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Best of Port Macquarie


I promised to report back on a few of the highlights from my recent travel,
training and racing adventure to Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia. I
went there primarily to race the Ironman Australia triathlon, but also to
experience this holiday spot’s euro-surf-vibe and quirky charm. I’d be far too
long-winded if I described every delightful experienced I enjoyed in Port
Macquarie, so I’ll limit myself to sharing three “Bests”:

Best Running Route– By far, the Coastal Walk
in Port Macquarie deserves the honors. The paved Coastal Walk traverses a 9km
route along the shoreline, winding through subtropical foliage and dramatic
bluffs. The path is flat-to-rolling, save for a few sets of steep stairs and
hills which can easily be incorporated into a challenging run workout. Just be
careful not to trip yourself up, as you’re sure to be mesmerized by the
beautiful views.

Best Replenishment – Whether for a post-run
breakfast, a leisurely lunch or a festive dinner, the Pancake Place will more than satisfy your
tummy’s rumblings. Every person I knew in town for the Ironman ate at the
Pancake Place at least once during their stay – the massive menu of sweet and
savory pancakes and crepes simultaneously fills you up and leaves you longing
for more, guaranteeing a return visit to sample yet another special plate.

Best Pre-Race DistractionThe patients at Port
Macquarie’s Koala Hospital simply stole my
heart. They’re admitted due to illness or injury – quite often from brushfires
or run-ins with automobiles – and are nursed back to health by the hospital’s
volunteer staff. There were five patients-in-residence when I visited, but the
hospital can accommodate over thirty of the sweet, slow marsupials at a time. The
daily feedings at 3:00 pm are open to the public, and I could have watched for
hours as the darlings were syringe-fed, the milk dribbling down their adorable
furry chins.

Suffice
to say, I enjoyed every discovery I made in this wonderful town on Australia’s Holiday Coast. The land down under proved every bit as relaxing, delicious and magical as I
had hoped!