Looking to get out of town and get that holiday feeling without going too far? Port Stephens is your perfect destination for that weekend or a mid-week escape. With gorgeous beaches, aquatic adventures and waterside restaurants extraordinary national parks and a unique sand-dune system this spectacular harbour is the right combination of adventure and relaxation.
Nelson Bay is the main town in beautiful Port Stephens with plenty to do. From water sports, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, jet-skiing, to hiking and exploring the beautiful national parks – whether it’s the land or sea, the views and surrounding beaches boast beautiful coastline.
Located 2.5 hours north of Sydney, the main centre, Nelson Bay, is home to both a fishing fleet and an armada of tourist’s vessels, the latter trading on the town’s status as the ‘dolphin capital of Australia’. Just east of Nelson Bay is slightly smaller Shoal Bay, which has a long swimming beach; a short drive south is Fingal Bay, with another lovely beach on the fringes of Tomaree National Park. The park stretches west around Samurai Beach, a popular surfing spot, and One Mile Beach, a gorgeous semicircle of the softest sand and bluest water.
The park ends at somnolent surfside village Anna Bay, which is also the gateway into the incredible Worimi Conservation Lands.
Our insider tips for what to do, see, eat and where to stay:
The Anchorage Port Stephens
Hamptons inspired waterfront luxury resort with a separate adults-only pool, delicious buffet breakfast spread and poolside cocktails that will have you sipping in the sun all day long.
Bannister’s Pavilion in Port Stephens
Surrounded by water, koala habitat and a sense of peace and seclusion from hotel to horizon, Bannisters Port Stephens is a great place to stay with delicious food at the renowned Rick Steins restaurant and refreshingly cool infinity pool.
Climb The Summit of Tomaree Mountain for breathtaking views over Port Stephens.
Head to Zenith Beach for swimming and surfing
Birubi Beach in Anna Bay is a local favourite for watching the sunset, surfing and swimming. You can also ride a quad bike on the sand dunes here.
Shoal Bay is great for water sports – paddleboarding, jet skiing, sailing, canoeing or sailing. You can charter a boat and sail around the beautiful bay area.
Wine & Dine
Lunch at Little Beach Boathouse for delicious dining at a waterfront restaurant.
Shoal Bay Country Club is a great spot for the food is delicious and a great venue!
Rick Stein at Bannisters for delicious seafood and Rick’s signature dishes.
Sunset picnic on Birubi Beach – source local produce and some great wines and enjoy on the beautiful stretch of soft sand on Birubi Beach.
The Anchorage Port Stephens has a restaurant on-site and offers poolside dining for guests.