A bunch of new (and old) drinking dens are spicing things up in Port Macquarie, offering holidaymakers plenty of options for bar-hopping in this coastal town.
From boutique bars serving natural wine, to sunset cocktails in Mediterranean-inspired surrounds to a brewery worth 150 awards, here are eight of the best bars and pubs in Port Macquarie.
This place is designed to bring out the free spirit in everyone. Feel yourself unwind the moment you enter, recline on one of the chairs, take your pick from 100 different whiskeys on offer, or from the extensive cocktail list.
Watch the sailboats glide by the Hastings River as you sip on a memorable elixir whizzed up by one of the master mixologists. While the whiskey may be the star of the show, the cocktail list is also packed to the brim with classic and original varieties to impress.
There is also a hefty selection of local and international wines, perfectly paired with one of Jimmy’s fine cheese platters.
In search of an afternoon wine enjoyed alfresco? This Port Macquarie establishment does it best.
Organic in both approach and delivery, Botanic nails the balance between local neighbourhood jaunt and upscale dining. The offering on the revolving menu features produce sourced from Central Coast farmers markets, fishing boats and oyster leases, country fields and the wondrous meanderings of spirited travellers with passionate palates.
By way of their Coravin wine dispenser – a system lets you pour wine effortlessly without removing the cork – you are able to experience an array of high-quality drops without paying for the whole bottle. And with a wine list as thorough as this one, taking the time to tick each one off is a no brainer.
Every town needs a local and Port Macquarie’s comes in the form of the Settler’s Inn Hotel.
Settler’s prides itself on being the best family-friendly spot in town. Their huge playground facilities are a hit with kids of all ages. This, and the daily specials keep locals coming back again and again. Every day provides a new opportunity – think Wednesday curry nights and T-Bone Tuesday. The meals never fail to satisfy.
Additionally, the new Sports Bar facilities now boast the biggest screen in town for live sport – expect a lively atmosphere on game nights.
The sense of community shines at this cosy, local hangout.
Stop at Bar Florian for an experience packed with classy ambience set to the beat of chilled tunes. It’s the only venue with a Small Bar license in the region, meaning it’s strictly limited to patrons 18 years and over. Which means that the late afternoon and evening provide an uninterrupted adult oasis. Take a seat and enjoy the art of cocktail-making.
The Juliet Lounge on the mezzanine level is another alluring prospect. This sophisticated private function area is available for special occasions and is a popular option for those looking for a classic European bar experience.
Waterfront venues may be a frequent fixture in Port Macquarie, but Zebu is one of the most popular of the bunch.
This funky bar and restaurant has become a fixture for locals, corporate travellers and tourists for its unpretentious, vibrant atmosphere. And that’s just the start of it…
Enjoy the live music as you drink and dine: there are cocktails on offer from noon ‘til late, as well as an extensive selection of beers, wines and spirits; while the menu definitely heroes seafood.
With spectacular views over the foreshore, the local hardwood and marble interiors encompass the best of an indoor/outdoor venue, and make it the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the sunset, with a wine or cocktail in hand.
Part café/part bar, the Beach House offers the best seat in Port Macquarie for a bit of sunset perving.
Located on Town Green, overlooking the Hastings River, this iconic venue is one of the most visited spots around – partly thanks to being within walking distance from the city centre. Many use it as a pit stop along the iconic Port Macquarie Breakwall and coastal walk, or as take up a seat for a leisurely couple of sundowners.
If you’re keen to get your hands on a locally-brewed lager, Black Duck is the place to go. This brewery and bar is home to the best craft beer in the region, with eight of the range of options available on tap.
Work your way through a tasting paddle and take a tour to experience exactly what goes on behind the scenes. Head brewer Al Owen knows all the ins and outs, and he might even take you to meet the infamous Murphy – a lovable Great Dane – if you’re lucky.
The space regularly hosts an array of live entertainment, alongside food platters and of course, fantastic craft beer.
If you’re a beer-lover still in need of a top-up, Wicked Elf is another local brewer within reach.
Take a trip to the cellar door to check out the brewing process, all the while sampling as many styles as you like on a tasting paddle. As well as the core range, Wicked Elf offers seasonal specials: small-batch experiments and a newly launched line, all of which can only be discovered when you make the journey in person.
Their range of bottles, tinnies, four-packs and kegs are available for purchase at the cellar door as well. And with over 150 awards under their belts, you better believe you won’t be leaving empty handed.