Top 10 things to do in Port Stephens
With 26 stunning beaches, huge sand dunes, many beautiful inlets, there’s no lack of great things to do in Port Stephens.
1. Get out on the water
With a bay that is two and a half times the size of Sydney Harbour, there are a number of activities to suit everyone, such as parasailing, diving, surfing or snorkeling. Port Stephens is also rightly regarded as the dolphin capital of Australia. With over 70 bottlenose dolphins calling Port Stephens home, it’s no wonder they’re sighted so often. From late May to early November, the waters off Port Stephens are host to the magnificent acrobatic displays of migrating humpback whales, some weighing up to 48 tonnes. Whale-watching cruises departing from Nelson Bay provide a ringside seat, but the shoreline around Fingal Bay and Anna Bay, just south of Nelson Bay, are also great viewing spots.
2. Experience Worimi Conservation Lands
The Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton Bight Sand Dunes) are truly one of nature’s masterpieces, stretching for 32 kilometres. Whatever your level of adventure is, the dunes offer something for everyone. You can explore by foot, in your own 4WD, ride a quad bike or join a 4WD tour and sandboard down thirty metre high dunes. You can also join a tag-along tour to master 4WD techniques.
3. Snorkeling at Fly Point
Fly Point Park is located on the headland between Nelson Bay and Little Beach. Enjoy a picnic, then hit the water to explore the marine life this area has to offer. Discover the underwater world with sea caves, sponge gardens and shipwrecks.
4. Visit the Nelson Head Heritage Lighthouse and Reserve
Explore this spectacular site with panoramic views of the entrance to Port Stephens. The museum houses various artefacts from its previous use as a lighthouse. Afterwards take in the panoramic views from the Inner Light Tea House while enjoying an afternoon tea or a light lunch.
5. Tomaree Headland Lookout
Walk to the top of the Tomaree Headland Lookout to enjoy striking views of Port Stephens and the offshore islands. It will take you approximately 30 minutes to walk to the top, depending on your fitness level, but it is well worth the effort!
6. Gan Gan Lookout
Drive to the top of this magnificent lookout, taking in 360 degree views. 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.
7. Catch a boat to Tea Gardens
Take one of the water vessels and explore the other side of the Port. Once there you can wander around the shops at Tea Gardens and enjoy lunch on the banks of the Myall River.
9. Visiting surrounding Islands
Take a day trip to Broughton Island or visit the local seal colony at Cabbage Tree Island. The reefs which surround Broughton Island are famous for snapper and jewfish. Broughton Island is located approximately eight nautical miles North East 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 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.
10. Bushwalking Paradise
The untouched Tomaree National Park is blessed with many interesting landscapes and has excellent walking tracks. Walking along the banks of the Tilligerry Creek almost guarantees a koala sighting. Remember to buy your “Bushwalks around Port Stephens” booklet from the Visitor Information Centre.