Port Stephens is home to more than 150 bottle nose dolphins, as well as an array of native animal and bird life. Take a dolphin watching cruise, or head out on a kayak tour to get really close to these amazing creatures.
Whale watching is also popular, and is best done by taking a whale watching cruise, or by going out to the headlands at Tomaree National Park. The annual whale migration goes north in June and July, and south from September to November.
You can also celebrate the whale migration at the Port Stephens Festival of the Sea, an annual event held in February at d'Albora Marinas, Nelson Bay. The festival includes a variety of community activities, such as arts and crafts, sand art, interactive stands and market stalls.
At the Australian Shark and Ray Centre, you can meet a variety of fascinating marine life. You can touch a 300kg stingray, learn more about sharks and rays and stand in the tank while you hand-feed the sharks!
Explore the Tilligerry Peninsula by visiting the Tilligerry Habitat State Reserve. With easy to moderate walks, with the longest taking 90 minutes, this is the perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon stroll
There are various walks through Tomaree National Park, taking you through coastal bushland, heathland, sand dunes, forests, beaches and over 20km of rocky coastline. Offering panoramic views over the Port Stephens region, this is a great way to explore and get a lay of the land.
Head to Myall Lakes National Park, for a moderate 3-hour walk taking you from Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club, up to Yacaaba headland. There are some fantastic views over Hawks Nest and the Tea Gardens, up the coast to Seal Rocks, and south over Nelson Bay.