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A four-hour drive north of Sydney, Port Macquarie is a subtropical paradise famed for its stunning coastline, rainforests and mountains. From visiting the Koala Hospital to a stroll in Crowdy Bay National Park, here are the best things to do in the Australian town.
Whatever your preference, Port Macquarie has a market for everyone – from farmers’ markets showcasing the best local produce to art markets and bazaars. Foodies won’t want to miss the Real Food Markets on Hay Street every Tuesday, while art enthusiasts will love the Port Macquarie Art Society Bazaar at Hamilton House every Sunday. You can also combine sightseeing with market-browsing, with a visit to the Laurieton Riverwalk Markets or the monthly Artist Market in the grounds of the Port Macquarie Maritime Museum.
One of Australia’s oldest operating vineyards, Douglas Vale Homestead & Vineyard’s story dates back to 1859, when George Francis, a winemaker went prospecting for gold and found enough to build a family home and start a vineyard. Over the years, Douglas Vale wine became world famous, making its way as far as Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Kolkata and London. After falling into disrepair in the ’90s, a team of local volunteers banded together to save the property from demolition. The cellar doors were reopened, and the homestead turned into a museum.
Less than an hour drive south of Port Macquarie, Crowdy Bay is arguably one of NSW’s most spectacular coastal National Parks. Perfect for secluded camping on the beach, the park also has great bushwalking trails, lots of native wildlife including koalas, good surf and even an abandoned writer’s hut buried deep in the melaleuca forest. On the way, swing by the little town of Laurieton. If you have time, you can also go via Dooragan National Park and check out the sweeping views from the top of North Brother Mountain.