1. It's Our Bicentenary Year (and there's ALOT on from 10-18 April)
Did you know that 200 years ago, Port Mac was established as one of Australia's earliest Penal Colonies? Our region’s history is as fascinating as it is diverse, spanning well beyond the 200 years, with our culture formed by our traditional owners of the land, the Birpai people, as well as early British settlers and multi-ethnic migration.
Join us as we explore our history, our place and our stories with a range of Bicentenary events between 10-18 April, including the launch of 'Wakulda-Weaving our stories as One'. Wakulda is a nightly immersive digital projection onto our Historic Courthouse in the heart of town. This beautiful and moving production depicts heritage and cultural stories from both a European settlement perspective and those of our First Nations People, the Birpai.
During event week between 6 & 9pm, our town will be buzzing with our nightly program which includes Wakulda above, plus live music at Little Shack overlooking the river, and nightly exhibitions at the Historic Courthouse, Port Macquarie Museum, Maritime Museum Pilot Boat Shed, and the Glasshouse.
We're also hosting the ‘Coral Trekker’, a 23-metre, square rigged, wooden tall ship to be moored at Lady Nelson Wharf on Town Green, with public access times and sailings. And on 18th April, head down for the foreshore activities, including displays of local and visiting vessels and activities.
PLUS...There are 40 Satellite Events to choose from! Including Bush Tucker and Muluman tours at Sea Acres National Park, Cultural Heritage tours with local historians, exhibitions in our galleries and museums, heritage building and gardens open days, family-friendly activities and creative workshops.
For more information on Wakulda and our Bicentenary Events, see here.
2. We're holding an Artists' Open Studio Weekend on 10th & 11th April.
Our Artists' Open Studio Weekend will see over 20 of the region’s most talented creatives opening their studios to the public (some for the first time). Meet the artists and gain unique insight into their creative process. Works will include paintings, drawings, sculptures, glass, pottery, ceramics, jewellery, metalwork, textiles and more. Some works will be available for purchase direct from the artist.
Make a weekend of it, and plan for plenty of cafe stops along the way! It's a great way to get out and explore the whole region. 10th-11th April from 10am to 4pm. See here for all the info.
3. We're launching our new 'Taste Trails'.
Take your taste buds on an adventure! Taste Trails are a series of curated self-drive itineraries providing maps, travel times and local insights into some of the region’s best experiences, including:
- 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, get your oysters fresh from the river, 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.
For all the details, click here (from early April 2021).
4. There's a whole lot of NEW to check out
From funky waterside bar + eatery Hello Sailor, Wicked Elf Brewery's new beer garden with next-level food, incredible gourmet picnics in the vineyards from Twotriplefour, and sundowners at the Garden Bar at Little Shack, to experiences like Affinity Aviation's helicopter package tours, luxe catamaran cruising with Port Sailing, and outdoor walking adventures with Escape the Expected, to unique accommodation offerings such as Mansfield Estate's Eco Retreat or Nature Domes, there's loads of new and exciting places to eat, drink and be merry.
Oh, and 'Wakulda', (our new nightly digital projection we mentioned in point 1 above) will continue to be screened seven nights a week (around 8pm), so be sure to drop by before or after dinner if you're in our CBD!
5. It's a great time for green time, not screen time!
Looking for a digital detox? With average temperatures of 21-26 degrees and lower rainfall than spring or summer, make it green time, not screen time this Autumn! It's the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some of the most spectacular walks in the country. We've got a bunch of self-guided walks & tours using the izi-travel app as well, see here for details.
Bring your mountainbikes and check out our mtb park, explore our hinterland, waterfalls and markets, or make the most out the last of the beach weather (our locals reackon Autumn is the pick of the seasons for mild ocean temperatures). Check out some more ideas here.
Trip ideas for everyone
Need more trip inspiration? See our Trip Ideas page for heaps of suggestions including itineraries for families, foodies, adventurers and even romance!