GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Unsurprisingly, most of the outdoor activities in this area revolve around the town's crystal-clear waters.
Ocean Star. Deep-sea anglers will enjoy the day-long trips on this 40-foot custom Randel charting boat. Typical catches include snapper, pearl perch, dolphin fish, and Jew fish. If you have cooking facilities, the crew is happy to clean, ice, and pack your catch. Town Wharf, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444. 0416/240–877. www.oceanstarfishing.com..
Bellrowan Valley Horseriding. Thirty minutes' drive inland from Port Macquarie, Bellrowan welcomes experts and beginners, and offers short trail rides and overnight treks. The two-day Great Aussie Pub Ride ends the day's ride in some of the region's most interesting pubs and costs A$385 with all meals and accommodation. A two-hour trail ride is A$85. Crows Rd., Beechwood, NSW, 2446. 02/6587–5227. www.bellrowanvalley.com.au.
Port Macquarie Surf School. Head back to school and learn to ride the waves from some very competent coaches, all of whom are fully accredited, licensed, and insured with Surfing Australia. There are daily group lessons at 9 am, 11 am, and 2 pm (A$40 for two hours), or you can opt for one-on-one tutoring (A$60 per hours). Surf boards, wet suits, rashvests, and sunscreen are provided. 46 Pacific Dr, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444. 02/6584-7733. www.portmacquariesurfschool.com.au.
Port Macquarie Cruise Adventures. Majestic humpback whales migrate past Port Macquarie nonstop from May to the end of November and Cruise Adventures offers great-value cruises on their fast 12-seater boats (A$30) for 1½ hours and cruises on a larger boat the Discovery (A$35) for 2 hours. The company also has both long and short cruises to see local bottlenose dolphins, which can be spotted year-round; these start at A$15 for a two-hour trip. Short Street Wharf, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444. 1300/555890. www.cruiseadventures.com.au..