Photo credit: Destination NSW
Port Stephens is one of the most beautiful spots on the Australian east coast combining magnificent surf beaches with the tranquil sheltered waters of the port. Relax on golden sand with blue skies above. Dine at one of the exquisite restaurants or picnic by the water’s edge. Port Stephens is a slice of heaven.
Burgeoning with wildlife, you can watch bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales play out at sea and spot koalas in their natural habitat amongst the trees. You can take a camel ride along the beach or slide down 30 metre high dunes. There is plenty to do, see and experience in Port Stephens.
NSW TrainLink Intercity trains go to Broadmeadow and the Hunter Line into Hamilton on the edge of the Newcastle CBD. Local buses offer connections from Newcastle to Port Stephens locations.
Discovering the sights of Port Stephens is straightforward with a local bus service, taxi services, car hire companies and coach tour operators.
Port Stephens is a paradise for water lovers with activities to suit everyone, such as surfing, snorkelling, diving or parasailing. Take the opportunity to learn how to surf the rolling waves or to scuba dive beneath the water to see exquisite marine creatures and their habitats.
Snorkel at top spots like Fly Point Park and discover an awesome underwater world with caves, sponge gardens and shipwrecks. For the ultimate adrenalin rush, look down over the port while soaring up to 150 metres high with a tandem parasail from behind a high-powered speed boat.
Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and witness striking sunsets and sunrises. The walk from Nelson Bay to Corlette Point is particularly beautiful, as is Bagnalls Beach.
Meander along Morna Point towards Anna Bay and as the sun sets look for dolphins in the distance and fishermen hauling in their catch. The Soldiers Point boat ramp with its picnic tables and two floating jetties is also a perfect place to watch the sunset.
Do the infamous walk at low tide across ‘the spit’ to Fingal Spit to see the burnt out ruins of the outer lighthouse residence. Explore Fingal Head and enjoy the views while making sure you can walk back before the tide comes in.
Port Stephens is known as the dolphin capital of Australia as they are extremely plentiful and sighted so often. Go dolphin watching on a sailing catamaran or cruise boat, glide though the waters in the moonlight on a romantic dinner cruise, or take a sunset kayaking tour with the playful dolphins.
From late May to early November, the waters off Port Stephens are also home to spectacular displays of approximately 9,000 migrating humpback whales. Get up close to them on a whale watching cruise from Nelson Bay, Fingal Bay or Anna Bay.
Walk to the top of the Tomaree Headland Lookout to see amazing views of Port Stephens and the offshore islands. Travel to Gan Gan Lookout and take in the glorious wildflower display and 360 degree views while keeping alert for sightings of koalas, rare native birds and other wildlife. Visit the Nelson Head Heritage Lighthouse and Reserve and enjoy the views before supping at the tea house and exploring the museum with its artefacts from its previous use as a lighthouse.
Go koala spotting either in their natural habitat along the dazzling One Mile Beach and Taylors Beach or take an guided walk at the Tilligerry Nature Reserve.
Take in the views on a personalised horse ride, run by a tour group, along the coastline or experience a fun camel ride along the beach.
For an adventure you will always remember, visit the surreal Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton Bight Sand Dunes) which cover almost 4,200 hectares. The massive dunes will surprise you with their size and beauty. Explore the dunes by foot, in your own 4WD, ride a quad bike, horse, camel or join a 4WD tour and sandboard down 30 metre high dunes.
Handfeed stingrays and sharks at the Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters and live to tell the thrilling tale. The centre is the only place in the world where you can stand in knee deep water, or swim with three metre sharks and 300 kilogram rays.
Get some exercise by riding toboggans, playing a game of mini golf, bike riding, go-karting or bowling. Then relax over a glass of delectable wine at one of Port Stephen’s vineyards.
Event information is supplied by Destination NSW. For a more comprehensive event guide and the exact dates for events in Orange, visit the Destinations NSW website.
|Tastes at the Bay Food, Wine and Jazz Festival||November||Taste the essence of Neslon Bay, set on the beautiful waterfront|
|Sail Port Stephens||April 2018||Great sailing for all classes of boats plus a dynamic social and entertainment program|
|Port to Port MTB||May 2018||Fun and challenging for riders of all levels, from recreational to competitive|