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 & Ent
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:
Dining close to Beachside
Located just 50 metres from Beachside, serving Sicilian inspired pasta and woodfired pizza. Dine in or take away.
Located just 60 metres from Beachside, serving breakfast, sweets and lots more.
*Breaky deal available*
Located around the corner from Beachside Holiday Apartments, serving authentic and modern Asian cooking, lunch and dinner.
Located on Flynns Beach, just 80 metres from Beachside, serving a range of delicious food, all day breakfast, and lunch.
Located just 60 metres from Beachside, serving homemade Italian pasta and sauces.
Located just 50 metres from Beachside, offering dine in or takeaway rice paper rolls, sushi and more.
A Short Drive from Beachside to:
Just a 3 minute drive from Beachside, boasting three bars and two dining destinations. Serving breakfast to dinner.
Just a 6 minute drive from Beachside, family friendly and a wide range of menu items, lunch and dinner. Home delivery.
Located just a 12 minute drive from Beachside, experience majestic waterfront views and the finest seafood dishes.
Just 6 minute drive from Beachside, on the river, serving a refreshing experience of Asian cuisine.
Located just a 6 minute drive from Beachside, serving gourmet Japanese cuisine, lunch and dinner.
Shop 9, 6-14 Clarence Street
Located just a 4 minute drive from Beachside, experience gourmet burgers in Port Macquarie.
Just a 12 minute drive from Beachside, enjoy a French and Australia inspired lunch, overlooking the Vineyard.
Shop 2, 18-20 Clarence Street
Located just a 5 minute drive from Beachside, serving fresh, local seafood cuisine.
Bar and restaurant located just a 1 minute drive from Beachside. Open space dining with lush tropical surrounds.
Held every Sunday, featuring produce, crafts, art, clothing, wares, books, cakes and jams.
Organic fresh local produce, held at the Port Central Glasshouse forecourt, in Hay Street. Each Tuesday.
Held on the 3rd Sunday of every month, with an average of 150 stall holders and a wide variety.
Held on the 4th Saturday of each month, with the freshest and tastiest food from our local farmers and producers.
Staged on the 4th Sunday of each month, featuring a collection of works by local artisans and artists.
Held on the 2nd Saturday of each month, featuring local handmade art, fresh local produce, and more.
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!
Just 6 minutes' drive from Beachside Holiday Apartments, restaurant and pub, serving lunch, dinner and beverages.
Located just a 7 minute drive from Beachside, a centrally located restaurant and pub, serving lunch, dinner and drinks.
Just 6 minutes' drive from Beachside Holiday Apartments, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and beverages.
Just 6 minutes' drive from Beachside Holiday Apartments, Bar Capones is a bar inspired by the 1920's.
Located just a 10 minute drive from Beachside, a family-friendly community pub, serving lunch, dinner and drinks.
Nightclub, just 6 minutes' drive from Beachside Holiday Apartments, is Port Macquarie's local nightclub.
Located just 9 minutes' drive from Beachside, play, eat, drink and meet at Panthers Port Macquarie.
Located just an 8 minute drive from Beachside, The Westport Club serves lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks.
Just a 3 minute drive from Beachside, boasting three bars, and two dining destinations. Serving breakfast to dinner.
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:
Located just 18 minutes from Beachside Holiday Apartments, featuring cellar door, restaurant and more.
Just a 35 minute drive from Beachside, featuring maze, cellar door, chocolate shop and coffee bar.
Just a 13 minute drive from Beachside, serving french cuisine, with cellar door and restaurant.
Located just a 20 minute drive from Beachside Holiday Apartments, with wine tastings, local art and local products.
Just 9 minutes from Beachside, this is a Historic Homestead and Vineyard and still producing wine of exceptional quality.
Located just 20 minutes from Beachside, Roses Vineyard features a cafe and wine bar.
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:
Activities include the Ocean Blast thrill ride, river cruises, jet ski hire, dolphin spotting, and whale watching (May-Nov).
Port Macquarie deep sea fishing charter, regularly catching snapper, pearl perch, kingfish and jewfish.
Stand Up Paddle activities include sunrise paddles, sunset paddles, private lessons, board hire and more.
Across the road from Beachside Holiday Apartments, a patrolled family beach featuring great surfing and café.
Stoney Aqua Park boasts a wide array of inflatable fun items including slides, blast bags, swings, based a fresh water lake.
Port Macquarie Surf School, cater for all surfers from beginners to elite surfers, with private and group sessions daily.
Your family’s spirit of adventure will find a home in Port Macquarie. Here are some ideas to get you started...
A reputable paintball operation, with over 20 years experience in the industry.
From beginners, to experienced, groups or birthdays, or your weekend ride. Trail rides, romantic horse rides, and fine wine.
Port Macquarie Camel Safaris, for the best beach camel rides along the gorgeous Lighthouse Beach.
Enjoy walking, hiking or cycling along the 2km (one-way) walking track while taking in some natural and historical wonders.
Along the coastal walk, you'll pass historic sites, stunning coastal scenery, beaches, and rainforest. Visit site for more info.
CREEK NATURE PARK
On the edge of the CBD, with over 50 hectares of bush, 3kms of walking trails and boardwalks. Fauna and eco systems.
Captain Cook Bicentenary Road
Situated in the Dooragan National Park, North Brother Mountain offers some of the most accessible views on the east coast.
MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK
Located in Queen Lake State Forest, the park boasts 50km of single track mountain bike trails for enduro and cross country.
Throughout Port Macquarie
Over 60 large-scale sculptures, painted by various artists, placed from the mountain to the sea.
Don’t let a little rain dampen your plans for holiday family fun – there’s plenty to do indoors!
Corner of Horton and Clarence Street
Just 5 minutes from Beachside, a modern 5-screen multiplex with a candy bar, showing blockbuster 2D and 3D films.
Just 8 minutes from Beachside, Planet X features recreational skating, laser skirmish, giant slides, arcade games and more.
Level 1, The Ritz Centre, Horton Street
Located 5 minutes from Beachside, gaming arcade with fun for the whole family.
Just a 7 minute drive from Beachside, with indoor sports and Inflatable World playground and café.
Just a 9 minute drive from Beachside, featuring rock climbing, caving, highropes, leap of faith, and dark zone laser tag.
Just 10 minutes from Beachside, Wave Bowl ten pin bowling centre features 12 lanes, a cafe, bar and arcade games.
Golf and Tennis
Majestic and challenging 18-hole course with restaurant and bar, and free courtesy bus available.
Aim at targets floating in the water and win cash and prizes, or play 27-hole miniature golf.
Six all-weather courts in a lovely setting opposite Oxley Beach. Court hire, competitions and lessons available.
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...
Dedicated exclusively to the care and preservation of koalas, with 200 - 250 admitted annually. Guided tour every day.
Journey along the boardwalk through Sea Acres National Park, providing a wealth of information with guided tours.
Featuring native Australian and exotic animals, with zoo talks, animal encounters and zoo café open daily.
A breathtaking sight featuring a single drop of 200 metres, the second highest in the southern hemisphere.
A little off the beaten track, a lakeside haven for koalas and wildlife, and ideal for swimming, picnicking, boating and more!
Follow Rawson Falls walk all the way to the scenic waterfalls, passing a lookout, picnic area, and swimming hole.
History & Landmarks
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...
Located in Wauchope, Timbertown is a living depiction of a sawmiller's village, demonstrating life 100 years ago.
Historic Homestead and Vineyard, created 150 years ago and still producing wine of exceptional quality.
Mid North Coast Maritime Museum brings history to life through artifact, charts, maps, photographs and scale models.
Following the first burial in 1824, 1,500 soldiers, convicts and early settlers were laid to rest here.
Cnr Clarence and Hay Street
Build in 1869 and restored in 1993, the building was in use for 117 years, before the new court house was built in 1986.
The leading and most comprehensive museum in Port Macquarie, offering the best and authentic local history.
Lake Innes Nature Reserve
Open for guided tours only, showing remnants of the lavish house built by convicts for Major Archibald Clunes.
Explore the late-Victorian building located within the Macquarie Nature Reserve, built from red mahogany in 1890.
Originally built in 1841 to accommodate visiting military officers and new settlers. Burned down in 1886, rebuilt in 1887.
The fifth oldest Anglican Church still in use in Australia, built by convicts between 1824 - 1828.
The first Methodist Church on the North Coast. Building began in 1840, and was completed in 1846.
Opened in 1893, Port Macquarie's first bank, previously the Bank of New South Wales.