The biggest cultural event of the year, ArtWalk, returns on 18 July, a starlit evening festival in the town centre when museums and galleries open their doors, along with pop-up performances, street art, light installations, music and food stalls. The whales have arrived, and humpbacks are jumping metres off the coast, join PortJet’s close-up encounters tour.

“Port Macquarie is different to other North Coast towns in NSW. There are breathtaking coastal walks, a world-class theatre and gallery at Glasshouse, award-winning restaurants, a winery trail and fabulous cultural events.” said Liesa Davies, Economic Development at Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

‘Port Macquarie’s Top 10 Winter Bucket List’

  1. ArtWalk on 18 July – a starlit festival of cultural sensory delights with museums, galleries, street art, food, music and light installations
  2. Whales guaranteed – PortJet’s whale-watching Ocean Blast cruise offers some of the best up-close sightings in NSW just metres from the coast
  3. Dine with water views – you’ll easily reserve a table with water views, such as the North Coast’s most awarded restaurant, The Stunned Mullet, opposite Town Beach
  4. Winter flight deals – book the best value direct flight deals from Sydney and Brisbane to Port Macquarie
  5. Stay at the 4.5-star Sails Resort – oozing Hamptons luxury Sails recently emerged from a multi-million-dollar renovation and is the hippest place to stay
  6. Arts and culture – explore the Regional Art Gallery’s exhibits and see a world-class show at the Glasshouse theatre by night
  7. Cool enough to walk to the lookouts – there’s incredible views along The Coastal Walk, North Brother Mountain and Rawson Falls
  8. Waves and beaches to yourself – relax and unwind on your own beach or wave, with perfect Winter swell
  9. Winery trail – Cassegrain Winery is the region’s largest winery, one of five to visit on the winery trail
  10. Connect with Animals – there are intimate encounters with camel rides on Lighthouse Beach, baby animals at Billabong Zoo and tours at The Koala Hospital

Flights with Virgin Australia from Brisbane to Port Macquarie cost $199 return. The deal must be booked from 1 June to 30 August 2019 with travel from 7 June 2019 to 1 March 2020. Flights operate daily with Qantas from Sydney to Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie in NSW is halfway between Brisbane and Sydney, boasting 17 gorgeous beaches, a lush hinterland, a diverse variety of attractions including the world’s first Koala Hospital, Billabong Zoo, river cruises, and a choice of accommodation from 4.5-star luxury hotels to eco-retreats and luxury farm-stays.

Top it off with one of the best year-round climates and a busy events calendar, it’s no wonder this is one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations.