Port Stephens

Port Stephens is a large natural harbour in the Hunter Region of New South Wales around two and a half hours north of Sydney. With 26 golden sandy beaches, a bay that is more than twice the size of Sydney Harbour, and a mountainous, rainforest-fringed peninsula, Port Stephens is the perfect holiday destination. The Port Stephens region has three main areas: the Tomaree Peninsula, Tilligerry Peninsula and the Golden Bight, all surrounding the spectacular Port Stephens Bay. Here you can go four-wheel driving in the sand dunes, swim with dolphins, surf and snorkel, or explore nature in world-class national parks. Port Stephens
Port Stephens
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Port Stephens is a large natural harbour in the Hunter Region of New South Wales around two and a half hours north of Sydney.

With 26 golden sandy beaches, a bay that is more than twice the size of Sydney Harbour, and a mountainous, rainforest-fringed peninsula, Port Stephens is the perfect holiday destination. The Port Stephens region has three main areas: the Tomaree Peninsula, Tilligerry Peninsula and the Golden Bight, all surrounding the spectacular Port Stephens Bay. Here you can go four-wheel driving in the sand dunes, swim with dolphins, surf and snorkel, or explore nature in world-class national parks.

Beaches

Port Stephens is an aquatic playground renowned for its golden uncrowded beaches. Within the shelter of Hawkes Bay there are calm, safe beaches and lakes that are ideal for swimming, kayaking and sailing. Boat Harbour, One Mile Beach, Fingal Bay, Shoal Bay, Little Beach and Birubi Beach (Stockton Beach) are ideal for families and children. Wind-swept beaches such as Zenith, Wreck, Box and Samurai are for more experienced surfers. See Port Stephens’ resident penguins at Dutchman’s Bay. Go scuba diving and explore the sea caves and shipwrecks at Fly Point Marine Park or cast a line for some on-shore fishing.

Port Stephens, NSW. © Destination NSW

Port Stephens, NSW

Nature

Drive to the Nelson Head Lighthouse or stroll along the beach to the top of Tomaree Headland for spectacular views of Port Stephens and its offshore islands. The pristine Tomaree National Park features excellent walking tracks along rocky coastline through coastal bushland, sand dunes and forests. Gan Gan Hill is Port Stephens’ highest lookout with commanding views of the whole region through to Newcastle in the south and the Myall Lakes in the north. Explore the Tilligerry Peninsula and visit Tilligerry Habitat State Reserve. With easy to moderate walks and abundant wildlife, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Wildlife

Port Stephens is also known as the ‘dolphin watching capital of Australia’. Cruises from Nelson Bay provide the opportunity to get close to them, and some tour operators even offer opportunities to swim with the dolphins. In winter, the waters off Port Stephens are one of the best places in Australia to see the magnificent acrobatic displays of migrating humpback whales. At the Australian Shark and Ray Centre, you can meet a variety of fascinating marine life and hand-feed the sharks. Tilligerry Habitat State Reserve is one of the best places in Australia to see koalas in their natural habitat.

Stockton Sand Dunes, Worimi Conservation Lands, NSW. © Destination NSW

Stockton Sand Dunes,
Worimi Conservation Lands, NSW

Around Port Stephens

The remarkable Stockton Bight Sand Dunes (Worimi Conservation Lands) near Anna Bay offer 4WD tours, quad biking, sand-boarding, horse and camel riding. Explore Tin City, where the movie ‘Mad Max’ was filmed; or visit the historic buildings of Raymond Terrace. Hawks Nest is one of the main gateways to Myall Lakes National Park which is popular for houseboat holidays. Catch the ferry to Tea Gardens and explore the other side of Port Stephens. Nearby you’ll find ocean beaches and great fishing at Myall River. Take a day trip to Broughton Island or visit the seal colony at Cabbage Tree Island.

Port Stephens events

Throughout the year the Port Stephens region presents a number of events and festivals with opportunities to experience the region’s culture and sample fine foods such as succulent oysters, fresh seafood, macadamias, figs, olives, wines and boutique brewed beers. The Festival of the Sea and Nelson Bay Foreshore Festival are held in February; the Myall Prawn Festival is held in March; the Karuah Oyster Festival in April; the Blue Water Country Music Festival takes place in June; Clans on the Coast Celtic Festival in September and the Tastes of the Bay Food and Wine Festival are held in November.