We love sharing our beautiful Greater Port Macquarie region with visitors! Here are some our staff’s favourite spots around the area. Always feel free to come to Reception and pick our brains about any other activities you are wanting to do in the area or places you would like to visit. We are more than happy to help by providing any information we can to make your stay in Port Macquarie more enjoyable.
Jessica resides in the gorgeous outlying area of Laurieton. Just a short drive from Port Macquarie, Laurieton is close to stunning beaches and spectacular national parks and reserves. This area is well worth the drive from Macquarie Waters and you’ll find plenty of things to do such as fishing, boating, kayaking, bushwalking and swimming.
These are Jessica’s top picks!
North Brother Mountain
Pack a picnic and drive 30kms to North Brother Mountain in Dooragan National Park, just near Laurieton. North Brother Mountain offers some of the most accessible, panoramic and Instagram-worthy views on the east coast of Australia. The view looks over the magnificent Camden Haven Inlet with the Camden Haven River winding between Queens and Watson Taylors Lakes. Views extend up to Crowdy Head in the south and as far as Mount Yarrahappini in the north. There is a picnic shelter and tables, BBQ facilities and parking.
Dunbogan Boat Shed
Dunbogan Boatshed is nestled on the banks of the Camden Haven River just a short drive from Port Macquarie. Built in the 1940s, it still carries the charm of an old boatshed, with the modern touches of relaxed seating on the deck, a large range of bait & tackle, fish feeding, as well as kayak, tinny & BBQ boat hire.
Locals and tourists can enjoy a quality coffee on the deck, while they soak up the view of the yachts on the water, with the back drop of North Brother Mountain... which is truly breathtaking! You may even catch sight of a dolphin feeding amongst the nearby reeds, while you feed the fish from the deck.
Kattang Nature Reserve Walks
This reserve is about 58 hectares in size and is located approximately 3 kilometres east of Laurieton. Jessica highly recommends doing the Flower Bowl Circuit especially if visiting around Spring.
Flower Bowl Circuit Walk - This looped walk passes through the centre of Kattang Nature Reserve and the trail is popular for the many wildflowers that are in bloom. The walk is an easy to moderate 2 hour stroll. Along this walk also is the Charles Hamey Lookout with views of Dunbogan Beach up to Diamond Head.
Point Perpendicular Walk - This walk heads off from the Flower Bowl Circuit and then winds out to the point. It is an easy 2.5 hour walk. Along this walk is Logan's Lookout, which provides views of North Haven up to Port Macquarie and the coastline. Perpendicular Point is a great spot to catch a view of humpback whales as they migrate past here heading north to warmer waters in autumn and winter, before heading back past again with their calves in spring and early summer.
Plaza Theatre Laurieton
Visit the movie theatre that inspired Baz Luhrmann to become a film maker. Baz Luhrmann's father was the projectionist in the early 70s and this is the point in Baz's life when he was bitten by the motion picture industry bug. This theatre is small and friendly with classic touches. Jessica’s tip: Arrive early to get the best seats! And stop by the Laurieton Bakery in the main street for a treat.
47 Bold Street, Laurieton T: 02 6559 8755
Laurieton Fisherman’s Co-op
With the loss of our fishing co-op in Port Macquarie this is now the go-to place for fresh seafood and well worth the drive. Along with fresh local seafood they make some of the most raved about fish & chips in the Greater Port Macquarie area, cooked to perfection! Just make sure the seagulls don’t steal a chip.
Mill Street, Laurieton T: 02 6559 9219
Christopher is our after hours manager and lives on site here at Macquarie Waters, to provide any assistance to guests outside reception hours. He loves living in the Hotel as it provides him walk-distance access to so many cafes and restaurants, the shopping strip and Town Beach.
These are Christopher’s top picks!
The Breakwall & Coastal Walk
One of the best things about living at the Hotel is that Chris is only steps away from the Port Macquarie Breakwall. This path is favoured by locals and tourists alike, and you can see people pounding the pavement here from sunrise to sunset. The Breakwall features rocks that have been painted and repainted by people again and again. Typically, the colourful rocks along the wall display pictures, tributes to loved ones who have passed away, commemorations of anniversaries or holidays. It started as an art competition in 1995 and continues to this day with anyone able to paint a rock at any time. Toward the end of the Breakwall is Town Beach Reserve, with a clean modern playground and friendly skate park frequented by all age groups and abilities, scooters, skateboards and rollerblades all welcome.
This Breakwall continues on into what is known as Port Macquarie’s Coastal Walk, going past Town Beach, winding along the coast via Flagstaff, Rocky Beach lookout, Nobby’s Beach and Harry's lookout to Sea Acres.
The walk is divided into 4 sections:
• Westport to Town Beach (2km)
• Town Beach to Flynns Beach (2.2km)
• Flynns Beach to Shelly Beach (2.2km)
• Shelly Beach to Tacking Point (2.7km)
You will see several historical sites along the way and enjoy stunning surrounds. Between May and November you might even spot a whale or two on their annual migration, and dolphins can be seen year round. The walk ends at Tacking Point Lighthouse / Lighthouse Beach, where you can catch a bus to return if your legs are not up to the walk back.
The Tacking Point Lighthouse is a definite Instagram moment!
Burger Rebellion & Bar Florian
Directly across the road from Macquarie Waters we have two new kids on the block, Burger Rebellion and Bar Florian.
Burger Rebellion is dishing up an array of gourmet burgers daily from Tuesdays to Sundays, and coming up with fantastical new burger combinations all the time. Chris’s pick is the Pulled Pork burger, give it a whirl!
Bar Florian is owned by Gino & Maree who have stayed true to Gino’s parent’s regional background of the Veneto and Vicenza regions of Italy. With a retro 60s Italian aesthetic, the venue has been created for patrons to share some of the finest cured meats, cheeses and condiments served on hand crafted glass platters. The bar is also a local hotspot to unwind with a glass of wine or cocktail, and indulge in some traditional Italian style pizza. You can’t go wrong with an Aperol Spritz and a slice of Funghi or Calabrese pizza.
The Byabarra Bakehouse Café and B&B
The Byabarra is situated in the heart of the tiny village of Byabarra, named one of Australia’s top 10 obscure locations to visit. Its located a leisurely half hour scenic drive from Port Macquarie, where upon arrival you’re rewarded with a view over the Thone River Valley and Quintoc Range, which is both breathtaking and mesmerising, irrespective of the weather.
The ambiance at The Byabarra is warm and welcoming and offers a unique experience. The staff here at Macquarie Waters visited The Byabarra for our Christmas dinner and found the view, the food and the staff all outstanding!
They have a mix of indoor and alfresco dining on the open deck and covered veranda, with wood-fired pizzas. The bar is fully licensed with a hand-picked selection of wine and beer to cater for all palates. The Byabarra Café & Bar is open Thursday through to Sunday and most public holidays. It is well worth the drive!
Local produce – Real Food Market within walking distance of Macquarie Waters
On each Tuesday from 2:00pm in the Port Central Glasshouse Forecourt Port Macquarie, the stalls are full of organic, chemical free, locally grown goodness. Just stroll down as it is only a block and a half from the hotel and you can stock up on all the beautiful organic, local seafood, meats, pork, fruit, vegetables and gourmet goodness on offer! There is often Live Music and a huge range of local produce, including:
• Near River Produce
• Ewetopia Farm
• Croft Farm
• Bellingen Smokehouse
• Kindling Woodfired Bakery
• Lake Innes Lettuce & Herbs
• Loganfresh salad greens
• Larry’s Orchids
• Doraville Organics
• Honeycomb Farm
• Sidler Vegetables
• Organic Mattrs
• Organic Cafe
• Warinyan Farm
• Wilmaria Olives
• East Coast Eggs