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: Bars + Bites | Brews + Burgers | Wine + Wonder | Producers + Providores

But for now, introducing 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.  Read on for your next adventure...

Insider's Guide to Creatives + Curios

Port Macquarie, Camden Haven, Wauchope

Take a few hours or a whole day! We've got fabulous creatives right around the region with great places to stop off along the way. These stops are in no particular order but we've tried to group them according to their locations around the region.


Stop 1 on the map is Aleisa Byfield Ceramics. It's a 5 minute drive from the CBD heading north west, where you'll find a couple of hidden gems in an unassuming spot in a 'business park'! Visit Aleisa's funky Ceramics Studio and shopfront selling handcrafted ceramic homewares, jewellery and art. You'll also find 'Just Honey', local pure honey products made by Aleisa's own bees. Think natural forms and textures, inspired by nature. Open Thurs/Fri (& Sat till 12pm).

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Aleisa Byfield

Aleisa Byfield Artisan encompasses a working ceramics studio and a shopfront selling honest, authentic and individual hand-crafted ceramics with a contemporary ...

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Opposite Aleisa's studio is Stop 2, the Hello Koalas Gift Shop. Stop in here for Hello Koalas merchandise, memorabilia, and treasure maps. You'll also get to meet some of the adorable sculptures such as Frankie the Firefighter! You'll be well set up to tackle the award-winning Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail. Note: shop opening hours are 10am-3pm Tuesday-Thursday at 16/10 Bellbowrie St, however you can explore the sculpture trail anytime.

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Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail

The award-winning Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail encompasses 77 plus one-metre high fibreglass koala sculptures, featuring original hand-painted designs, many by ...

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MAY WE SUGGEST... while you're in the neighbourhood, the above two stops are right across the road from the best bagel house on the East Coast...Black Market Bagels. Traditionally made, New York-style. The jalapeño bagels are our fave!

The next few stops are in the heart of town, so we recommend finding a park (Port Central Shopping Centre has a multi-level car park where you can park for up to 3 hours). Stop 3 is the iconic Glasshouse Port Macquarie. Check out their shop for great gifts and souvenirs. Give yourself a bit of time to wander the Glasshouse Regional Gallery which attracts international and national exhibitions. It's a beautiful space to explore! Free entry, visit their website for opening hours. Book in for a behind the scenes tour to see what's involved in running a world-class theatre. Open 7 days.

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Glasshouse

Located in the heart of Port Macquarie, the Glasshouse is home to a Theatre, Regional Gallery, Ross Family Studio, Visitor Information Centre, gift shop, confer...

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HUNGRY? If you've worked up an appetite, Drury Lane Eatery is located in the delightfully shady forecourt of the Glasshouse and serves up an innovative, seasonal, paddock to plate menu created by their passionate chef & front of house team, Dru & Kate Woolnough. Closed Sundays. Breakfast, lunch (and dinner Wed-Sat).

Plus, just up the road from the Glasshouse you'll find a real gem - the Port Macquarie Museum. This fascinating place is located in one of Port's heritage buildings, and houses an impressive collection of unique historic items from our time as a penal settlement 200 years ago, through to recent times.

Also in the heart of town is Stop 4- Ultragrafik Fine Art Gallery. Head into the Colonial Arcade (entrance off Horton St or Hay St). Meet artist and owner Beric Henderson, who has a fascinating background, including a PhD in Molecular Biology, and you'll see the theme of the natural world coming through in his work. Highly original artworks, signed prints, cards and merchandise for sale. Ideal for that special gift or souvenir. Check listing below for opening hours.

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Ultragrafik Fine Art Gallery

Ultragrafik is an Art Gallery with a difference, located in the heart of Port Macquarie. Ultragrafik offers a wonderful selection of imaginative original art, l...

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Plus, you're right near Urban Grain Bakery, and it would be a shame not to pop in and grab one of their incredible pastries! Oh, and their sourdough donuts are to die for...

Stop 5, also in town, is Arthouse Industries on the creative strip of Murray Street. Owner/Artist Skye Petho has built a beautiful hub of creativity, with regular art workshops and a her combined shop/studio sells a variety of artisan wares, gift cards and clothing.

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Arthouse Industries

Come and experience a working Art studio where you can watch award-winning artist, Skye Petho create amazing wearable art from molten glass as well as many othe...

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NEED COFFEE? Murray Street has three of Port's best coffee sellers so it would be remiss of us to leave them out. Studio 3 Espresso down the river end, Casualties Espresso up the Clarence St end, and just across the road you'll find Four Espresso. Fuel up for the next leg of your trail!

An easy 5 minute drive out of town into the industrial area will get you to Stop 6, the fabulous and friendly Sunset Gallery. This place is a local institution and a huge supporter of the community and local arts. Owner Cherie Morton is a photographer, so you'll find her works available for viewing and sale, along with regular exhibitions and sales of up to a dozen local artists using a range of mediums. Sunset Gallery has become a regional hub for creatives, with regular workshops and creative spaces for hire. Memorabilia lovers will be in heaven, with a huge collection of retro movie posters from the 1940s to the 1970s available for viewing and sale. Open Tues to Fri, & Sat mornings.

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Sunset Gallery and Framing

Sunset Framing & Gallery ~ not just a framing shop!Sunset Gallery has a relaxed feel with the sounds of retro vinyl playing, local art, photography and collecta...

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Plus, while you're in the industrial area we recommend stopping into The Other Chef, makers and providores of some of the finest condiments, seasonings, fresh pasta, preserves and unique flavoursome combos that will have you drooling (caramelised black garlic anyone?)! They manufacture onsite and use local and regional ingredients. Tastings available, so pop in for a tasting and say hi to owners and passionate foodies, Monica & Eric.

Just up the road in the industrial area you'll find Stop 7, the Clay Koala. It's a great opportunity to get your hands dirty and try your hand (or wheel) at pottery! Owner/Potter Sue Brangwin has unique pottery for sale, or you can book in for a workshop in her large, air conditioned and well equipped creative space. Check listing below for opening hours.

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Clay Koala

Pottery and Ceramic Experiences offer participants in creating a clay Koala. You can book a pottery wheel fun experience. Handbuilding classes too to make koa...

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THIRSTY? If you're still in the industrial estate, it's only a minute or two to get to award-winning Wicked Elf Brewery. Relax in their beer garden, and sample the amazing bar menu (thanks to the team from Botanic), and enjoy live music Fri/Sat 5-8pm.

Jump back into your car for a quick 10 minute drive out to the highway and across to Sancrox, where you'll find Stop 8, Vivianne Hazenveld's Art Sanctuary. It's impossible not to be enthused by owner/painter Vivianne's warmth and passion for her art. Her welcoming and unique space is indeed a sanctuary for many who enjoy regular art classes and exhibitions. The Gallery is open on the last weekend of each month, or by appointment/class.

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Vivianne Hazenveld's Art Sanctuary

Professional artist and tutor Vivianne Hazenveld would love to welcome you into her Art Sanctuary. A full-time professional artist and tutor, Vivianne loves to ...

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Plus, located next to the Art Sanctuary in Sancrox is the Billabong Zoo. It's a lovely place to wander and explore, shady and level, where you can get up close and personal with the animals and hear from the keepers. Open 7 days.

Alternatively, you could head back over to the eastern side of the Highway where you'll find award-winning Cassegrain Winery. Their impressive cellar door is open 7 days.

Once you're on the highway, it's an easy 20 minute drive south (take the Kew exit) to the delightful 'Poet's Village' of Kendall. You'll also find Stop 9, the Kendall Craft Co-operative, a wonderful space from a bygone era, with hand-made arts and crafts for sale. True keepsakes and wonderful gifts to be found here, produced by lovely locals with passion for their craft. Open daily, 10am-3pm.

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Kendall Craft Co Operative

Kendall Craft co-op is located in Kendall's village, on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. It is situated within the railway building which is also a herit...

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Plus, right up the road in the village of Kew is the Squeaky Gate Farm Shop. A treasure trove of fresh produce, sourdough, honey, gifts, homewares and more.

Heading back towards southern Port Macquarie, head to stunning Lighthouse Beach, where you'll find Stop 10, internationally recognised realism artist Nicola McLeay's Lighthouse Gallery. With a focus on broad vista landscape scenes, painting enthusiasts will love watching the digital display of Nicola's process via time-lapse. Works displayed are updated frequently and can be purchased or leased. Drop in between 10am-5pm or arrange an appointment.

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Lighthouse Gallery

Lighthouse Gallery is a unique exhibition space located in Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia.It showcases original artworks by internationally recognised realism a...

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For the more adventurous, you can't go past Port Macquarie Camel Safaris, which are directly opposite the Lighthouse Gallery. Check their website for days/times, and just turn up for a ride. It's such a unique way to see this beautiful stretch of coast and an experience you won't forget! Great photo ops guaranteed...And while you're in the neighbourhood, drive 5 minutes north to the iconic Tacking Point Lighthouse. If its stark beauty and fascinating history doesn't beguile you, the views certainly will. Plus, from May to September this is a prime whale watching viewpoint!

Coastal-Walk-ending-at-Tacking-Point-Lighthouse-by-Matt-Cramer.jpg#asset:265452


It's just a short 8-10 minute drive north back into Port Macquarie from here. Take Pacific Drive for the scenic route. And that about wraps our Creatives + Curios Taste Trail for now, and we've only just scratched the surface of what's on offer! Now, how about those other four Taste Trails..

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Flood Update

The Greater Port Macquarie region experienced significant flooding over the period 19-24 March, and parts of the region have been impacted. Click here for more information.