PORT STEPHENS | THINGS TO DO
Port Stephens and Nelson Bay offer so many fun activities all year round. Here's a list put together by the Winning Holidays team of the Top 10 Things To Do in Port Stephens.
1. SPEND THE DAY ON THE BAY
Offering more water than Sydney Harbour, Port Stephens has water activities to suit everyone, including parasailing, surfing, body boarding, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. If you’re after a slower pace then we recommend a dolphin-watching cruise, relaxing sunset cruise, ferry ride or hiring your own charter for the day.
2. EXPERIENCE THE SAND DUNES
Take your 4WD down 32km of beautiful scenery to Stockton Beach, with pristine rolling waves on one side and towering sand dunes on the other. Or book an experienced driver who will lead you and your family safely across the dunes in your own vehicle. Experience the spectacular dunes from the back of a quad bike or a camel, on a sand safari tour or sand boarding at full speed for the perfect adrenaline rush! The dunes are enormous!
3. TAKE A DIVE UNDER THE BAY
This is an underwater paradise. Discover an exciting world featuring sea caves, sponge gardens and shipwrecks. Explore the marine sanctuaries off Nelson Bay and see rare species only found in Port Stephens such as the passion flower feather star, pineapplefish, Saw-tooth Moray Eel and the white seahorse. There are dive charters available in Nelson Bay for experienced divers or lessons for keen enthusiasts.
4. TAKE A LOOK FROM ABOVE
Walk to the top of the Tomaree Headland Lookout to enjoy striking views of Zenith Beach, Wreck Beach, Box Beach, Yaccaba Headland and the Fingal Bay Spit and offshore islands. It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk to the top, depending on your fitness level, but it’s well worth the effort. If Tomaree Headland seems too challenging then take a drive to the top of Gan Gan Lookout at Lilly Pilly Hill where you will be treated to 360-degree views of this spectacular area. Keep your eyes open for koalas, rare native birds and other wildlife and enjoy the impressive wildflower display, including giant Gymea lilies and native orchids in season.
Not high enough? Jump on a scenic helicopter flight for an eagle-eye view, and dont forget your camera!
5. EXPERIENCE OUR BEACHES
It’s not hard to feel like you’re on a luxurious island holiday with mountainous headlands, white sandy beaches and beautiful waters in almost every corner of the bay. There’s a selection of both surfing beaches and bay beaches to suit everyone’s swimming abilities, with surf-patrolled beaches located at Birubi Beach Anna Bay, One Mile Beach and Fingal Bay Beach. Surfers and body boarders will love Samurai Beach (access via 4WD only), Zenith Beach and the infamous Box beach where the King of the Box Pro is held each year. For the younger members of the family or guests wanting calm bay waters, be sure to check out Shoal Bay Beach, Little Beach, Flypoint Beach, Corlette Beach and Bagnalls Beach Nelson Bay.
6. TAKE A BIKE RIDE
Bring your bike or hire one. Port Stephens offers safe tree-lined cycle-ways for your family to ride through this scenic area without the stress of riding along main roads. Many of the cycle-ways run alongside the national park so be sure to keep your eye out for local koalas and other native species.
7. GONE FISHING
From professional fisherman to the keen amateurs there are some fantastic locations to throw a line, including the public jetties at Salamander Bay, Little Beach and Shoal Bay, rock fishing, or charter boats out to the shelf. There are a few places to launch your vessel, including: 4-lane all-tide boat ramp at Soldiers Point, 2-lane all-tide boat ramps at Shoal Bay and Little Beach, and 1-lane all-tide boat ramps at Salamander Bay and Taylors Beach. There are also beach launch areas for small trailer boats, including Fingal Bay, Anna Bay, Boat Harbour and Fisherman’s Bay.
8. TRY OUR LOCAL PRODUCE
Port Stephens has more to offer then soaring sand dunes, pristine waterways, national parks and wildlife; it can also be a tantalising taste bud experience with fresh local seafood, including farmed barramundi and oysters, fresh prawns, lobsters, crabs and an abundance of fish species. With plenty of rainfall and sunshine, Port Stephens is also a mass producer of macadamias, avocados, olives, honey and the famous Anna Bay Tomato.
9. GOLF GOLF GOLF!
Thousands of golfers tour the regions courses. A range of courses catrer for the social group right up to the scratch markers! Come for a week and play the lot: Nelson Bay Golf Club (public), Horizons Resort (links), Pacific Dunes (links), David Grahams driving range and Mini-put and The Palms (short course).
For the ultimate experience, talk to Newcastle Helicopters about a split round - 9 holes at the Hunter Valley and 9 holes at Port Stephens with a chopper ride from the 9th green to the 10th tee!
10. DISCOVER THE ISLANDS
Take a day trip to Broughton Island or visit the local seal colony at Cabbage Tree Island. Broughton Island is located approximately eight nautical miles northeast of Port Stephens and is a part of the Myall Lakes National Park. There is a diverse range of marine life that can be spotted while diving around the islands. Spot a grey nurse shark family, wobbegong and Port Jackson sharks, crayfish, large cod, schools of baitfish and extensive sponge gardens.