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Port Stephens

Port Stephens (Australia)

Practical information on Port Stephens

  • Family
  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Viewpoint
  • Port
  • Desert
  • Off the beaten track
4 / 5 - One review
How to get there
2 hours and 30 minutes' drive from Sydney
When to go
Between October and May
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Port Stephens

Lisa Gaillard Seasoned Traveller
47 written opinions

Port Stephens is not, strictly speaking, a city, but rather an huge bay of 104 km2 that includes several localities, such as Hawks Nest, Mallabula and Nelson Bay. Nelson Bay is known as the dolphin capital of Australia.

My suggestion:
Visit Tea Gardens and the seaside resort of Hawks Nest. Book a dolphin-watching tour leaving from Nelson Bay and don't miss the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes to the south of the bay.
My review

Port Stephens has more than 26 beaches of golden sand. The majority of these are perfect for kayaking, snorkelling, sailing, fishing, or just swimming. There are also surf spots, such as One Mile Beach and Box Beach. Port Stephens is an ideal place for a holiday with your family or a sports holiday.

I picnicked on the beach at Nelson Bay, the main locality in Port Stephens. There is a pleasant little marina there with lawns surrounding it. It is a peaceful place and the water is clear. There are no buildings disfiguring the landscape. The bay is well protected. You will be overwhelmed by a feeling of being on holiday. Only two hours from Sydney and one hour from Newcastle! It is a real breath of fresh air, far from the cities.

What stood out to me the most from this region—apart from the magnificent beaches—was the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes. Upon arrival, you discover an amazing panoramic view of the beach and the breakers crashing on the sandy beach, which is unsullied by buildings... you will lose yourself completely in the view. Then, beside the dune, you can find 4x4s... and camels. At that moment, I was no longer in Australia, but somewhere in the Sahara! The sand stretched on for as far as the eye could see. Incidentally, it is the longest dune in Australia and it stretches over 35 kilometres towards Newcastle. There are also many attractions on the sand: besides the two-person tour by camel or 4x4, you can also indulge in sandboarding (using a surfboard on the sand). Unlike snowboarding, I did not find this sport easy: it is not easy to control the board, which does not slide over the sand well. But give it a go!

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