The gateway to the spectacular Stockton Bight Sand Dunes in the Worimi Conservation Lands, Anna Bay is ideal for outdoor adventures. While the giant sand dunes are the star attraction, you can also enjoy beach fishing, surfing and exploring rock pools in this relaxed surf village in the Port Stephens area.
Worimi Conservation Lands
Covering 4,200 hectares along the coast between the Hunter River at Newcastle in the south and Anna Bay in the north, the Worimi Conservation Lands are one of Australia’s great natural wonders and a place of Aboriginal cultural significance. They are home to the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes, the largest moving coastal sand dunes in the southern hemisphere.
There are many ways to explore the dunes. Take a sunset camel or horse ride, cruise around in a 4WD or climb to the top to slide down the slope on a sandboard. Further south, you can join Sand Dune Adventures for a cultural quad bike tour, learning about the local Aboriginal heritage and visiting ancient campsites.
Things to do
Anna Bay is home to two great surf beaches: the patrolled Birubi Beach and One Mile Beach. Beginners can take a lesson with Port Stephens Surf School, while there are plenty of solid breaks to entertain more experienced surfers. There are also pretty rock pools to explore around Anna Bay. The whole family will love getting up close to marine life at Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters where you can feed, pet or snorkel with animals in a shallow lagoon.
Unpatrolled Fishermans Bayand Boat Harbour are great for snorkelling with a rocky reef that draws lots of marine life, including wrasse, bream, morwong, black rock cod and even sea turtles. This stretch of coastline is also a great location for viewing humpback whales on their migration along the NSW North Coast during May and November.
East of Anna Bay is Tomaree National Park, where there are many coastal walks, including the path to the Tomaree Head summitin Shoal Bay, which rewards with incredible panoramic views over Port Stephens. The park’s beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a picnic, or there are barbecue facilities around Anna Bay and Fishermans Bay.
Eat & drink
If you’re hungry, Crest Birubi Beach serves breakfast and lunch with a side of water views. Pasta di Porto is another local gem, where you can pick up artisan pasta products. Along the main road, you’ll also find tiny farm gates selling fresh produce like tomatoes, avocados, farm-fresh eggs and figs.
Getting there & where to stay
Anna Bay is a 2h 30min drive north from Sydney. Alternatively you can catch the train to Newcastle and transfer via bus, with the whole journey taking just over four hours. Or fly into Newcastle Airport and hire a car for the 50min drive northeast. Places to stay in Anna Bay include beach houses, cottages and holiday parks.
Fly into Newcastle Airport
Newcastle Airport is only 25km from the city centre. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rental, limousine and door-to-door shuttle buses. Public buses operate from the airport to the city, Stockton Ferry Wharf, Nelson Bay, Greenhills and Raymond Terrace. There are also public transport options to the Hunter Valley. Please check the timetable.
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. Link Airways operates direct flights between Canberra and Newcastle three days a week. FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Adelaide, Dubbo, Mudgee, Ballina-Byron Bay, Canberra and Sydney. Regional Express also flies to and from Sydney.