Moving to a new town can be tough, so we have put together Our Top 5 O-Week Activities for Charles Sturt University Port Macquarie Students to help you make the most of your time before you hit the books!
O-Week Activity Number 1: Hit the beach.
No-one who lives in Port Macquarie will go through a summer without hitting the local beaches. Whether you are a die hard surfer or a sometime paddler you can find the perfect beach for you to spend some time in the sun before your studies start.
Here is our mini-guide to the best Port Macquarie beaches to help guide you on your sun seeking adventure.
Town Beach – complete with a beachfront café and kiosk, this beach is in the centre of town and is perfect for those who are living in the Port Macquarie CBD and don’t have their own transport. About 5 minutes walk from the main shopping district you can grab a coffee then chill out on the sand as you sunbake, the head up the beach for a surf or swim between the flags in the Lifeguard monitored min beach section.
Lighthouse Beach – a little further out of town (around 10 minutes from the CBD by car) this is a long stretch of beach that extends all the way up to neighbouring seaside hamlet Lake Cathie. There is an area for swimming that is lifeguard patrolled nearest to the Lighthouse, then a surfing section that is marked by two large rocks (the first in the water, and the second ‘Watonga Rock’ is on the beach itself. This area isn’t patrolled so should only be utilized if you are a strong swimmer or a surfer.
Flynn’s Beach – another local favourite with a beach front kiosk head here for a swim and a beach walk along the craggy and stunning cliff faces surrounding the beach alcove. Heavily patrolled during Spring and Summer this spot is great for those who like to swim between the flags and there’s an awesome picnic section where you can relax as you either grab a bite to eat from the kiosk or bring your own lunch.
O-Week Activity Number 2: Go for a shop.
Port Macquarie has two main shopping districts. The first sits in the CBD and the second is called Settlement City which is about a ten minute walk from the centre of town. If you are heading to Settlement City from the CBD you can take the stunning walk along the foreshore on the designated walking track and stop in Quay Lime Bar + Grill at the Marina for a coffee and bite to eat on your way.
Each shopping centre will give you a great range of shops to choose from. The CBD Port Central Shopping Centre features a Target Store, Cotton On, Sportsgirl, Jeans West, a nail bar and other assorted shops. You’ll also be able to do your groceries at the IGA.
If you head over to Settlement City you will also find a great range of fashion and homeware retailers including Best & Less, Big W, Telstra, Michael Hill Jewellers and Woolworths. There are also some awesome cheap shops for when you need to kit out your room on the cheap!
O-Week Activity Number 3: Have a sip on a local brew.
There are some outstanding local micro-breweries and wineries in the Port Macquarie area. The wineries offer some of Australia’s leading wines so are an absolute must-do when you hit town. Charles Sturt University Port Macquarie students should be sure to check out these awesome places!
Cassegrains Winery is around a 15 minute drive from the town centre and sits nestled in a glorious setting full of rose gardens and sculptured lawns. You can do a wine tasting here for as little as $30 and also enjoy a bits to eat at their modern Australian Café and Restaurant.
If it’s an ale you’re after then look no further than Black Duck Brewery. Set in Port Macquarie’s Industrial Area it’s a favourite for locals and plays some seriously good tunes as you sit and sip on a house brew. Their award winnings beers are all on tap and all are mixed in the traditional fashion onsite.
The Little Brewing Company is owned by a delightful local couple and is also based in the Industrial Area. They are full mash brewers and all of their beer is hand mixed onsite. Like the Black Duck Brewery they have a host of award winning beers on tap and locals absolutely love this hidden gem.
O-Week Activity Number 4: Do the coffee (g)rounds.
Port Macquarie has a really strong coffee culture and there are a stack of awesome roasteries in Port Macquarie where you can sample their roasts and then stock up for those late night cram sessions that are sure to become a feature of your life now you’re a professional student.
Peak Coffee is in the industrial area and is run by local lads who have a passion for Fair Trade, organic coffee. They are really generous with their time and will take you through the process from the locating of their beans to the roasting. They also have excellent machines onsite that can be used for a coffee there or that can be bought so you can replicate the perfect cup at home for yourself between visits.
Holy Goat Coffee, also based in the Industrial Area, are perhaps the most passionate coffee zealots you will ever meet. Their name is taken from the time in 600AD when goats first discovered the coffee bean and thus began the human obsession with the pungent pick-me-up. You’ll find some seriously mind-bending blends here and will be treated to a history lesson on how coffee came to be. You’ll love it!
O-Week Activity Number 5: Take in some culture.
Port Macquarie has a flourishing local arts scene with some spectacular local artists calling Port Macquarie their home. Along with this there is a great gallery scene with everything from large-scale international galleries to small boutique showings at every turn.
Here are some of our absolute favourites.
The Glasshouse Port Macquarie: Smack bang in the CBD of Port Macquarie, The Glasshouse Entertainment precinct has a world class gallery that plays host to both domestic and international touring art shows. You can often see a mix of sculpture, digital and wall art here and enjoy a metro style gallery experience in our beautiful seaside town.
Alpitye At Port: This gallery hosts some of Australia’s most influential Indigenous art featuring artists from the Deserts Region of Central Australia. Mixing traditional works with sculptures and artifacts brought direct from the artist to the viewer this is one not to miss on your Port Macquarie cultural journey.
Sunset Gallery and Framing: This business is a local institution in the arts scene and mixes gallery space with a framing and arts supply store. These guys are massive fans of pop culture, so their gallery leans towards low brow and pop art. It’s an awesome display of colour and you may just find yourself something epic to hang in your new home!