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17 photos that prove why Port Macquarie should be top of your local holiday to-do list.

Port Macquarie
Thanks to our brand partner, Port Macquarie

You need a break.

You've spent the last four months trapped in your home, juggling the uncertainty of a global pandemic, never-ending Zoom meetings, home-schooling (if you've got kids), and your sudden desire to bake sourdough bread... from scratch

Your back hurts.

You can't handle one more person asking 'Can you guys hear me?' over Zoom. 

You long for sunny days at the beach. To feel the sand beneath your toes. To not be burdened by deadlines, and constant news updates, and the never-ending sense that you're not doing enough.

That's where Port Macquarie comes in. The coastal town on the mid-north coast of NSW, just four hours' drive from Sydney, is a much-loved family holiday destination, a quick getaway for busy couples, and the perfect retreat for anyone who needs a little 'me time'.

With 17 pristine beaches, lush hinterland, charming rural towns, incredible wineries and one-of-a-kind nature experiences, there's plenty of reasons Port Macquarie should be top of your local holiday to-do list.

Here are just some of the things you can do during your Port Mac stay: 

Watch a breathtaking sunset or sunrise. 

After months of being stuck inside, you're ready to be reminded that the world is so much bigger than your living room. That there's beauty in the simple things. Taking in a serene purple sunset at Lighthouse Beach, is the ideal way to end a relaxing day in and around Port Macquarie.

A bottle of local wine and a view of this little beauty will have you feeling refreshed and excited about what the future may hold in a matter of minutes.

A purple sunset at Lighthouse Beach. Image: Supplied/Matt Cramer. 

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Town Beach. Image: Supplied/Marcus Monteith

If you're more of an early riser, head down to the beach bright and early and soak up those morning rays, while the sky puts on a special show just for you.

Sunrise kangaroos at Diamond Head. Image: Supplied/Matt Cramer. 

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Visit some furry friends at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.

It's been six months since the bushfires tore through the Port Macquarie region. In that time, the local flora and fauna - including the adorable koalas - have began to bounce back. 

They encapsulate the Aussie spirit of resilience and looking out for your mates. While you're in the area, you can pop by the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital for a visit.

David the koala enjoys a nap. Image: Supplied. 

Koala Hospital bushfire release. Image: Supplied. 

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Taste the local drops at the wineries.  

While Port Mac is known for its beaches and summer holidays, it's also a sought after destination for foodies and wine connoisseurs.

Taste some local drops at Cassegrain Wines, sample the famous Jolly Nose Tawny and alcoholic ginger beer at Long Point Vineyard + Art Gallery, and enjoy delicious French-inspired cuisine overlooking the vineyards at Little Fish Restaurant + Vineyard

Oysters overlooking the vines at Cassegrain Wines. Image: Supplied/Lindsay Moller. 

Bago Maze & Winery is a must-do. Set on a working farm in a secluded valley, this cellar door has wine-tasting and local produce for the adults; but the standout for all ages is the hedge maze. With 2000 metres of pathways, this is one of the largest mazes in the world.


Bago Maze & Winery aerial view. Image Supplied/Bago Winery

 

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Enjoy a culinary journey through Port Macquarie's eateries.

Although we all love a feed of fish and chips down by the beach, Port Macquarie has so much more to offer. 

You can start your day with a coffee and pastry from Urban Grain Bakery, while you explore the Port Macquarie Coastal Walk.

A pastry for everyone at the Urban Grain Bakery. Image: Supplied/Jeremy Rogers. 

After taking in the local sites, enjoy a long, leisurely lunch at The Stunned Mullet. The menu features local seafood including seared scallops and crisp king prawns, plus hearty steaks and mouth-watering desserts.

Enjoy seafood at The Stunned Mullet. Image: Supplied/Destination NSW

Grab an early dinner at Bills Fishhouse + Bar, before indulging in a few cocktails at the Botanic Wine Garden. Their salty margaritas are a favourite among the locals. 

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Dinner at Bills Fishhouse + Bar. Image: Supplied. 

Enjoy a few drinks at the Botanic Wine Garden. Image: Supplied. 

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Get back to nature with some whale watching.

It wouldn't be a trip to the coast if you didn't see some whales. Port Jet Cruise Adventures have several whale watching vessels, including the high-adrenaline Waverider! Book a tour with a local guide or just try your luck at spotting the majestic creatures on your own. 

Whales breaching off the coast of Port Macquarie. Image: Supplied/ K Begg. 

Support local businesses while enjoying some retail therapy.

We've all heard the saying 'When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance'. 

Well, a visit to Port Macquarie is your opportunity to leave a bunch of small business owners dancing in your wake. 

The coastal centre and surrounding towns offer a range of fashion boutiques, home emporiums, and delis. Pick up a new spring dress for yourself from the LilliRose Design shop, which has an instore pop-up called Gold Dust Trader, get some herbal teas from The Hollow Store, and a few gifts for those back home from Elements of Design

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Add a few pieces to your wardrobe at the Gold Dust Trader. Image: Supplied. 

Stock up on supplies at The Hollow Store. Image: Supplied. 

Grab a few things for your home at Elements of Design. Image: Supplied. 

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Walk/ride/surf/play in the fresh air. 

The salty Port Macquarie air is the perfect antidote to months couped up inside. 

Rent a bike and ride along the beach. Hike through the Burrawan State Forest and pay a visit to the iconic 'Old Bottlebutt' tree. Or experience one of Port Macquarie's famous camel safaris on Lighthouse Beach. 

Take a bike ride along the shore at sunset. Image: Supplied. 

Experience nature at Old Bottlebutt. Image: Supplied. 

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Take a camel ride across the beach. Image: Supplied. 

With all this and more, Port Macquarie is the ideal location for your next girls' weekend away, family holiday, or romantic escape from the city. 

Start packing your bags and booking your leave. Port Macquarie is ready to play. Are you?

Go to portmacquarieinfo.com.au for more inspiration for your next local trip away.

Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie is a coastal gem located half-way between Sydney and Brisbane on the Mid North Coast of NSW. Boasting 17 gorgeous beaches, a lush hinterland, a diverse variety of attractions including the Koala Hospital, Billabong Zoo, river and ocean cruises, camel rides, and a choice of accommodation from 4.5 star luxury hotels to camping by the beach. This holiday favourite has undergone a transformation over the last couple of years, with its buzzing food and wine scene, artisan markets and unique boutique shopping. Top it off with one of the best year-round climates, incredible nature walks and friendly locals who will welcome you with open arms.
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