Every day swathes of tourists and locals converge on Town Beach to do the Doctor’s Walk and walk along the breakwater. I can see why. No matter what the weather, it’s the most scenic thing you can do at 6am. There’s plenty to see: surfers, stand-up paddleboarders, early morning canoers and personal trainer torture sessions on the beach.
But there is an alternative. It’s not quite as scenic, but definitely more tranquil, plus there’s a cafe in the middle. I call it the “other” Port Macquarie Walk. Again, it means starting from anywhere in town and heading over the new pedestrian bridge, which looks like a mini Anzac Bridge (of Sydney fame) and walking along the riverfront to Settlement City.
Settlement City is just a shopping centre and it’s quite hard to cross the road around there, so my suggestion is stop at the group of shops by the river just before Settlement City. There’s two all-day cafes to choose from before you meander back.
It doesn’t have the wow factor provided by the beach, but it has about one tenth of the people and you will see a lot more pelicans. Plus if you’re good, you’ll get a nice view of a kayaker.