Port Macquarie, the land of beaches and hinterlands on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. You’re all sorted with your boutique accommodation with Ana Mandara Luxury Bed & Breakfast, but what is there to do around Port Macquarie? We’ve compiled a list of the ‘Must-Do’s’ for you while you’re staying at this luxury waterfront retreat.
1. Wander along Breakwall
Take a walk from the Town Green to Town Beach along breakwall and get a sense of what everyone loves about Port Macquarie. Along this path, which is the start of the Coastal Walk, you’ll discover a collage of brightly coloured rocks. Through the years, visitors and locals have added their messages, tributes and memories. If you’re lucky, as you wander along the waterfront, you might spot some marine life, or if you time it right, see a colourful sunset.
2. Billabong Zoo Koala & Wildlife Park
If you love wildlife, both Australian and Exotic, make sure you visit Billabong Zoo Koala & Wildlife Park. Known for its world-class koala breeding centre, it also is home to snow leopards and red pandas whom you might be able to spot if they’re not playing hide and seek.
3. Sunrise from Town Beach
Sunrise is an amazing way to start the day wherever you are in the world. A great option when visiting Port Macquarie is to see the spectacle from Town Beach. It’s a beautiful spot to see the sun rise, a great starting point for the Coastal Walk and it is close to town, which means your wake-up call shouldn’t be too painful.
4. The Coastal Walk
We’ve mentioned the Coastal Walk a few times now, so of course, it makes the list. This 9km trail is a must-do hike in Port Macquarie. Starting at Town Beach, you’ll walk south to Tacking Point Lighthouse. You’ll pass Flynns and Shelly Beach, walk through rainforests, gaze at small inlets bordered by rocky headlands and inspect the rough waves below. If you’re lucky, you might even witness marine life out at sea.
5. Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
In the wake of the 19/20 bushfires, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital searched for koalas to rehydrate and examine, and treated those that were lost or injured. You can visit the hospital to see and learn more about koalas and the important work the hospital does in the community. If anything, it’s a great way to donate your time or coin to an amazing cause.
6. Whale-watching cruise
From May to November every year, humpback whales make their annual pilgrimage down the east coast of Australia to Antarctica. Port Macquarie is one of the top destinations on the coast where you can get up close to whales with daily tours offered. Depending on your luck you can catch a glimpse of humpback whales doing some gymnastics and rolling about in the water. If you don’t want the up-close viewing, you can often see the whales from the shore. A highly recommended vantage point is from the Tacking Point Lighthouse.
7. Hit the beaches
Whether you want to learn to surf, go for a swim, take your 4WD for a spin or have a relaxing picnic, Port Macquarie has 18 beaches for you to choose from. Each with something different to offer. Town Beach is central and one of the closest options to your Port Macquarie accommodation, Ana Mandara. Hidden from the wind, Flynns Beach is ideal for beginner surfers. If you’re an intermediate surfer, wanting to try beach fishing or even a camel ride on the beach, Lighthouse Beach is an option.
8. The Beach House
An iconic coastal venue and favourite local hangout, you can’t visit Port Macquarie and not enjoy a beverage and meal at The Beach House. With its contemporary menu and prime waterfront location, it’s the place to relax and unwind.
9. Port Macquarie Heritage
Port Macquarie’s original inhabitants were the Birpai people, and in 1921 the British settled in the area. Explore the heritage of the region, discover the past through stories and visit historical sites with a guided walking tour. Visit the Port Macquarie Museum to understand the history from when the penal colony settled to the present day.
10. Cassegrain Wines
Cassegrain Wines is one of Port Macquarie’s premier wine destinations and an oasis full of luscious trees, colourful flowers and various wildlife. The Cassegrain family began making wine in 1643 and have combined their French grape growing heritage and winemaking traditions with Australian technologies to create their mouth-watering wines. You can drop by the cellar door to taste the full-flavoured but soft and elegant wines, dine at Twotriplefour or wander through the gardens Experience the excitement in being in the centre of a working winery where you won’t be let down with the flavours of the wine as Alex Cassegrain was awarded 2021 ASVO Winemaker of the year.
11. North Brother Mountain
If you’re up for exploring the great outdoors, North Brother Mountain provides some of the most accessible and spectacular views of the region. Take a picnic (Reach out to us if you’d like our chef to prepare a cold fresh hamper) and set up your spot at either the provided facilities or on the open grass area. If you’re after a hike and a walk, there are plenty of trails for all fitness levels.
12. Strawberry picking
You’ve got your three-course breakfast sorted at your luxury bed and breakfast, but what about your snacks? Head to Ricardo’s to pick your own strawberries or tomatoes. It’s a 16 minutes drive from Ana Mandara or a 10-minute drive from the Port Macquarie CBD and boasts 5 varieties of strawberries. If you’re interested in strawberry farming, you can also partake in a free guided farm tour.
If you need a cultural experience when visiting Port Macquarie, visit Glasshouse, home to theatre, a regional gallery, and heritage displays. The Innovative and environmentally sustainable precinct provides high-quality exhibition, conference and performing arts facilities. Check online for what’s on or coming up. Visit the gallery which showcases 20-25 diverse exhibitions with indigenous, contemporary, historical, traditional, design and sculptural works.
Stop by the Glasshouse shop for some retail therapy. Browse the glassware, handcrafted jewellery and corporate gift, ceramic gifts.
14. Wander the Markets
Discover more of Port Macquarie and the local retailers through the market scene. Operating every weekend and even some weekdays, you’ll find fresh produce, gifts, crafts and more! If it’s fresh produce you’re after, be sure to visit Wauchope Farmers Market on the fourth Saturday of the month. If you’re after eclectic arts & crafts from local artists, visit The Artist Market. For a combination of fresh produce and local art with water views, you’ll find something at the Foreshore Markets.
It’s a list not for the faint-hearted, but you don’t need to see it all on your first visit! Relax knowing that you’ll wake feeling refreshed when staying with Ana Mandara Luxury Bed & Breakfast, ready for a new day of adventures in Port Macquarie.