DAY 1 - DRIVING HERE
On your way up the coast to Port on The Legendary Pacific Coast Drive call in to the charming village of Nabiac for a coffee and stretch of the legs. It's only a 30 second detour of the highway and a handy half-way stop off between Sydney and Port. Or if you have your own picnic, you could stop in at Bulahdelah to gaze at the tallest tree in NSW!
Or, if you're heading South to Port, stop in at Yamba and soak up the surf history at Angourie, NSW’s first national surfing reserve. Try a vegan bowl at boho hangout Café Angourie.
Arrive in Port, settle in to your accommodation and then stock up on all sorts of healthy goodies from the stores, cafes and markets around the region. One of our favourites (for those wishing to reduce their packaging and eat clean) is Organic Belly.
Take an evening stroll along the waterfront. Enjoy a drink at the iconic Beach House overlooking Town Green and the riverfront, then prepare to CARB LOAD for your big weekend ahead! If you're staying south of Port in the stunning Camden Haven, grab some fish and chips/fresh seafood from Laurieton Seafoods, then burn it all off with a hike up to North Brother lookout and catch the sunset (note: road may still be closed to vehicles-check here).
Grab a takeaway fresh seafood platter from Port Fresh Seafoods, then grab a spot on Town Green and watch the dolphins and the boats go by. More of a burger craving? We've got you covered with Burger Rebellion with next level burger, fries and sides.
Or, if you're staying in the Camden Haven, enjoy a drink & a great pub feed with the locals at the Laurieton United Services Club or Lake Cathie Tavern.
OK so you've got the next day or two devoted to training (and eating), however if you're travelling with family or friends who are less enthused about pushing themselves to the limit, you could direct them to a more leisurely itinerary here.
Moreover, hitting the beers may not be on your schedule, but you can't let your devoted crew go thirsty! You don't have to venture far from the riverfront to find a bevvy of options, including Zebu Bar, Bar Florian, Chop n Chill, Botanic Wine Garden, or popular newcomer Hello Sailor at the Marina for locally brewed beer on tap.
Owned and operated by locals, Chop 'n Chill was created out of a passion to deliver a dining experience in Port Macquarie unlike any other. Showcasin…
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 f…
At Port Fresh Seafoods, we take great pride in our fresh seafood options. By sourcing from local fishermen and farmers, we are able to provide you wi…
Bar Florian has been created as a destination for patrons to enjoy. The venue is fully air-conditioned providing warmth in winter and coolness in sum…
Day 2 - RIDE
Start with an early morning Ride on the IRONMAN course and be sure to take in the things you won't on race day, such as the boardwalk at Sea Acres National Park. Roll the extra 300 meters out to the Tacking Point Lighthouse before or after the mighty Mathew Flinders Hill, and check out pretty Pilot Beach at the end of the Dunbogan stretch. Your support crew can choose from a number of great spots for a coffee along the route- including Moo and Bean Cafe & Sandbar at North Haven, and Grounded Espresso at Laurieton. They can hike to the top of North Brother Mountain in Laurieton for one of the best views on the East Coast.
You're going to need a serious breakfast on your return, so fuel up at Little Shack (town end of the Breakwall), LV’s, Casualties, Seasalt or the incredible new Turkish brekkies available at Little Turkey at the Marina, or grab amazing pastries, espresso and sourdough from Urban Grain Bakery.
Join local swimmers on the river swim course most days (lunchtime during the week and in the afternoon on the weekends). Contact the local tri club for details.
One lap of the Ironman course and then take a lengthy cool down walk on the iconic and much loved Coastal Walk, which stretches 9 km from Town Beach to the Light House.
With 17 pristine beaches to choose from, you're going to need our 'Locals Beach Guide' here to help you optimise your beach-going experience!
Sustenance with flavour is the go, so head to Black Market Bagels, or for mouthwatering antipasto, coffee, treats, meats, cheeses and cannoli, head to local fave Luigi's Deli!
Now that you've well and truly earned your dinner, treat yo'self with divine seafood at Whalebone Wharf, Bill's Fish House, or next-level hatted dining at The Stunned Mullet. Looking for great value family-friendly options? Check out our suggestions here.
Day 3 - PORT, THEN HOME...
Taking it a little easier today with a focus on fun and fitness...
Explore our hinterland and the quite country roads, maybe climb some stunning hills to coffee spots where it's cool and green. A classic climb is up to Comboyne with The Coffee Hanger and The Byabarra Café to keep you fueled, the smooth Bago Road can be added onto a coast loop to give you a little elevation and a good taste of the tall gums.
You could also mix up your training with a bit of trail-running. The Googik track is a flat fire trail with resident koalas, so keep an eye out as you RUN OR WALK amongst the paperbarks. The main trail is 10km return.
There are plenty of spectacular walks (or runs) to explore, including:
Tourism Australia rated Port Macquarie’s 9km Coastal Walk from Town to Lighthouse Beach, as one of the country’s top four spectacular coastal walks.
• Near Wauchope Old Bottlebutt is the largest Red Bloodwood tree in the southern hemisphere, 16-metres wide, and access is now easy along a 600-metre walk in the Burrawan State Forest.
• At Sea Acres Rainforest Centre enjoy the tranquillity along the 1.3km elevated rainforest loop walk and visit the Spirit of the Land exhibition
• The serene and accessible Kooloonbung Creek Nature Reserve has kilometers of boardwalk to enjoy, right in town.
is key, and fun keeps you young! Grab a group surf lesson with Port Macquarie Surf School or Soul Surfing. If you're sick of riding your bike, you could always try a jetski, a camel or a horse!
Blue Cow Gelato is artisan, handmade deliciousness, with dairy free, sugar free, and gluten free options.
Check out our NEW Taste Trails, five expertly curated 'insider guides' to all the good stuff this region has to offer.
Heading south to home? Make sure you allow an extra hour (or two) to explore the fabulous Bago Maze & Winery, around 30 minutes south-west of Port. It's a stunning property in the hinterland, with one of the world's largest hedge mazes to get lost in! Do your wine tasting or enjoy a cheese platter overlooking the maze, and make sure you try some of the hand-made Baba Lila Chocolates, made in house.