Taste Trails are our specially curated 'Insider's Guides', providing local insights into some of the region's best experiences. We've included maps, drive times (from Port Mac's CBD) and details of each stop, so you can easily plan your own self-drive trail (note that operator opening times and booking requirements vary, so please check details before hitting the road).  

You can also check out our other Taste Trails: Brews + Burgers | Creatives + Curios | Producers + Providores | Wine + Wonder

Read on to discover Bars + Bites, your insider's guide to the most unique watering holes around our region, most with live and local music & great food. You can thank us later!

Insider's Guide to Bars + Bites

Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Camden Haven

Take as long (or as little) as you like. These stops are in no particular order, although we've tried to group them according to their location. So, pick your favourites, make a plan, and take a designated driver!

At Stop 1 on the map, we have the funky Little Shack, which has been getting a lot of love lately, for good reason. Perfectly positioned al fresco, on the iconic Breakwall overlooking the river, they've recently introduced a 'Garden Bar' to add to their considerable charms! Think 60s retro vibe, tropical fringed umbrellas and cocktails by the water. Oh, and the food is awesome (you've gotta try the lobster roll and frozen margarita combo), the vibe is super relaxed, and you'll often find some of Port's best musos frequently performing here. What's not to love? Open daily from 6am, and Thurs-Sun evenings.

Little Shack

Little Shack is situated on the Town Green in Port Macquarie, open every day rain, hail and shine.Perfect to kick start your day or unwind and finish off, locat...

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Stop 2 is Bar Florian. Centrally located on Clarence St in the CBD, this award-winning, Italian-inspired bar has a wine list as long as your arm and does a mean cocktail or three. Bar food here is next-level, with owner Gino taking his Italian heritage (and therefore his food) very seriously! Think antipasto plates, cured meats, cheeses, & traditional Italian pizza. Bellissimo! Bookings recommended. Tues-Sat 5pm till late.

Bar Florian

Bar Florian has been created as a destination for patrons to enjoy from Tuesday - Saturday 5.00pm till late. The venue is fully air-conditioned providing warmth...

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Stop 3 is Stick Bar. Nestled down a secret alley on Clarence Street, stop in for a unique yakitori and cocktail bar experience. Try the popular 'flamed edamame' and their monthly cocktail specials that are almost too beautiful to drink! Open Tues - Sat 5pm till late.

Botanic Wine Garden

Just like you, they dream of ditching work to sip rosé in the park and of hot summer nights all year long. They hope you’ll come and be a part of what they ar...

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Stop 5 is Zebu Bar, located on the ground floor of Rydges, right on Town Green. This recently renovated, casual yet sophisticated bar has great views over the Hastings River (great for dolphin spotting)! Great bar menu and restaurant adjacent. Open 7 days from early morning till late.

Zebu Bar and Restaurant

It wouldn’t be a Port Macquarie summer without a cocktail and some live tunes at Zebu - one of Port Macquarie’s most iconic waterfront venues. This funky bar an...

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Stop 6. Now we head to Port Macquarie's newest bar & eatery that's got everyone talking (in a good way). It's Hello Sailor, right on the water at Port Macquarie Marina. This venue has hit the ground running, and already has a reputation for the best margaritas around. Local beer on tap, and a street-food style shack out the back serving up a super fresh and creative menu (including buckets of prawns and po'boys), and often rocking live and local musos, the vibe here is friendly and buzzing, and a little bit nautical! Check their Facebook page for latest opening hours- generally Wed-Sun.

Hello Sailor PMQ

High tides and high times - kitchen and bar on the banks of the beautiful Hastings River, overlooking the Marina. Exciting street food, seafood and tapas. Amazi...

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Occupying one of the primo spots on Town Green, overlooking the Hastings River, is Chop 'n Chill. This bar and restaurant is popular with all ages, and is a big supporter of local musos. You'll often find one strumming away on a Fri/Sat/Sun, lunch or dinner. Bliss!

Stop 7 is the Hamptons-style splendour of Sails Resort, located a couple of minutes drive west of town centre. This multi-million dollar development on the river/marina is where you'll find the Boathouse Bar & Restaurant. Enjoy the sophisticated fit-out inside, or venture out onto the deck and lawns, complete with fire pit and a great view over the water. Open 7 days.

The Boathouse Bar and Restaurant

Welcome to The Boathouse Bar and Restaurant where dining is a leisurely affair, a balance of fresh elegant foods and breezy drinks served in an atmosphere of re...

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Side note: Looking for the place where the locals go? And where visitors, particularly with young families, know they'll be welcomed with a smile and great value options for the kids? Settlers Inn is a community institution, and a recent renovation with some great indoor/outdoor spaces makes it the perfect spot to take your mates for a beer (main bar or sports bar), or the whole family for lunch or dinner in the bistro, open 7 days.

Stop 8. Ok we're about to take you off the beaten track... We love an authentic country pub, and that's what the Beechwood Hotel is all about. Beechwood is a tiny dot on the map, in the beautiful rural hinterland outside of the township of Wauchope. You won't regret the scenic 35 minute drive west of Port's CBD, with cold beer, great pub grub, friendly locals and a whole lotta character waiting for you at the other end! The pub was built in the 1920s after the original pub burnt down, and has 2 beer gardens. It's an important hub for its rural community, and one of it's busiest days of the year is the famous (infamous?) Beechwood Billy Cart Classic. A popular local 'hitching post', you'll sometimes find horses tied up to the verandah. A must-do!

Beechwood Hotel

The Beechwood Hotel has recently been awarded Australia's Best Country Pub by Wofit!The Beechwood Hotel is a traditional country pub set in the picturesque Hast...

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WHILE YOU'RE IN THE HINTERLAND...No Dutch courage required for a ride on one of the beautiful horses at Hastings River Horse Riding. Located just outside of Wauchope, the HRH team of 10 quiet and sturdy steeds provide regular trail rides through spectacular countryside (regular beach rides also on offer). Bookings essential.

Stop 9. Also located in the lush hinterland (about 40 minutes drive west of Port's CBD) is the popular daytrip destination of The Byabarra. This gorgeous heritage building is situated high on the hill, with a large verandah offering spectacular valley views. A popular spot for weddings, it's easy to see why, with great food and a generous bar. Well worth the drive.

The Byabarra

A unique spacious indoor outdoor cafe offering home style meals with a restaurant touch extensive Bar choice and a wonderful wine list, all with unbeatable and ...

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Head a bit further south and you will find Larrikins Lock-up - 1905 Historic Comboyne Gaol. The old gaol is located on a one-acre site, skirted by the Thone River; with the original 1905 Comboyne Police Station and historic slab timber gaol. Stroll through the gardens and don't forget to check out their handmade woodcraft items and garden centre!

This concludes our Bars + Bites Taste Trail! It covers a fair bit of ground, however there are a bunch more awesome venues we haven't covered here (can't keep you scrolling forever)..sooo head on over to our Bars, Pubs & Clubs page for more.

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