Port Macquarie, arguably could be a winter escape which you might not have put on your list… Having visited there recently, I think you’re missing a trick if this wonderful coastal town hasn’t been considered for an escape as we venture into the colder months.
There’s so much to see and do in this hidden gem, whether you’re a family, single, a couple or a gaggle of girls or guys, there’s literally something to suit everyone.
Community and connection are at the heart of Port Macquarie and it’s clear to see from the moment you arrive. Whether in the sense of locals working together to showcase the destination as a fab offering for locals and visitors, or connection in terms of families having a break away together to explore NSW, Port Macquarie offers second-to-none services to visitors from across Australia.
Let’s start by getting there
Port Macquarie is easily accessible, whether looking drive or fly from Sydney, both options are desirable for different reasons.
The drive from Sydney is roughly four hours, which means if you set off at 6am, you can be there for 10/11am depending on pit stop time – not too shabby!
If you’re flying, the flight takes just under an hour, and Virgin and Qantas fly regularly from Sydney Airport. Worth noting that by the time you’ve got to the airport, checked in, gone through security, been on the plane and landed and collected baggage, it’s roughly the same time and you save yourself an airfare.
Sip and Savour – Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie is renowned for its immersive events which showcase providores from its local community. I went to ARTwalk last year and was in awe of the local talent on show, as well as the abundance of activities.
I’m sure that Sip and Savour will also deliver in terms of an event which exceeds expectations. Sip and Savour is on from Friday 9th June. – Sunday 11th June.
Billed as a fully immersive ‘taste of the region’, guests can expect a sensory and cultural experienced to be remembered. It’s the largest and best celebration of the best of Port Macquarie including local musicians 19 Twenty, Rubens and Thelma Plum. Foodie-wise, celebrity and local culinary professionals will showcase unique regional produce and dishes.
The weekend will showcase the best of the region when it comes to food, drink, entertainment, and culture. Music, culture, stunning landscapes, and live music will be at the centre of the bill of entertainment for the 3-day spectacular.
WHERE: Park Street, Port Macquarie, 2444, Australia
WHEN: Friday 9th (5 – 10pm), Saturday 10th (12 – 6pm) and Sunday 11th (12 – 6pm)
WHAT: For more info check out: https://port-macquarie.sipandsavour.com.au
Best for families
If it’s too short notice for the long weekend, fear not, every week in Port Macquarie has so much to offer, you’ll need to book another trip to fit it all in. Port Macquarie is the perfect family escape destination and would be ideal for the upcoming school holidays.
No matter what your kids are into (big kids too), there’s something to suit all tastes and preferences.
Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
Worth a visit, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital is such a special place. Meet all the koalas who have been rescued and learn about their stories. Whether they’ve been saved from bush fires or picked up from the side of the road following a collision with a car, these cuddly inspirations are sure to put a smile on your face.
Other options for your wildlife and animal fix are Billabong Zoo and Koala Wildlife Park.
Bago Maze and Winery
With so much to offer visitors, the Bago Maze and Winery also caters for little kids and big kids. The sprawling acreage provides the perfect spot to sample a sip of the wine, whilst the kids explore the maze and try to escape. Located in the winery is the Baba Lila Chocolate Shop, which offers chocolate making workshops, which leaves the kids entertained and satisfied with a sugary treat to take away, which they made themselves – impressive!
Port Jet whale watching
As we enter Whale Watching season, Port Macquarie packs a punch when it comes to whale spotting. Port Jet provides tours every day and are super friendly and insanely knowledgeable about the best spots out at sea to spy these majestic animals in their natural environment.
More for the fam on the foodie front
After all the adventures and animal encounters, families are sure to be in search of their foodie fix via one of Port Macquarie’s stunning eateries. We sampled the best of the best to provide a roundup of our top picks.
Ricardo’s Tomatoes provides a hybrid of the two – a fun activity and foodie heaven with NSW’s best scones (it’s official). Kids can enjoy picking from the strawberries and tomatoes a-plenty. Then the whole family can take a seat in the welcoming restaurant, which is always bustling with patrons (including locals and visitors).
Other eateries which are casual and inviting, with great food to boot:
- Little Turkey ultimate Turkish food experience
- Stick Bar – craft cocktails and yakitori
- Hello Sailor – food truck and bar by the marina
Beach Front dining:
Zebu is a stunning restaurant which boasts waterfront dining in town, it’s also massively kid friendly with a dedicated menu for the lil’ ones and activities for them to do whilst the grownups dine.
Other notable waterfront entries:
- Boathouse at Sails Port Macquarie
- Salty Crew Kiosk – Views and great vibe
- Little Shack – Amazing view of the sunset and cocktails and tacos!
Farm to table:
So many of Port Macquarie’s restaurants boast local produce and support local suppliers, these are no exception:
Bills Fishhouse – My son Albie and I had the absolute player of visiting Bills and meetingChef and owner Pete Cutcliffe. The restaurant is an absolute blinder and should be top of your list if seafood is your bag! Literally mouthwatering, we had trouble whistling down the dishes and left with fully tummy and a but smile!
Another which should feature on your hit list is Two Triple Four
All in all, if you haven’t been pulled to Port Macquarie yet, you’re missing out massively! We have a hunch that once you visit, you’ll be back time and time again!