North Coast, NSW

Explore Port Macquarie at the week-long ArtWalk festival

By The Weekender Travel

September 30, 2020 | 3 minute read

Destination NSW
Destination NSW

Fancy a week spent pottering around coastal towns and fishing villages, discovering new artists, ambling through markets and visiting an enormous footpath art gallery? 

The North Coast’s most creative festival is back this year with a slew of edgy and surprising events, and one big difference. 

* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.

Every year, Port Macquarie is host to a one-night street festival where artists, performers, makers and musicians can showcase their talents. With restrictions in place this year on large public gatherings, the organisers of ArtWalk decided to dream bigger. Why not bring three coastal towns together to celebrate their creative locals and build an enormous outdoor art gallery?

For the first time, instead of having one main event, the ArtWalk festival will run for an entire week across the towns of Port Macquarie, Laurieton and Wauchope. That’s six extra days of art, exploration and cultural activities! 

Kicking off on Thursday October 1st, the streets, cafes and venues of the three towns will become a stage for local artists. The free event hopes to draw visitors to these beautiful coastal communities to explore the arts and culture on offer in the region.

The big drawcard of this year’s event will be the Longest Footpath Art Gallery. Bringing the festival onto the streets, the festival will transform local businesses into pop-up galleries and event spaces for the week. Participating shops down the main streets of Port Mac, Laurieton and Wauchope will turn their windows into gorgeous art displays that can be viewed day or night. Stroll through town and follow the ArtWalk map to discover all kinds of creations including painted artworks, pottery, crafts, fashion and jewellery. You can even vote for your favourite artwork. 

In addition to the footpath gallery, there are over 40 satellite events to attend held at various locations across the region. Wander a poetry walk or sculpture trail, try your hand at a pottery workshop, get creative at a paint and sip class at a winery or listen to fascinating stories at the writer’s centre.

There will also be artist markets dotted around the CBDs, where you can wander, admire and shop the eclectic wares of local artists and artisans. The markets will also showcase locally grown and made fresh produce, so grab a picnic lunch to enjoy in the sunshine. 

ArtWalk is being held on Birpai land and the festival will celebrate a number of First Nations artists, including Birrbay artist Angela Marr-Grogan who designed the artwork for the program. The program extends a beautiful invitation to attendees: ‘Mara Barrayga Nyaagi Djuyal,’ which means, ‘come with us on country to see story.’

ArtWalk runs from October 1st to October 8th 2020