Explore a haven filled with excitement and breathtaking scenery where unforgettable moments await. Port Stephens, a destination, holds a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a nature lover seeking adventure, an enthusiast of water sports, or simply craving a retreat, Port Stephens has it all. With views and thrilling encounters with the aquatic World, this hidden treasure offers various activities to suit every taste.
Nestled along the coast of Australia, Port Stephens beckons travellers with its promise of captivating experiences. Known destinations may overshadow this hidden gem, but it holds a treasure trove of adventures waiting to be explored.
The charm of Port Stephens goes beyond its landscapes; it also offers a range of experiences. Whether you are searching for relaxation or thrilling excitement, this coastal haven has something for everyone. It’s a place where pristine beaches meet life, tranquillity intertwines with adventure, and every moment presents an opportunity to create cherished memories.
The Port Stephens region, famous for its enormous dunes and expansive main harbour/bay area teeming with marine life, prides itself on a combination of great overall weather and an emphasis on outdoor activities that make it an excellent preference for all those searching to untangle from the hustle and bustle of urban life. This list of the best 18 things to do in Port Stephens and its surroundings will help you make the most of your visit to this sunny region.
1. View Port Stephens Dunes from Birubi Point
The Stockton Sand Dunes, the most significant moving dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, specifically have Birubi Beach on their northern end. You should check out Birubi Beach if you’re in the Port Stephens region for all the exciting things to do.
This is where you should go if you’re looking for things to do in Port Stephens. It’s a great place to stroll down the beach, go fishing off the rocks, or see whales in the distance, even if you don’t want to go sand surfing or engage in one of the daring sports.
Sand deserts can be found at Port Stephens, so you don’t have to go to the Australian Outback to see them. While staying away from historically critical aboriginal places, the Worimi people, who have been utilizing the dunes for thousands of years, now allow visitors to enjoy them. It’s incredibly breathtaking to view the enormous dunes that go on forever.
2. The 4WD on the Dunes
The most extensive coastal dunes in the Southern Hemisphere are perfect for 4WD adventures. The Worimi Conservation Lands include the soaring dunes. You may visit the Stockton Bight dunes on a variety of enjoyable trips.
Experience a fully guided tour of Stockton Bight’s 2,500 hectares of dunes in purpose-built 4WD vehicles. Visit “Tin City,” a collection of corrugated iron fishing shacks in the centre of the surrounding dunes. Take a trip and climb some of the tallest and steepest dunes, some reaching over 30 meters.
You may ride a sandboard or a surfboard down the dunes, explore on your quad bike, or relax and let knowledgeable tour guides drive you through the stunning landscape and important historical sites. Numerous 4WD and sandboarding excursions leave from James Patterson Street in Anna Bay daily.
3. Port Stephens Surf School
The one-hour individual lessons are ideal for those who desire individualized instruction. The instructor moves the session forward at your pace while providing you with continual, informative criticism. They provide highly informative, organized, and enjoyable individual courses. Their passion is passing on one of Australia’s top leisure activities for families.
Do you want to take a private lesson with a friend or friends? For groups of 2, 3, 4, and 5, they provide personalized training. You’ll get a discount if you bring a friend, a member of your family, or a large group!
To assist you in getting beyond the novice level, they use fun, safe, soft surfboards in our lessons. They also provide sun-smart rash guards and warm full-length, short, and mini-mals wetsuits for intermediate surfers.
Are you interested in buying a surfboard but need help determining what you want? You can visit them for the best direction. They provide beginner-to-expert surfboards for sale and rental.
4. One-mile beach, Boat Harbour
The communities of One Mile and Boat Harbour, where the bush meets the untamed coastline, are renowned for their natural beauty, quiet beaches, breathtaking coastal hikes, rainforests, and koala habitats.
Whether you’re trekking worldwide or want to reconnect with nature, this is the ideal location. You may find inner serenity at a spa facility, an environmental resort, a vacation park, or YHA Backpackers.
You may find residents watching whales travel along the humpback highway on their yearly migratory voyage from May to November from perches on the rocks near Boat Harbour.
In Port Stephens, One Mile Beach is one of the most well-liked surf beaches with lifeguards. A mile-long, white sand beach ideal for families and surfers is monitored throughout the summer.
Moreover, one Mile is the place for surfers of all skill levels looking for a clean wave. Another stunning location accessible by 4WD and a dress-optional beach is Samurai Beach, located near One Mile.
5. Dolphin Watch, Nelson Bay
It’s hardly surprising that these amiable natives are seen so often, given that Port Stephens is home to approximately 140 bottlenose dolphins. Visitors are excited to see the lively dolphins going about their daily lives in this lovely environment, where they are much-loved inhabitants. You may observe dolphins from the shore in Port Stephens, with long, white beaches and rugged coastal headlands, or you can take one of the many daily excursions.
During their yearly migration from May to November, take a whale-watching boat or see the majestic humpback whales from one of the several headlands in Tomaree National Park. You may swim with wild marine dolphins for a remarkable experience and, once in a lifetime.
6. Stockton Beach, Anna Bay
Its most notable feature is the enormous dunes that border the 32-kilometer-long Stockton Beach, which extends between Newcastle and Nelson Bay. Dunes may reach heights of more than 30 meters.
Would there be no waves to ride, then? Still craving some adrenaline? No issue… Place a board on a sizable mound of sand and quickly slide downward. Once you’ve leapt off the top, the gradient will send you tumbling down swiftly. Stockton Beach is the place to go if you must fill your clothing and orifices with sand.
It is the most prominent mound of sand in Australia. Winds, currents, and coastal erosion have dumped enormous volumes of sand in the exact location over many years. Toboggan Hill Park, next to Salamander Bay, also offers the opportunity to try tobogganing.
7. Climb Tomaree Mountain for the Legendary Views
In the vicinity of Shoal Bay, New South Wales, explore this 2.1-km out-and-back walk. It takes 49 minutes on average to finish and is often regarded as a reasonably challenging course. You will likely encounter a few other people while exploring this path, which is perfect for hiking, jogging, and walking.
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens. There is a short trek, approximately 150 kilometres northeast of Sydney, New South Wales, in Tomaree National Park.
Moreover, parking is accessible at the start of the route, close to Shoal Bay Road. Enjoy the scenic hike to Tomaree Head Lookout, which offers sweeping views of Port Stephens and its surroundings, including the Tasman Sea coastlines. Enjoy a picnic and the scenery at the overlook, or stay longer to see the sunset.
8. Swimming, Nelson Bay
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens. The first-ever snorkelling excursion of its type, Dolphin Swim Australia is the only legal wild dolphin swim in New South Wales.
Their location is in the lovely Port Stephens, about a 2.5-hour journey north of Sydney. Join the pod and see authentic wild dolphin behaviour in their natural habitat. It is NOT a virtual tour. Their swimmers get a fantastic experience as they are gently pushed through the water while completely submerged and securely strapped between the two catamaran hulls.
Due to the dolphins’ continual movement beside each other, this is the most engaging and secure approach to swimming with them. People have long memories of feeling like “part of the pod” because of this. You should take advantage of this exhilarating adventure off your bucket list!
9. Eat All the Fresh Local Seafood
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens. The seafood at Port Stephens, a 2.5-hour journey north of Sydney, is suitable also; while you’re there, you can go from plump oysters produced and picked close offshore to juicy prawns, crabs, tuna, and trevally.
You may dine at upscale waterside establishments and have a wonderful experience. However, there are also fishing huts, marketplaces, and fish-and-chip stands with long lines where you may have an inexpensive dinner made with fresh seafood.
10. Catch a Ferry to Tea Gardens
Take the Y-Knot Catamaran across the bay with Tea Gardens Ferry. Seven days a week, there are transfers accessible to and from Tea Gardens.
Crossing the bay is a need for tourists to this beauty of blue water, with amiable narration and panoramic views of lovely Port Stephens. You will go through Port Stephens Marine Park’s core during the one-hour boat voyage between Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens.
Travel to Tea Gardens by boat across the sea and up the Myall River, where you can look for dolphins, rent kayaks, visit the neighbourhood art museum, peruse hippie shops, and then get a bite to eat at one of the seaside eateries.
Tea Gardens is a charming location with a long and exciting history. Dolphins, green sea turtles, fish, and seagulls are just a few of the numerous marine species that inhabit the Great Lakes Marine Park. Various shorebirds reside and forage along the Myall River’s beaches, which will thrill bird lovers.
11. Go Sand Boarding in Stockton Sand Dunes
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens. Take on the famous Stockton dunes on this action-packed 4WD and sandboarding excursion.
You may take a thrilling 4×4 ride through the Stockton Sands, close to Port Stephens, before jumping out to try sandboarding down the steep dunes. To reach the centre of the dunes, board the air-conditioned, 4WD bus and travel over the thrilling landscape for around 10 minutes.
After receiving a quick introduction and setting up your sandboard, you can start having nonstop fun riding down dunes that may be 40–50 meters high. The views over the 32 km length of dunes are unique and comparable to a ten-story structure.
This is ideal for people of all ages and adrenaline levels to enjoy Stockton Sands, whether you want to surf down the dunes while sitting up or simply watching.
12. Check Out the Fighter World
Preserving Australia’s historic military aviation legacy is the focus of the biggest indoor event in Port Stephens. An interactive experience, Fighter World is perfect for families. Visitors may peek into the cockpits of some of Australia’s most recognizable aircraft, including the legendary F-111, at the Newcastle Airport facility close to the RAAF Base.
Visitors may even sit in the cockpits of the Macchi and Mirage planes to get a first-hand look at what it’s like to be one of the most excellent World’s “Top Guns,” living on the precipice.
Along with the Norm Forrester Collection, one of Australia’s most significant collections of hand-built model aircraft, you can also discover a variety of armaments and jet engines within the main hangar. Additionally, while you’re there, take advantage of Cafe Fighter World’s welcoming ambience, delicious cuisine, and warm welcome.
13. Explore Colorful Rock Pools at Boat Harbour
It would be best to look hard to locate such locations, like rock pools. You’ll find fresh surprises every time you come since they constantly evolve, emerge, and vanish with the tides. A rock pool that is the perfect size for swimming is even better!
Here are the specifics of three outstanding rock pools in the area. Just be cautious when going at low tide since the boulders and rock pools may be dangerous when the waves are high.
A lot is concealed among the rocks under the whale lookout at Boat Harbour. The many shallow tidal pools are home to starfish, anemones, and octopuses. And the “Champagne Spa,” a well-kept neighbourhood secret, may too.
When you visit the pool on a warm, sunny winter day, the water will have a vivid aquamarine colour. It is deep enough to dive into at low tide and is around two meters long.
Float about and take in the view of the sky, or unwind on the rocks and take in the ocean’s beauty only a few meters away. It takes some work on the weed-covered stones to get out again, but it’s worth it!
14. Go Wine Tasting
On this exclusive, full-day Hunter Valley trip that includes hotel pickup, learn the mysteries of Australian wine.
Visit up to four boutique wineries for tours and tastings as you travel comfortably in a luxury car. Try a variety of Semillon, chardonnay, Verdelho, and Shiraz wines while indulging in wine and cheese samples.
15. Eat Street: Port Stephens
If you want to find things to do in Port Stephens, here is a great place to look. The Little Beach Boathouse is a prime example of Port Stephens’ pride in serving local fish.
Luke Cameron, the head chef, often gets a call at three in the morning from a fisherman who describes his catch and offers a menu recommendation.
The Little Beach Boathouse, situated directly on the ocean, is the ideal place to enjoy a dozen or two oysters, natural or Kilpatrick, fresh fish, juicy calamari, and an excellent Whale Ale.
Winter is one of the finest seasons for seafood lovers since the cooler temperatures cause those decadent crustaceans to produce a fat coating. Visitors may stay before and after supper at The Boathouse’s more laid-back dockside bar and restaurant upstairs.
16. Hit the Surf
Anyone who wants to try surfing in Port Stephens will have a terrific day. Famous for its surfing, Port Stephens. Australia’s east-facing beaches are a significant draw for surfers who frequent the region.
Port Stephens is a popular destination for surfers of all skill levels to enjoy the waves. It’s also an excellent spot to learn to surf since several reputable surf schools will teach you the basics.
A short drive north of Sydney, Port Stephens is a reasonably accessible location for surfing. Surfing is a sport where the area is critical. Conditions for surfing in and around Port Stephens are unquestionably favourable because of the warm Pacific Ocean seas and massive waves.
The most well-known surf place in town is Fingal Bay, which faces the Pacific Ocean. You may spend the whole day at the beach thanks to the safety patrols and the abundance of services on land.
17. Zenith Beach, Shoal Bay
If you want to find things to do in Port Stephens, here is a great place to look. Near the Tomaree Head Summit trek in Tomaree National Park lies Zenith Beach. It’s the ideal location for a swim, surrounded by rocky and rough headlands.
The charming Zenith Beach is between Stephens Peak and Tomaree Headland, close to Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay. To reach this unspoiled location, you can park your vehicle in the parking lot behind the beach dunes and take one of the two pathways to the beach.
Zenith Beach is unpatrolled, so please exercise caution if swimming there. Moreover, Zenith Beach, a portion of the Port Stephens-Fantastic Lakes Marine Park, is a great location to watch dolphins and birds. Please assist us in protecting this vital coastal refuge.
Do not gather fish or marine life from the beach; read and abide by the stated notices—additionally, a favourite wedding location is Zenith Beach.
18. Wreck Beach, Shoal Bay
A private beach with chances for picnics and whale viewing, Wreck Beach is only a short stroll from Port Stephens. Take this short stroll to Wreck Beach, hidden behind the homes at Shoal Bay and visible from the imposing overlook at the top of Tomaree Head, if you’re searching for a quiet place to enjoy the peaceful marine splendour of Port Stephens.
Follow the way upward and along the fire path from Verona Road to finally arrive at Wreck Beach Walk. Strolling through this rich coastal anaphora forest, you may reach a little cove with a lovely beach and clear ocean views, ideal for seasonal whale viewing. Even a bottlenose dolphin playing with its young may be seen throughout the summer.
Enjoy a barefoot stroll around the beach as the waves lap at your feet. When you’re done, find a quiet picnic area and rest there to take in the peace of one of Port Stephens’ best-kept secrets. The best alternative if you want to swim is to travel five minutes over to Box Beach, which has better amenities and a more excellent swimming area.
With its stunning beaches, clear oceans, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see dolphins and whales, Port Stephens fulfils the call of those seeking a sea change—a 2.5-hour drive from Sydney.
Moreover, Port Stephens offers the ideal setting for a tranquil seaside getaway when you’re not out practising surfing, swimming with dolphins, or sandboarding down the enormous rolling dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. These top activities in Port Stephens are for the perfect vacation, whether travelling alone, with friends, or with the whole family.
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