A myriad of experiences await if you choose a Greater Port Macquarie staycation.
Businesses will welcome you with open arms.
Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association president Janette Hyde encourages locals to staycation and support businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has reinvigorated its support local campaign.
It comes at a time when the region is missing its major tourism market from Greater Sydney, which remains in lockdown.
Explore the region without the crowds
Bago Maze and Winery operations manager Ian Mobbs agrees now is a good opportunity for locals to explore their backyard.
He said it was quiet at the maze and winery with hardly any visitors.
"It's not great but that is to be expected," Mr Mobbs said.
The winery's cellar door opened in 1996 followed by the hedge maze in 2012.
The winery's cellar door staff have recently been helping in the vineyard with vine maintenance and the pruning process.
The business has also taken the opportunity to expand some picnic areas.
Mr Mobbs said support from locals would help businesses get through this quiet time before trade picked up when Sydneysiders were able to travel again.
"It's a good time for locals to look around without the crowds," he said.
Acknowledging importance of local support
David Lazarus and Elsa Barbosa from Port AdVenture Cruises also recognise the importance of locals backing the area's businesses.
"We've already had so much support from locals," Mr Lazarus said.
Port AdVenture Cruises is looking to the future.
The two-storey catamaran, The Rhythmboat, relocated to Port Macquarie after business on Sydney Harbour came to a standstill due to the pandemic.
The vessel is undergoing a refit in preparation to launch on the Hastings River, hopefully at the beginning of October.
Mr Lazarus said they would be honouring the essential services, in partnership with local businesses, for the initial cruises.
He said locals were a very important part of the business.
Focus on activities around your home base
Planet X Port Macquarie managing director John Spokes suggests locals should support each other during the pandemic recovery period.
"I think if locals have an option and are looking for things to do, they should focus those options around their home base," he said.
Planet X Port Macquarie has reopened after the COVID lockdown with extended hours in a bid to provide activities for children during the hiatus of community sport.
The family entertainment centre features a rollerskating rink with internationally accredited rollerskating floor, as well as a kiosk. It also offers indoor paintball and other games.
Mr Spokes expects the business will struggle right through to next year, given the COVID environment.
"We've lost a significant amount of income each week for the foreseeable future without the schools groups," he said.
Planet X Port Macquarie can attract upwards of 200 school students each week during normal times.
Call to consistently support Port Macquarie facilities
Rapidfire Speedball director Vincent Briffa said Port Macquarie had some great facilities but people needed to use them consistently.
The activities of speedball, bazooka ball and gotcha ball operate at Planet X Port Macquarie.
Mr Briffa said local support was vital now because the school trade was on hold and there was very little tourism at the moment.
"We are very heavily relying on local trade," he said.
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