looking for Incredible Things to do in Port Stephens.? With some genuinely stunning sections of shore and rivers and without the crowds or over-commercialization that many of the bigger and more popular vacation sites experience, New South Wales’s central coast continues to be a criminally underappreciated tourism destination in Australia.
The most notable of them is perhaps Port Stephens, which is about an hour’s drive northeast of Newcastle and is a paradise for beachgoers and marine aficionados as well as a popular destination for families.
The Port Stephens region, famous for its enormous dunes and expansive main harbor/bay area teeming with marine life, prides itself on a combination of great overall weather and an emphasis on outdoor activities that make it a great preference for all those searching to untangle from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Add to all of this the opportunity to partake in a variety of adventures both on and off the water, including top-notch wineries inland, renowned fresh and affordable seafood, and a variety of walks and drives that lead to gorgeous views with a myriad of colors, and you have a location that is begging to be visited before its fame skyrockets.
This list of the Top 10 Things to Do in Port Stephens & Surrounds will help you make the most of your visit to this sunny region of the NSW central coast.
1. View Port Stephens dunes from Birubi Point
The Stockton Sand Dunes, the largest 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 just 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 important aboriginal places, the Worimi people, who have been utilizing the dunes for thousands of years, now allow visitors to enjoy them. It’s extremely breathtaking to view the enormous dunes that go on forever.
2. 4WD on the dunes
The biggest 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.
This is where you should just go if you’re looking for things to do in Port Stephens. 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 smack in the center of the surrounding dunes.
Take a trip and climb some of the tallest and steepest dunes, some of which reach heights of over 30 meters.
You may ride a sandboard or a surfboard down the dunes, explore on your quad bike, or just 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 every day.
3. Port Stephens Surf School
This is where you should just go if you’re looking for things to do in Port Stephens. The ideal choice for those who desire individualized instruction is the one-hour individual lessons.
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! WAY BETTER
To assist you to get 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 aren’t sure what you want? Visit them for the best direction. They provide beginner-to-expert surfboards for sale and rental.
4. One-mile beach, Boat Harbour
If you want to find things to do in Port Stephens, here is a great place to look.
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.
This is the ideal location whether you’re trekking across the world or just want to reconnect with nature. At a spa facility, an environmental resort, a vacation park, or YHA Backpackers, you may find inner serenity.
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 that is ideal for both families and surfers is monitored throughout the summer.
One Mile is the place to go 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, which is located near One Mile.
5. Dolphin Watch, Nelson Bay
This is where you should just go if you’re looking for things to do in Port Stephens.
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, where there are long, white beaches and rugged coastal headlands, or you can take one of the many daily excursions that are offered.
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 an experience that is remarkable and once in a lifetime. a thrilling snorkeling adventure like being a member of the pod!
6. Stockton Beach, Anna Bay
Stockton Beach is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens.
The enormous dunes that border the 32-kilometer-long Stockton Beach, which extends between Newcastle and Nelson Bay, are its most notable feature. Dunes may reach heights of more than 30 meters.
No waves to ride, then? Still, craving some adrenaline? No issue… Simply take a board, place it on a sizable mound of sand, and quickly slide downward.
It isn’t complicated science. Once you’ve leaped off the top, the gradient will send you tumbling down quite swiftly.
Stockton Beach is the place to go if you simply must fill all of your clothing and orifices with sand.
It is the biggest mound of sand in Australia. Winds, currents, and coastal erosion have dumped enormous volumes of sand in the same location over many years. Toboggan Hill Park, next to Salamander Bay, offers the opportunity to try tobogganing as well.
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 fairly difficult course.
You won’t likely run across many 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. Approximately 150 kilometers northeast of Sydney, New South Wales, in Tomaree National Park, there is a short trek.
Parking is accessible at the start of the route, which is close to Shoal Bay Road.
Enjoy the scenic hike up 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 while you’re at the overlook, or stay a bit longer to see the sunset.
8. Swimming with wild dolphins, Nelson Bay
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens. The first-ever snorkeling 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, which is about a 2.5-hour journey north of Sydney. Come join the pod and see authentic wild dolphin behavior in their natural habitat. It is NOT a virtual tour.
Their swimmers get a very amazing 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.
DSA is a licensed eco-tourism business; dolphins prefer to interact with their in-water visitors rather than be chased, hurt, or harassed. You shouldn’t skip out on 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, does not disappoint, from plump oysters produced and picked close offshore to juicy prawns, crabs, tuna, and trevally.
Yes, 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 neighborhood art museum, peruse hippie shops, Then get a bite to eat at one of the seaside eateries.
Tea Gardens is a charming location with a long and interesting history.
Dolphins, green sea turtles, fish, and seagulls are just a few of the numerous marine species that inhabit the Great Lakes, Marine Park. A wide variety of 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, which is close to Port Stephens, before jumping out to try sandboarding down the steep dunes.
To reach the center 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 amazing, and that is comparable to a ten-story structure.
This is the ideal approach for people of all ages and adrenaline levels to enjoy Stockton Sands, whether you want to surf down the dunes while sitting up or while simply watching.
The majority of tourists remain for around 1.5 hours, and the 4WD bus shuttles operate routinely all day until the final departure time of 3.30 pm and a bit later during peak months.
12. Check Out Fighter World
If you want to find things to do in Port Stephens, here is a great place to look. 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 go about and peek into the cockpits of some of Australia’s most recognizable aircraft, including the legendary F-111, at the Newcastle Airport facility, which is close to the RAAF Base.
Visitors may even take a seat 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 greatest World’s “Top Guns,” living on the precipice.
Along with the Norm Forrester Collection, one of Australia’s greatest 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 ambiance, delicious cuisine, and warm welcome.
13. Explore colorful rock pools at Boat Harbour
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens.
You have to look hard to locate such particular locations, like rock pools. Every time you come, you’ll find fresh surprises in them since they’re always evolving and emerging and vanishing 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 to go 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 neighborhood secret, may too.
The water will have a vivid aquamarine color when you visit the pool on a warm, sunny winter day. At low tide, it is deep enough to dive into 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. Dolphins could be seen fishing. On the weed-covered rocks, it takes a little bit of work to get out again, but it’s worth it!
14. Go wine tasting
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens. 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 in comfort 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 how Port Stephens prides itself on serving up 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, which is situated directly on the ocean, is the ideal place to enjoy a dozen or two oysters, either natural or Kilpatrick, fresh fish, juicy calamari, and a wonderful Whale Ale.
One of the finest seasons for seafood lovers is winter since the cooler temperatures cause those decadent crustaceans to produce a coating of fat. Visitors may stay before and after supper at The Boathouse’s more laid-back dockside bar and restaurant upstairs.
16. Hit the surf
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens. 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 major 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 a wonderful spot to learn to surf since there are several reputable surf schools around that will teach you the basics.
A short drive north of Sydney, Port Stephens is a fairly accessible location for surfing.
Surfing is a sport where location is key. Conditions for surfing in and around Port Stephens are unquestionably favorable 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.
Between Stephens Peak and Tomaree Headland, close to Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay, is the charming Zenith Beach. To reach this unspoiled location, park your vehicle in the parking lot behind the beach dunes and take one of the two pathways that go to the beach.
Zenith Beach is unpatrolled, therefore exercise caution if you decide to go swimming there.
Zenith Beach, which is 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; instead, read and abide by the stated notices.
Additionally a favorite wedding location, Zenith Beach. Please get in touch with the Nelson Bay NPWS office to make reservations or inquiries.
18. Wreck beach, Shoal Bay
This is a great place to go if you’re seeking things to do in Port Stephens. 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, which is hidden behind the homes at Shoal Bay and is visible from the imposing overlook at the top of Tomaree Head, if you’re searching for a quiet place to enjoy the placid marine splendor of Port Stephens.
Follow the way upward and along the fire path from Verona Road to finally arrive at Wreck Beach Walk.
A little cove with a lovely beach and clear views of the ocean, which is ideal for seasonal whale viewing, may be reached by strolling through this rich coastal anaphora forest. Even a bottlenose dolphin playing with its young may be seen throughout the summer.
Enjoy taking 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 nicer swimming area.
With its stunning beaches, clear oceans, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see dolphins and whales, Port Stephens fulfills the call of those seeking a sea change. a 2.5-hour drive from Sydney.
Port Stephens offers the ideal setting for a tranquil seaside getaway when you’re not out practicing your surfing, swimming with dolphins, or sandboarding down the biggest rolling dunes in the Southern Hemisphere.
It’s time to plan your stay there now that you know how to get there. The top activities to do in Port Stephens for the perfect vacation, whether you’re traveling alone, with friends, or with the whole family, are listed below without further ado.