In Travel

Why Port Macquarie Makes For The Perfect NSW Weekend Break

Balmy weather year-round, dozens of nearby walking tracks and, unexpectedly, a handful of fine dining experiences that even include a hatted restaurant (The Stunned Mullet); it’s not hard to see why Port Macquarie has long made for the perfect weekend break.

Visiting for the first time, or been before and curious to see if there’s anything you’ve been missing out on? We asked Sarah Cooper, Concierge at Port Macquarie by Rydges Resort, for her area expert advice.

Getting around

Port Macquarie

Image: Coastal Walk / Greater Port Macquarie

Walking is the best way to get around in Port Macquarie with everything close by and gorgeous water views on most of the paths from the city centre and further out. There are plenty of wide paths for bicycles, scootering or skateboards and, of course, driving along our coast looking for whales is always an option too.

Where to get the best coffee

Port Macquarie

Image: The Beach House / Destination NSW

We have a pretty good range of coffee shops but my favourite would have to be either Bandwagon on William Street or The Beach House at Town Green. They each have a different style but both offer relaxed vibes and excellent coffee.

The must-visit dining spots

Port Macquarie

Image: The Stunned Mullet / Destination NSW

We have an awesome range of amazing restaurants but for stellar seafood, Bills FishHouse or Whalebone Wharf are must-visit spots. For a more elegant dining experience, Zebu at Rydges Port Macquarie or The Stunned Mullet are sensational.

Of course, we also have our very own Boathouse Bar and Restaurant that we always suggest to our guests. The Banoffee Waffle really can’t be missed.

A local’s secret venue

Sushiko on Short Street – an amazing Japanese restaurant that’s only open for lunch.

The must-do activities

Port Macquarie

Image: Cassegrain Wines / Destination NSW

Water-based activities such as stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, jet boating, jet skiing or simply leisurely cruising down the river are definitely worth doing. Otherwise, a camel ride down the gorgeous Lighthouse Beach or the Coastal Walk from Town Beach to Flynns Beach are great options for families and can be arranged with Port Macquarie Safaris.

We have lots of nearby wineries or our General Manager’s favourite is a quick flight from the Marina to Dunbogan where you can get a tour and tasting at Rockin’ Oysters. Their seafood is as fresh as it gets.

A local’s secret nature spot

Kooloonbung Creek is in the centre of town but when you start walking further along the raised platforms, you feel less and less like you’re in a city at all. It’s a quick, stunning walk with lots of fascinating information about our natural surroundings.

The one thing visitors always get wrong about Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie

Image: Gaol Point Lookout / Destination NSW

Most people think Port Macquarie is sleepy and that we only have an aging population, which isn’t true. We’ve grown so much over the last several years with the addition of the University and some amazing small, local businesses.

We still have a relaxed, coastal vibe but with plenty to see, eat and do.

(Lead image: Sails Port Macquarie by Rydes Resort / supplied)

Published 31 July, 2019