About Port Stephens
Port Stephens, an easy two and a half hour drive north of Sydney, is known for its nature and abundance of aquatic and land activities on its uncrowded sandy beaches, sheltered bays and unspoilt national parks.
The resident population of 140 bottlenose dolphins has earned Port Stephens the tag of Dolphin Capital of Australia. Plenty of dolphin cruises are available each day and it’s the premier spot along the NSW coast for whale watching from May to November. The town of Nelson Bay is at the eastern end of Port Stephens and offers restaurants and boutique shopping, as well as being the home of the Port Stephens fishing and dolphin watching fleet.
Experience the excellent surf beaches in nearby Anna Bay, especially One Mile Beach which is a favourite for all those wanting that perfect wave. Nearby is the clothes optional Samurai Beach, a hidden oasis which can be found via a series of sandy paths that lead to the secluded beach.
Explore the majestic and almost surreal sand dunes of Stockton Beach - the largest coastal sand dune system in Australia, a 32 kilometre stretch of sand with dunes that are at least 30 meters high. Discover this coastal desert wilderness by horse, camel, four-wheel drive, quad bike or simply by foot. Try sandboarding down the massive dune faces, it's an experience to remember. Uncover the remains of the Sygna Shipwreck that was wrecked off the coastline in 1974 and Tin City made up of several tin squatters’ huts that are located in the dunes, owned by weekend fisherman.
Tomaree National Park, a 20km strip of scenic, rocky coastline between Anna Bay and Shoal Bay, is just one of the many places around Port Stephens where you can take an easy bush walk with ample spots for a swim, snorkel, kayak, surf, or picnic. Take a walk up the Tomaree Headland for spectacular views of the bay and offshore islands. For the keen fisherman, hire a boat or explore the port and the surrounding reefs on your own custom fishing trip or book yourself on one of the many deep sea fishing charters.
Zenith Wreck and Box Beach in Shoal Bay sit in the shadow of Tomaree Peak and their quiet surroundings and majestic views offer a place to reflect on the area’s natural beauty. For those feeling a little risqué, Samurai Beach is the only place in the area where clothing is optional.
Port Stephens’ coastline is scattered with islands and is a haven for wildlife. One particular island, Cabbage Tree Island, is home to the rare sea bird, the Gould Petrel. On the mainland, consider a visit to the Native Flora Garden or visit the Tilligerry Habitat Activity Centre, which offers guided koala tours.
The aquatic reserves in and around Port Stephens are unparralled in terms of beauty, variety and ease. Fly Point and Halifax Park offer great scuba diving with colours that rival the Barrier Reef. In fact, the whole port is so special that it was declared a marine national park in 2006.