1. Take a camel ride on Lighthouse Beach
Operating every day of the week except Saturday and Christmas Day, Port Macquarie Camel Safaris offer tourists the chance to ride a camel across some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, where you can spot dolphins and whales from the shore. Prices range from $15 for children up to $40 for adults (cash only), and rides last half an hour.
2. Pick your own fresh strawberries
No visit to Port Macquarie is complete without a trip to Ricardoes Tomatoes & Strawberries, where you can pick your own strawberries fresh from the plant, then purchase some of the region’s finest preserves and produce from the on-site store. Open seven days a week, be sure to visit between 9am and 5pm to pick strawberries, or before 3pm if you want to grab a bite to eat at the café.
3. Visit Bago maze and vineyard
Bago Maze and Vineyard is a place where grown-ups can enjoy a glass of local wine, a plate of cheese and a side of Russian chocolates from Baba Lila while watching the kids attempt to escape the largest hedge maze in NSW. The cellar door is open from 9am to 5pm, with café-style snacks and cold drinks available between 10am and 3pm. If you’re just looking for a place to have a picnic, be sure to bring a blanket and set-up on the rolling lawns, or hire a barbecue for a small fee.
4. Walk the breakwall
A breezy walk along Port Macquarie’s coastal breakwall is the perfect vantage point for dolphin and whale spotting, while the skate park, cafes and shops along the way offer ample opportunities to take a break.
5. Explore Sea Acres Rainforest
One of the largest remaining coastal rainforest reserves in Australia, Sea Acres has an easy 1.3km boardwalk that tours through native flora and fauna.
6. Get up close and personal with Koalas
The Koala Hospital is a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in rehabilitating and rehoming sick, injured or abandoned koalas. There is a free tour at 3pm every day where staff will introduce their permanent residents, educate you about koala welfare in Australia, and what you can do to help Australia’s cutest native animal.
7. Go whale watching
Whale watching is, without a doubt, one of the most magical wildlife encounters you’ll ever experience. Fortunately, Port Macquarie welcomes many whales to its waters during migration season, and the staff at Port Jet Cruises know all the good spots for finding the travelling pods. Prices range from $45 to $60 for a 90-minute cruise.
8. Go for a hike
Nature-lovers and hikers will enjoy the steep climb up North Brother Mountain, located in Dooragan National Park. The panoramic views of the coast are worth the climb, but if you want a more leisurely experience the lookouts are easily accessible by car. There are picnic areas nearby, and be sure to keep an eye out for para-gliders, as the summit is a popular launch location.
9. Go for a swim
Town Beach is a beautiful little stretch of sand located within the township of Port Macquarie. Easily accessible, there’s a café on the shore and shops within walking distance.
10. Eat seafood
The coastal location of Port Macquarie naturally makes it foodie heaven for seafood-enthusiasts. The Stunned Mullet is a Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide chef’s hatted restaurant and has been rated in the top 10 of Trip Advisor's Travellers Choice Awards for Fine Dining, and we highly recommend it.
How to get there and where to stay
Qantas Link and Virgin fly direct into Port Macquarie from Sydney and Brisbane, or you can drive to Port Macquarie from Sydney in just 4 hours, or from Brisbane in 7 hours. While there are plenty of local hotels available, Sails Port Macquarie by Rydges is the newest 4-and-a-half star resort in town and is within easy walking distance of most amenities. Be sure to try out the onsite restaurant, Boathouse, and take a dip in the heated pool.
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