7 Reasons to Visit Sensational Port Macquarie
Words Glenn Marshall
Pics Matt Williams and Port Macquarie Hastings Council
There is so much to enjoy in Port Macquarie, it wasn’t hard to come up with a list of things to see and do. The challenge was keeping it to seven, as you’ll discover when you visit the region for yourself.
CRAFT BEER HOT SPOT
The Craft Beer market is enjoying an explosion in popularity and there are a few brewers who are sharing their unique creations with very happy locals and a growing number of tourists.
Location: 1/58 Uralla Road, Port Macquarie
Location: 35 Merrigal Road, Port Macquarie
Location: 6B Acacia Avenue, Port Macquarie
Whether you are a pro surfer or someone who just wants to learn how to carve up the waves, Port Macquarie is the place to go. From beginners to great surfers, The Port Macquarie Surf School holds lessons at Flynns Beach, which is also the town’s best family beach. Otherwise, the best breaks can be enjoyed at Lighthouse, Flynns and Town beaches, with the next best Shelly and North Shore. Middle at the Town Beach is suitable for experienced surfers only. Further south, Rainbow, North Haven, Cathie, Grants and Dunbogan beaches are all good hangouts.
The colourful break wall is a popular starting point for the Coastal Walk that leads nine kilometres to the Tacking Point Lighthouse. Along the way, you’ll pass historic sites while experiencing stunning seaside beauty. Between May and November, you may be lucky enough to spot migrating Humpback whales from one of the best vantage points on the east coast of Australia. The walking track traverses beaches, boardwalks, sections of stairs, bush track and viewing platforms along its route, which can also be broken up into shorter sections, handy if you have kids.
The locals are spoilt for choice when it comes to 4WD beach driving along the Mid North Coast region as we discovered while organising the 2021 CTOTY event. Firstly, the rules need to be read and understood before a permit is required to be purchased ($33 for 30 days or $66 per annum). Secondly, you need to remember that you’re sharing the beach with others, including children and pets. Once your permit is sorted, you have several beaches to choose from, with a varying degree of difficulty and conditions that are ever-changing, and they include:
- North Shore
- Lighthouse Beach
- Rainbow Beach
- Grants Beach
- Dunbogan Beach
- Kylie’s Beach
CAMELS ON THE BEACH
Cable Beach isn’t the only beach in Australia that has camel tours walking the beach, with Port Macquarie Camels taking care of business at Lighthouse Beach. The cameleers operate every day except Saturday and Christmas Day and offer 30-minute rides between 9.30am–1pm and 20-minute rides between 9am–2pm during NSW school holidays. Riding atop a ship of the desert is an ideal way to experience a walk along one of Port Macquarie’s most spectacular beaches.