- Destination NSW
Cruise, Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay

  • Surfing, Bennetts Beach, North Coast
  • Dolphin cruise at Port Stephens, North Coast


Beaches in Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay is a major holiday playground and the main resort area of Port Stephens. Located on the southern shores of Port Stephens, Nelson Bay offers beautiful beaches such as Dutchmans Beach and Little Beach, ideal for a wide range of water activities and family fun. 

Must Do

About Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay is the main town for Port Stephens and it would be hard to find anywhere better equipped for aquatic pursuits,€“ plus a great array of accommodation and dining options. On the town's doorstep within the sheltered arms of the bay there are safe, calm beaches that are ideal for small children, while the coastal beaches just a five-minute drive away are washed by booming waves.

The diving and snorkelling here is exceptional. Just east of Nelson Bay, the tiny promontory of Fly Point is an aquatic reserve with prolific marine life. Divers have another superb site just off the coast at Broughton Island, with such outstanding features as the 'Looking Glass', a split that runs through the middle of the island, crowded with marine life.

To the south of Nelson Bay, Stockton Beach has the country's largest coastal dune system known as the Stockton Sand Dunes. Be sure to also visit the Nelson Head Heritage Lighthouse and Reserve.


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  • Stockton Sand Dunes

    Located just 10 minutes from the centre of Nelson Bay, the Stockton Sand Dunes stretch for more than 30 km to the northern outskirts of Newcastle, covering an area of 4,200 hectares. Explore the ever-shifting golden dunes by sandboard, 4WD, quad bike tour or riding a camel or horse.
  • Beaches

    Nelson Bay is an ideal location to enjoy glorious stretches of beaches. Explore this stunning coastline and discover family-friendly bays such as Boat Harbour, to nearby surfing beaches such as Box Beach and One Mile Beach.
  • Water Activites

    Discover Nelson Bay's abundance of colourful underwater life by going snorkeling at Fly Point Aquatic Reserve, or enjoy swimming with the area's friendly dolphin community. Nelson Bay's coastline is also a great location for whale watching, with a number of tours available in season.

Fly into Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport is located 25km from Newcastle’s city centre. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rental, limousine, and door-to-door shuttle buses to make the short journey south into Newcastle. Public buses operate from Newcastle Airport to Newcastle train station approximately every hour (Monday to Friday). Public bus services are also available to Nelson Bay, Greenhills, and Raymond Terrace. 

Newcastle Airport offers up to 50 direct flights a day to cities along the east coast. Jetstar flies direct to and from Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. QantasLink operates direct flights to and from Brisbane. Virgin Australia flies direct to Brisbane and Melbourne. FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Canberra, Sydney, and Ballina/Byron Bay, while Regional Express flies to and from Sydney.

Explore Nelson Bay