Shoal Bay

From lovely beaches to dolphins, whales and koalas, Shoal Bay is a charming destination in beautiful Port Stephens. Relaxing on a white sandy beach, kayaking with bottlenose dolphins, spotting koalas in the wild and walking to Tomaree Head for whale watching are just a few of the great experiences.

The majestic Shoal Bay Beach curves 2.5km from Nelson Head to Tomaree Head. The sweeping views of the pristine inlet are mesmerising. The calm bay waters are perfect for swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, and picnic tables and barbecue facilities are in the beachside reserve.

Shoal Bay beach in Port Stephens, with views towards Tomaree Head

Getting to Shoal Bay is easy. The drive north from Sydney is 2h 30min and from Newcastle Airport about 30 minutes. Nelson Bay, the main town in Port Stephens, is only minutes away. Places to stay suit various budgets, from camping and caravanning in a holiday park to apartments and resorts.

You’ll find a delicious selection of places to eat and tasty takeaway fish and chips on the waterfront. At the Port Stephens Country Club enjoy the Sandyfoot Cafe and Bar as well as the Catch, a seafood restaurant where you can savour fresh local seafood, including oysters, prawns, crab and lobster.

Stand-up paddleboarding in Shoal Bay, Port Stephens

At the eastern end of the bay is magnificent Tomaree National Park. On the paved Fort Tomaree walk around the headland are reminders of Australia’s World War II coastal defence. From here, take the Tomaree Head summit walk for a breathtaking panorama of Port Stephens and beyond.

The Wreck Beach walk in the park is to a little sandy cove perfect for a picnic. In and around the national park you can spot koalas munching on swamp mahogany, a species of eucalypt. There are also gorgeous ocean-facing beaches and cycling trails, including south to pretty Fingal Bay Beach.

Shoal Bay is a delightful base for exploring Port Stephens’ top attractions and natural beauty, such as the towering Stockton Bight sand dunes in the Worimi Conservation Lands. There are plenty of adventure tours to the dunes. The dolphin, whale and scuba diving tours depart from Nelson Bay

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. Oktoberfest at Murrays Brewery

    Thursday 18 October 2018 to Sunday 28 October 2018 , Nelson Bay

    Oktoberfest has become a very popular event and beer style to produce in other parts of the world, including at Murray’s Brewery at Bobs Farm, Port Stephens. Murray’s Oktoberfest festival starts on Saturday 29 September on the long weekend…

    18 Oct - 28 Oct
  2. Sacred Tree Markets Nelson Bay

    Saturday 20 October 2018 to Saturday 03 August 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 c…

    20 Oct - 03 Aug