If you’re visiting Port Macquarie for a roadtrip or the holidays, there are plenty of things to do, even on rainy days. Yes, we have some of the most stunning coastline in NSW, but if the weather turns and it’s time to stay indoors, there are plenty of things to keep both kids and adults busy, from rock climbing to wine tasting.
Beer, wine & food tasting trail
If it’s raining, Cassegrain Wines is a great place to visit and explore for couples, groups and families. The Cellar Door provides a unique experience for visitors as it is located right in the middle of a working winery. Visitors have the option of a guided wine tasting or bookable wine experiences to discover their extensive range of wines. Make it a family day out with a long lunch at Twotriplefour Restaurant on the estate, and if the rain clears, the kids can enjoy a horse ride or pony ride on our grounds.
Other wineries to add to your itinerary include: Bago Maze and Winery, home to one of the world’s largest hedge mazes; Innes Lakes Vineyards for Mediterranean fare and local wines in an upscale setting overlooking the vines; Douglas Vale Historic Homestead and Vineyard, which is a heritage museum and working vineyard; and Long Point Vineyard and Art Gallery, with a great local art gallery.
Craft beer aficionados can head to Black Duck Brewery, which is family-friendly with Friday Pizza Nights in a cool industrial setting. Wicked Elf Beer has just renovated their beer garden and coupled with Moore Beer brewery across the road you’ll be sure to enjoy a large range of local beers.
Pick your own fresh berries at Ricardoes Tomato and Strawberry Farm, where they have more than 30,000 plants growing in their huge greenhouse, with plenty of plants to harvest at ground level for the kids. Entry is free – you collect your bucket on the way in and pay only for what you pick. Check the website to make sure that there’s something in season.
For more places to eat in Port Macquarie check out our blog with the full list of our recommended restaurants & cafes in the area.
All-weather indoor activity parks
Planet X Port Macquarie is the destination for indoor activities for families and anyone else who is young at heart with energy to burn. There’s roller skating, roller hockey, indoor paintball, bazooka ball, a jumping castle and slide, air hockey and arcade games. Open all day Saturday and Sunday, and from 5:30pm Wednesday to Friday.
At Jumbos Playland, young kids can safely burn off excess energy while parents sit back with a coffee. The indoor play centre is designed for children aged 2-10 years old and has won plenty of accolades. Open seven days a week, it’s an awesome rainy day activity to keep little ones occupied.
Kids Crazy Maze is another indoor playground that will keep children entertained for hours. It has tunnels, climbs, tree houses, a flying fox, bridge climbs and slides and a ball pit. They have a separate play area for younger visitors, where they can safely climb, play, and explore at their own pace. And for the parents, there’s a cafe with free wifi and plenty of viewing panels and vantage points for you to keep an eye on the kids as they play. Remember to bring socks for the kids as they have a ‘no socks no play’ policy.
Wave Bowl offers family-friendly ten pin bowling in the heart of Port Macquarie. There’s karaoke, casual dining and a bar to round-out the experience. The menu offers classic diner-style dishes, such as pizzas, burgers, hot dogs, wedges and buffalo wings.
High-octane family fun
Maxx Family Fun Centre is for adrenaline and action lovers. There are race car simulators and golf simulators, plus slot car racing and a virtual reality room. No matter what the weather is doing outside, you can play on some of the world’s most beautiful golf courses in the world, including Pinehurst #2 and Banff Springs. Feeling the need for speed? Experience the grunt of a V8, or try your race skills in a F1 or NASCAR car on some of the world’s most famous tracks, including Australia’s Mount Panorama, the UK’s Silverstone, Germany’s Nürburgring and more. Slot car racing is on a 38metre, six-lane track with its challenging chicanes, exhilarating straights and tricky hairpin bends. To book, call: 02 6584 3145.
Scale new heights
Centre of Gravity offers rock climbing and bouldering for adults and children aged 3 years and over. There’s also Laser Tag here if you prefer to keep your feet on terra firma. You are equipped with a state-of-the-art laser vest and, after your mission briefing, you enter a double story labyrinth for 15 minutes of fun, adrenaline pumping action complete with fog, music and lighting effects in air-conditioned comfort. Bookings are essential for laser tag, but not for bouldering or rock climbing.
Escape the everyday
If you enjoy mysteries, puzzles, riddles, clues, fantasy and exciting stories, try a Façade Escape Room. Façade hosts mental adventure games where teams of players work together to solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives within a set time. The challenges are set in an exciting fictional story that often includes a need to ‘escape’ to make the story more exciting. It’s a live-action mystery story that uses elements from experiences such as scavenger hunts and interactive theatre. There are a number of ‘scenarios’ to choose from and bookings are required.
Located in the heart of Port Macquarie, the Glasshouse Port Macquarie is home to a theatre, regional gallery, studio, Visitor Information Centre, gift shop, conference and meeting facilities and heritage displays. Check the website for the program of what’s on – there’s everything from theatre to art exhibitions and interactive shows for young kids.
Catch the latest movie release at one of Port Macquarie’s local cinemas. In town, there’s Majestic Cinemas, and another favourite independent cinema is Laurieton’s Plaza Theatre. Check websites for session times and leave room for popcorn
Greater Port Macquarie is steeped in maritime history, and you can relive over 100 years of heritage at the Maritime Museum’s three venues across the region. The Port Macquarie Museum is open Monday to Saturday and tells the stories of years gone by. Learn about the area’s indigenous Birpai people and travel back to the time Port Macquarie was settled as a British penal establishment in 1821, long before it became the popular tourist and sea-change destination it is today.
Another historic venue to visit is Roto House, a beautifully preserved late-Victorian homestead. This 11-room weatherboard house was built by surveyor John Flynn in 1891 from local red mahogany and is still lovingly maintained by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to this day. Even if it’s raining, if you’re lucky, you might spot a koala in the surrounding trees from the covered wrap-around balcony.
In town, there are two major shopping centres. Port Central is a modern complex with food and retail outlets, and hosts the Real Food Farmer’s Markets 12pm-6pm every Tuesday in the forecourt. This is a great time to visit to taste and pick up locally grown produce, from farm fresh organic eggs to local macadamias, honey, cured meats, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables and much more.
Settlement City is located on the corner of Bay and Park streets, and has more than 60 retailers plus plenty of parking.
Plan your visit to Port Macquarie with more insider travel blogs