Things To Do
Port Macquarie is located in the beautiful North Coast region of New South Wales, about half- way between Sydney and Brisbane.
An attractive holiday destination with something for everyone, Port Macquarie offers a colourful history, ocean beaches with excellent surfing, abundant ocean and river fishing, breathtaking nature reserves and hiking trails, and activities to entertain the whole family.
Port Macquarie is renowned for having the most temperate climate in Australia, with winter and summer extreme temperatures limited to a couple of weeks each year.
Port Macquarie Attractions
The growing town of Port Macquarie is home to more than 70,000 residents. Its lively town centre boasts a delightful array of surfing, antique, craft and gift shops, along with outstanding restaurants featuring a variety of cuisines with international flair.
A natural paradise, Port Macquarie is surrounded by beautiful gardens, bushlands, wildlife preserves and tropical rainforests. For those who seek outdoor activities, Port Macquarie offers hiking, whale watching, hang gliding, golfing, and much, much more.
Above all, Port Macquarie is known for its water attractions:
Pristine coastal beaches featuring free parking and barbecue facilities
Awe-inspiring whale watching cruises, from June through October
World-class surfing and surfing schools
Ocean and river boating, as well as windsurfing
Fishing, with bream, flathead, jewfish, tailor and whiting in abundance
Surfing is a popular past time in Port Macquarie with its great surfing beaches, but surfers are not the only sights you will see off the beaches. Dolphins and migrating whales are also spotted off Port Macquarie’s coastline as well as plenty of bird life.
Koala’s can often be found high in the gum trees around Port Macquarie, however if you want a closer look you can visit the local Koala Hospital, or have a cuddle at the Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park. If you just love nature, Port Macquarie and the surrounding region has breathtaking walks along the beautiful coastline and through scenic rainforests.
Food & Entertainment
For your convenience, our roomy kitchens are fully equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, cooktop and oven, crockery and cutlery — everything you need to prepare a delicious meal. Dine in, order take-away, barbecue — or, if you prefer, stroll a short distance to sample the cuisine of some of Port Macquarie’s most popular restaurants and take aways. The restaurants and bistros of Port Macquarie offer something for every taste, from international cuisine to the freshest seafood in the world.
Warning: there are so many great places to eat in Port Macquarie that you may find it hard to settle on one.
Here are a few suggestions...
Walking Distance from Beachside to:
A Short Drive from Beachside to:
The Pubs and Clubs
After a day of fun in the sun, check out these venues for a cool drink and a night on the town. Music, dancing and colourful local characters are waiting for you!
The picturesque countryside surrounding the historic Hastings River wine region makes it a must-see destination; but for wine lovers, the proof is in the tasting.
The temperate climate in Port Macquarie is ideal for growing the grapes that produce Port Macquarie’s famous premium wines, including such varietals as chardonnay, semillon, sauvignon blanc, verdelho, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. The region is best known, however, for chambourcin, a rare French red variety which thrives in the relatively humid environment.
Port Macquarie’s winemaking history dates back to the early 19th century. Today, more than 200 hectares of vines produce the grapes that support a number of wineries, including:
Port Macquarie is one of the most family-friendly resort areas on the Mid-North Coast. With so many exciting activities to choose from, you’ll never hear those dreaded words: “I’m bored!” From whale watching to surfing safaris to horse riding, there are a million and one ways to have fun in this spectacular holiday destination.
See some ideas below...
A Water Wonderland
Whether you prefer boating and fishing or swimming and surfing, Port Macquarie’s legendary beaches and waterways are here to explore. Your family will love:
Your family’s spirit of adventure will find a home in Port Macquarie. Here are some ideas to get you started...
Don’t let a little rain dampen your plans for holiday family fun – there’s plenty to do indoors!
Golf and Tennis
Nowhere on the planet will you see a more spectacular array of natural sights than Port Macquarie. Stunning rainforests, cute and cuddly koalas, tropical birds and exotic orchids… surely, this must be paradise.
From here at Beachside enjoy leisurely viewing of the migrating whales from our Rooftop BBQ Deck. Nearby, witness the wonder of nature’s delicate ecological balance as you roam through several diverse ecosystems. Marvel at the sights and sounds, the colours and fragrances, and the diverse plant and animal life. Whether you’re looking for thrilling adventure in the bush-lands or an opportunity to commune quietly with nature, Port Macquarie has it all. Here's a few to get you started...
History of Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie is named after Lachlan Macquarie, the governor of NSW from 1810 to 1821. While early explorers Captain Cook (1770) and Matthew Flinders (1802) passed by Port Macquarie on their voyages, John Oxley was the first to explore the Hastings River Valley in 1818.
In 1819, at the request of Governor Macquarie, Oxley returned to determine the suitability of the port and surrounding area for use as a penal colony. Founded in 1821, the penal settlement was abandoned in 1830, making way for settlers who were drawn to the area’s pastoral lands, natural resources and fishing. The city of Port Macquarie was established in 1887.
Today, historical buildings, museums and landmarks – the remnants of Port Macquarie’s rich past – attract sightseers and history lovers from around the world.
Historical Sites and Landmarks in the Greater Port Macquarie Region
Established as a penal colony in 1821, Port Macquarie boasts a history as rich and colourful as its origins. And while modern Port Macquarie is a growing town of more than 70,000 residents, many of its original buildings are still standing, providing a compelling link between past and present. See some examples below...