the longest stretch of sand in the region, Lighthouse Beach.
Most beaches are patrolled during summer and local school holidays making it safe for swimming. Don’t forget the sunscreen and hat to protect yourself from the hot Aussie sun.
Tacking Point Lighthouse
Built in 1879, Tacking Point Lighthouse is the 13th oldest lighthouse still standing today in Australia. The lighthouse was built due to over 20 shipwrecks occurring nearby in the early to mid 1800’s.
From the headland where the lighthouse sits you’ll find stunning panoramic views of the dramatic coastline and Lighthouse Beach.
Address: Lighthouse Rd, Port Macquarie
Take a Scenic Drive
Stretching south from Port Macquarie is a great half day coastal drive to enjoy some of the smaller towns and sights nearby.
Head south on Pacific Drive from Oxley Beach, follow the road along the coast making some beach stops (see above list of beaches) along the way.
Detour off Pacific Drive onto Lighthouse Drive to visit Tacking Point Lighthouse (more about that above) and then continue on Pacific Drive as it takes you slightly inland to join Ocean Road. Take a left onto Ocean Drive and follow this as it takes you to the sleepy coastal towns of Lake Cathie (pronounced Cat-eye) and North Haven.
Heading into Laurieton, from here you can explore the surround lakes, head to Camden Head or drive up to North Brother Lookout for some incredible 360 views of the coast and countryside.
Where to Stay in Port Macquarie
Budget – Ocean Breeze Motel
Mid-Range – South Pacific Apartments
Luxury – Rydges Hotel Port Macquarie
Over to you!
Which of these things to do in Port Macquarie is top of your list?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.