Port Stephens

From sublime natural beauty to freshly caught seafood, Port Stephens is a wonderful beach escape on a sparkling blue bay. Relax on beautiful sandy beaches, meet the resident bottlenose dolphins, enjoy fun water sports, explore giant sand dunes and savour delicious waterfront places to eat.

Home to more than 100 dolphins, the pristine inlet in the vast Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park is twice the size of Sydney Harbour. For spectacular panoramas of the azure waters and beyond there are two excellent vantage points, the Tomaree Head summit and the Gan Gan Hill lookout.

Coastal aerial of Fingal Spit with views towards Mount Tomaree, Port Stephens

Dolphin-watching cruises depart from Nelson Bay, the main town, which is 2h 30min drive north of Sydney and half an hour from Newcastle Airport. Whale watching is popular between May and November, when thousands of humpback and other whales migrate through the marine park.

Dotted along the southern bay shoreline are restaurants serving succulent local prawns, oysters, crabs and lobsters. There are vineyards and a craft beer brewery nearby. Places to stay suit various budgets, from island camping and holiday parks to holiday houses, apartments and stylish resorts.

There are 26 lovely beaches, from sheltered bayside beaches perfect for families with young children to ocean beaches. The Port Stephens Surf School offers surfing lessons at several beaches. At pretty Shoal Bay is a majestic 2.5km beach where kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available for hire.

Whale and dolphin cruise boat, Port Stephens, Australia

A splendid backdrop to Shoal Bay is the Tomaree National Park, where you’ll find the summit walk, military heritage and koalas in the wild. You can also spot koalas in the enchanting Tilligerry Habitat, a nature reserve. Or get up close to koalas and other native animals at the Oakvale Wildlife Park.

Just east of Oakvale are the largest moving coastal sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere and the longest beach in NSW, both in the Worimi Conservation Lands. There are fun adventure tours of the towering Stockton Bight sand dunes, and four-wheel driving and fishing are popular on the beach.

For a memorable aquatic experience, step into the water with sharks and stingrays at the Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters, an amazing interactive aquarium. There are also scuba diving tours in the marine park, including to Cabbage Tree Island’s shipwreck and Broughton Island’s grey nurse sharks.

Newcastle Airport

Fly into Newcastle Airport 

Newcastle Airport is 34km from Nelson Bay, the main town in Port Stephens. Choose from various transport options on arrival, including car rental, limousine and door-to-door shuttle bus, to make the short trip northeast to Port Stephens. Public buses are available to Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay.

Newcastle Airport offers direct flights to and from east coast cities and Adelaide.

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 and from Brisbane and Melbourne. FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Adelaide, Dubbo, Mudgee, Ballina-Byron Bay, Canberra and Sydney. Regional Express also flies to and from Sydney.

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO STAY

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Events

  1. Meditation and Buddhism

    Monday 17 September 2018 to Monday 17 December 2018 , Port Stephens Area

    Classes begin with a simple guided breathing meditation followed by a teaching and a second guided meditation based on the topic. There is also an opportunity for discussion, followed by refreshments. In each class a different aspect of…

    17 Sep - 17 Dec
  2. Port Stephens Market

    Saturday 22 December 2018 to Saturday 23 February 2019 , Port Stephens Area

    Port Stephens Market is a monthly market running on the fourth Saturday of the month. It is a wonderful local community market located in Salt Ash. If you are driving to the bay it's a 'must' that you stop in to see what wonderful…

    22 Dec - 23 Feb
  3. Sacred Tree Markets Nelson Bay

    Friday 28 December 2018 to Friday 25 January 2019 , Nelson Bay

    Established in 2015 on invitation from the Nelson Bay community, Sacred Tree Markets are set throughout the picturesque D’Albora Marinas and Nelson Bay Foreshore. Focused on a vision for an ethical future, Sacred Tree Markets is a highly…

    28 Dec - 25 Jan
  4. Anna Bay Community Market

    Saturday 05 January 2019 to Saturday 01 February 2020 , Port Stephens Area

    The Anna Bay Community Markets are held in the grounds of the Baylife Church in Anna Bay. The markets happen on the first Saturday of each month from 8.30am – 2pm. So, come for Brunch or Lunch, come for a Browse and come for a Bargain!…

    05 Jan - 01 Feb
  5. Brickfest at the Bay: Lego Fan Event

    Saturday 05 January 2019 to Sunday 06 January 2019 , Port Stephens Area

    Rainbow Bricks is excited to be returning to Anna Bay Public School and so are their exhibitors. Venue: Anna Bay Public School Display times: 10am - 4pm Like all their community events they are supporting local schools and charities. …

    05 Jan - 06 Jan