Spread the Lockdown Love (and find your Silver Lining)

1.Experience 'next-level' dining at home

If ever there was a time to treat yourself and your loved ones to incredible food, it's now. Thanks to COVID, our local restaurants & cafes are offering the most amazing meals takeaway or delivery! And most accept Dine & Discover vouchers. From the humble pub schnitty to five-star dining (and cocktails!), or amazing gourmet hampers… it's time to light the candles. Or set up a picnic in the backyard! Have some fun and help our locals stay in business. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more inspo, and use the #iloveportmacquarie.

2. Click and collect = happy & safe shopping

Many of our local shops are offering click and collect or home delivery- from clothing to giftware, fresh flowers, homewares and art. Let's support the good folk in local retail, who are working hard behind the scenes so they can stay open and keep locals employed. And don't forget ‘Lockdown Love’ hampers and gift vouchers go a long way to!

3. Spread some Gift Voucher love!

We'll be in lockdown this Father's Day, which will be really tough for a lot of us. But, you can still put a smile on Dad's face! Why not consider a gift voucher from one of our great attractions? For a great guide, click here. Or, consider a dining voucher, local wine pack, hamper or local retail voucher. It'll give him something to look forward to and support our local businesses as well.

 4. Get Creative

It's the perfect time to get creative and learn something new. Local businesses are offering new ways to get creative from home, from art-classes (via Zoom), click and collect activity kits, to baking-at-home and fine dining meal kits. They also make fantastic gifts! So let's find the silver lining in all this. Getting creative will brighten your day, and help keep our local businesses afloat at the same time. 

5. Consider a donation

COVID has put considerable strain upon the not-for-profit and charity sectors, many of which are not only providing additional support to more people (or animals), they are also managing this with less volunteers. So consider a donation..eg. you could adopt a Koala through the Koala Hospital or Billabong Zoo, as a gift for someone, or volunteer your time to a local charity.

6. Vaccination- It's our best shot

It's definitely our best shot at getting out of lockdown, so do yourself, your family and your community a favour and get vaccinated! It's getting a whole lot easier to get an appointment with greater supplies of vaccines coming into the region.


Above pic: Dish from the Stunned Mullet- doing pre-prepared, cook at home meal kits during lockdown, with full step-by-step instructions!

And for when we open back up in Port Mac, here's a bit of Staycation inspo for you...

 If ever there was a time to consider a staycation in the Port Mac region, it’s now. Seriously folks, thanks to COVID, we’ve practically got this awesome place to ourselves! The flipside is, many of our local businesses are doing it tough and need your support. So plan a cheeky local getaway, a long lunch, day trip or adventure (in a COVIDsafe way, of course…). Oh, and keep scrolling for our list of '10 Ways to Support Local'!


Local Trip Ideas 

Are you the organiser in your group or family? If so, you’re going to make a great ‘Staycation Consultant’! Plan an itinerary for a half day, full day or couple of days for your favourite people (feel free to borrow from a heap of different itineraries in our Trip Ideas & Taste Trails sections), then invite them along for the ride!  

Here's a few suggestions to get you started:

A Port Mac ‘City Break’ 

Settle into your accommodation, indulge in some retail therapy (hot tip: the Murray St/Clarence St/Sunset precinct is a highlight for creative homewares, clothing and great coffee) bars for a pre-dinner drink then at 6.30pm head to the Historic Courthouse to view the 10-minute outdoor production of Wakulda Head out to dinner (bookings recommended), then it’s time for gelato and another wander! Also, it’s whale season, and if you haven’t been out on a Whale Watching cruise or Jet boat yet, it is a must do, bucket list experience. Indulge the next day in a long waterside brunch, or grab some takeaway and lay in the sun on Town Green for people and dolphin watching. Then work it all off by doing a stretch of our stunning  Coastal Walk!


Hinterland Break 

Base yourself in the lovely town of Wauchope, or further afield if you’re yearning for a country/bush retreat or farm stay. Spend the morning exploring Wauchope’s unique boutiques, creative collectives and great café’s before heading further inland to the majestic rolling hills of Byabarra, Beechwood, Mount Seaview, Comboyne, or stick closer to the coast at Telegraph Point. All have great lunch options (pre-bookings recommended)! Walk off lunch with a waterfall trail or hike in the National Park. 


Camden Haven Break 

Choose from a great range of holiday parks, campgrounds, motels and holiday rentals, and set yourself up for a few days of uncrowded bliss. The Camden Haven is a water lover’s paradise with miles of rivers and estuaries and stunning unspoilt beaches, and it also has charming villages and shopping to explore including Laurieton, Lake Cathie, Kew and Kendall. There are plenty of great cafes to choose from, and we recommend packing a bike or your walking shoes so you can do a section of the Beach to Beach pathway. Grab the freshest fish n chips by the water or indulge in coffee and cake by the ocean. Take a wander around pretty Queens Lake or dial up the action with either a horse ride on Grants Beach or mountain bike ride at Jollynose MTB Park. There are too many options to list here! 



Take a Taste Trail 

We’ve launched our new 'Taste Trails', five expertly curated self-drive guides to all the good stuff. Read on for more info... 

  • Wine + Wonder: These are not your average wineries! Combine your tastings and cheese platters with horseriding, maze-running, chocolate-making, sculptural gardens, gourmet picnics and colonial history.   
  • Brews + Burgers: Visit some of the East Coast’s best brewers, then pair with some next level burgers and you’ve got a great day out!  
  • Producers + Providores: pick your strawberries fresh off the vine, meet the farmer, watch your coffee beans being roasted, then take home some of the finest locally produced fare.   
  • Creatives + Curios: Galleries with a twist, artist-made treasures, wheel-thrown clay and a koala sculpture adventure. There’s something for everyone on this eclectic trail.   
  • Bars + Bites:your guide to the most unique watering holes around our region, most with live and local music & great food. You can thank us later! 

Support our local events and markets  

OK so it’s been a pretty devastating time for many event holders, with many major events cancelled in recent months. However, some are still slated to go ahead at this stage (with a COVID-safe format) so please check our major events calendar here for info, and our local events calendar here. And most of our markets are still ON! See here for a listing. 

10 Ways you can Support Local  

So far, our region has been really fortunate and we can still move about relatively freely (albeit following COVIDsafe guidelines). Most of our eateries and attractions are still operating and welcoming visitors from regional NSW. However, 90% of our tourism market is currently unable to travel, so this is having a huge impact and many of our businesses are struggling.


1. Take it Away! 

We understand that some of you may be reluctant to get out and about during this time (regardless of restrictions), however there are still ways you can support local!  Plenty of our local dine-in eateries are now offering amazing meals via takeaway or delivery options, so get out the candles and the ‘good glassware’, and dine in style at home! And it’s not just food. More and more local businesses are moving to online ordering and home delivery. 

2. Use your Dine & DiscoverVouchers (before end of August)!

Did you know that only a fraction of those eligible for $100 worth of Dine & Discover vouchers have actually redeemed them? And that the expiration date has moved to the end of August. AND that you can now use the dining vouchers for takeaway as well? That’s a WHOLE lotta funds that could be injected into our local economy, and we’ve got a heap of local businesses who accept them - Search here.   

3. Try (or learn) something new 

Check out all the stuff to See & Do here, and try something new. It could be a part of our region you’ve never been to before, an adventure or experience, or a new bar or café. There are also a bunch of lovely ways to learn new things like painting, pottery, drawing, crafts, dance, theatre and more! From a casual ‘paint n sip’ format to courses over several weeks or months, you can learn something new, meet new friends and support local businesses. It’s a win-win-win 

4. Check out our new Taste Trails 

Earlier this year, we launched our new Taste Trails. These five self-drive curated Trails will provide plenty of inspiration to plan a day (or two) out, exploring our region. Trails include ‘Wine + Wonder’, ‘Creatives + Curios’, 'Brews + Burgers', 'Producers + Providores', & 'Bars + Bites'. It’s a great time to visit many of our experiences and attractions. Enjoy uncrowded access, and special attention. Get to know the staff at your local cellar door or gallery. There’s something for everyone… 

5. Take a cheeky ‘Staycation’! 

Time to play tourist in your own backyard! From luxe resorts & retreats to tiny houses, retro motels, cozy cabins and everything in between, our region has it covered.  You'll likely get a great accommodation deal at the moment, so book the babysitter if you need to, grab your favourite person/people, and ‘getaway’ locally. Write your own travel review and use the #SupportLocalPMH to inspire others. Read on for some short break inspo, or click here for a bunch of great trip/day trip ideas. For great accommodation options, click here.

6. Buy a Camden Haven Gift Card 

Support this great local initiative buy purchasing a Camden Haven Gift Card. Great for a pressie idea, or simply if you'd like to support local. Check it out here.

 7. Promote your favourite local business

Share your favourite meal or product with your friends using #SupportLocalPMH. Don’t be shy! You'll make a business owner's day. Also, if you learn of a unique promotion or idea from a local business that could help others, share it online.  

8. Be social 

Follow our official destination socials (Facebook.com/GreaterportmacquarieInstagram.com/portmacquarie), and like and share our posts! Did you know that over 30% of our tourists are visiting friends and family? We love it when locals become tourism advocates for our region! Oh, and if you actually want to be, like, social IRL, check out our fabulous ArtWalk event from 1-4 October, or head to one of our fab local markets!

9. Offer your skills 

It’s tough to get a leg in the door with so many businesses working from home. If you’re a start-up entrepreneur or a digital marketing specialist, local businesses may welcome your help and you may score a few free meals and coffees while you gain experience! A number of non-profit organisations are looking for volunteers at the moment as well. 

10. Be kind 

Times are tough for everyone, and businesses are under enormous pressure right now. Everyone’s trying to muddle through the best they can. We’re all human, and we don’t always get it right. A bit of kindness goes a long way! 

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