Nestled on the banks of the Macleay River, Gladstone is a charming little village brimming with creativity, history and culture. Listed as a ‘Creative Community’ on the Mid North Coast Arts Trail, the village is home to 19 preserved historical buildings and a host of art galleries, boutiques and cafes. Gladstone is known as the cultural heart of the Macleay Valley Coast.
Smell the Coffee
Start your day right with a coffee from Steam & Cedar at the Gladstone Hub. If you’re feeling adventurous, sample one of the infused coffees alongside the café’s deliciously simple fare, much of it created using local and native produce. The café has also made a recent foray into ice-cream – Dan’s lemon myrtle, honey and macadamia flavour comes highly recommended.
The Gladstone Hub
Take a walk through the Gladstone Hub, a fascinating warren of stores that offer everything from wholefoods, jewellery, art, photography and clothing, all made with love. The Hub exudes a true village atmosphere, where store owners ask each other for advice and always have time for a chat. Don’t be surprised if more than an hour flies by and you’re still browsing!
Galleries and Boutiques
If you love chain stores and same-same fashion, you’ve come to the wrong place. Instead of the usual suspects, Gladstone is home to a collection of specialty stores and galleries that reflect the heart and soul of local artists, stylists and craftspeople, making it the perfect place to find high quality art, homewares, clothing and jewellery that you won’t see anywhere else.
Wander across the road to the Macleay Valley Community Art Gallery to check out the ever-changing exhibitions by the range of local artists who are supported by the gallery. You can also visit internationally-renowned artist Deb Broughton’s home studio on Barnard Street to view her coastal inspired paintings.
High Tea at the Old Bank
Buttermilk scones and fresh coffee served in a fragrant garden overlooking the river? Yes, please! Champagne breakfast? Even better! The Old Bank is a lovingly-restored heritage building whose owners are committed to using as much local produce as possible in their incredible dishes. Make sure you book as seats at the Old Bank fill up fast.
Lunch at the Heritage Hotel
For a hearty pub meal, try the Heritage Hotel, a splendidly restored historic pub with plenty of character. The hotel is also a great place to linger over a drink or catch a band on a Sunday afternoon.
Dinner and Live Music
Take a five-minute drive from Gladstone and to The Garden Bar & Kitchen in the little town of Frederickton. Book early for seats outside to enjoy sunset drinks on the deck overlooking the river while you dine in style. If you’re lucky, you might catch an acoustic band serenading diners on the deck.
Hint: The best day to visit Gladstone is on market day (every third Sunday of the month), when the little village really comes alive!