Bushwalking

PORT STEPHENS THINGS TO DO | BUSHWALKING

The Tomaree National Park is an untouched wilderness filled with interesting landscapes and excellent walking tracks. Walking along the banks of the Tilligerry Creek almost guarantees a koala sighting. You can buy a Bushwalks around Port Stephens booklet from the Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre (60 Victoria Parade, Nelson Bay).

Yacaaba Headland

If you enjoy a challenging walk and scenic views rolled into one, then grab your hiking boots and make your way to Yacaaba Headland walking track. This lightly challenging walk leads up and across the northern headland of Port Stephens, in the southern reaches of Myall Lakes National Park.

Tomaree Headland + WWII Gun Emplacements

Take the invigorating short walk to the summit of Tomaree Head, 161m above the Port Stephens entrance. As you hike the track, youll enjoy unparalleled views of idyllic Port Stephens and its coastline. From the top, you can even see as far as Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands inside the bay, across Shoal Bay Beach and down the coast towards Fingal Bay Island.

Gan Gan Lookout

At a height of 160 metres, Gan Gan Hill is Port Stephens highest and most accessible lookout. Experience commanding views of the whole of Port Stephens, right through to Newcastle in the south and the Myall Lakes to the north. The lookout has been recently refurbished to include new pathways, landscaping and viewing binoculars, providing visitors with a 360-degree rotation to take in the spectacular views of Fingal Bay, Soldiers Point and Tea Gardens.

Fingal Bay Lighthouse

Built in 1862, Point Stephens Lighthouse features a swept tower base and first floor entrance that give a flared appearance. This construction, along with the terrace of Lighthouse Keepers quarters within the lighthouse precinct makes Point Stephens unique among Australian lighthouses. Point Stephens Lighthouse is even more unique in that its location on Fingal Island is occasionally connected to the mainland by a sand spit. However at present, it is not possible to reach the lighthouse via the spit so its best to get to the island by boat and walk along the track to the lighthouse. The coastal views from the island are pretty amazing as well.

PORT STEPHENS WALKING TRACKS

Walking track information courtesy Destination Port Stephens.

 

WRECK BEACH WALK

Distance: 1.0km each way (one-way route)
Wreck Beach is definitely worth a visit and can be accessed via a short 1km hiking track through coastal angophora open forest. This beach is not patrolled and may have strong currents or rips, so be careful if you go in the water.
Directions: a small track from Verona Road or Lionel Avenue takes you up the hill where you turn right at the T-intersection and then left onto the Wreck Beach fire trail.
Time suggested: 20 minutes each way Difficulty: Medium Difficulty

 

BIG ROCKY WALK

Distance: 1.4km each way (one-way route)
This sandy track leads to the rocky headland and is shared by both walkers and 4WD vehicles. If you plan the trip to coincide with the low tide you can explore the rockpools.
Take plenty of drinking water and snacks for an enjoyable picnic. Walkers can also access the tracks to Little Rocky and Boulder Bay from the 4WD carpark.
Directions: this walk begins at the 2WD carpark 1.8km along Big Rocky Track, off Gan Gan Road. If you're in a 4WD you can drive all the way along the shared track, and then have a short walk (200m) to the headland. If you walk from the start of Big Rocky Track at Gan Gan Road, the walk will be 3.2km each way.
Time suggested: 30 minutes each way Difficulty: Medium Difficulty

 

FORT TOMAREE WALK

Distance: 2.0km each way (one-way route)
This paved track takes you around the lower slopes of Tomaree Head to the historic World War II gun emplacements. Fort Tomaree was established during World War II as part of the defence system for the east coast of Australia and there are interpretive signs at the WWII gun emplacements.
There are some steep sections and the paved areas can become slippery when wet.
Sanctuary zone: Zenith Beach at the start of this walk is a sanctuary zone (no collecting or fishing is permitted).
Guided tours are available through the WWII gun emplacements and to the summit.
Contact: Discovery at the Nelson Bay office for more information on 02 4984 8200
Directions: start at the Zenith Beach carpark and follow the paved track.
Time suggested: 30 minutes each way Difficulty: Medium Difficulty

TOMAREE HEAD SUMMIT WALK

Distance: 2.0km each way (one-way route)
Tomaree Head stands 161 m above the entrance to Port Stephens and from here there are breathtaking panoramic views over Port Stephens, the coast and to Broughton, Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah Islands. The summit was also the site for the longest serving radar in WWII. Cabbage Tree Island (John Gould Nature Reserve) and Boondelbah Island are the only nesting sites in the world for the endangered Gould's Petrel.
Spot the resident Port Stephens dolphins, and during the winter months (May to October) you may be lucky enough to see humpback whales on their annual migration.
The path has elevated walkways and stairs. Take care as there are some steep sections on the walk and the paved areas can become slippery when wet.
Guided tours are available to the summit and through the WWII gun emplacements.
Contact: Discovery at the Nelson Bay office for more information on 02 49848200
Sanctuary zone: Zenith Beach at the start of this walk is a sanctuary zone; no collecting or fishing is permitted within this zone.
Directions: from Nelson Bay follow the Shoal Bay Road to the start of the walk at the Zenith Beach carpark; follow the path to the summit which is paved in parts.
Time suggested: 45 minutes each way Difficulty: Medium Difficulty

 

MORNA POINT WALK

Distance: 5.5km (loop)

Take a relaxing walk to the coast at Morna Point through this spectacular part of the park. In spring the heathlands around Tank Hill are awash with wildflowers. If you detour along the sandy tracks toward the shore you will see interesting geological formations.
Some areas adjacent to the coast are steep and care should be taken with small children. Morna Point is a popular place for recreational fishing.
Directions: from Nelson Bay head towards Newcastle on Nelson Bay Road and turn left into Gan Gan Road and then left again into Blanch Street. Take the second right at Richardson Avenue, left into Boat Harbour Road and continue on to the T-intersection. Turn right and the next left will bring you to the NPWS depot where you can park your vehicle. The walk begins on a sandy trail at the back of the depot. Follow the sandy trails to the top of Tank Hill then proceed downhill on the road and return via the forest trail to the depot.
Time suggested: 2 hours 30 minutes Difficulty: Medium Difficulty