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Pampering Port Stephens

It doesn’t take a massive leap of imagination to work out why Port Stephens is known as ‘blue water paradise’. With an abundance of beaches and bays located just a couple of hours drive north of Sydney, Port Stephens is the perfect getaway for a blood-pumping adventure and/or some good old-fashioned recreational sitting – no matter whether you want to go for a weekend or forever!

Port Stephens puts a premium on variety. Take a stroll along the ‘shipwreck coast’ and discover the renowned 30-year-old Sygna Shipwreckon Stockton Beach. Or really let go of the city and take a trek into nature at the Tomaree National Park. Or just kick back by the waves and while the weekend away on One Mile Beach. The only question is: which do you want to do first? …

Port Stephen's Top 10

10. Deep Sea Fishing Jump on a charter boat and reel in a keeper!

5. Point Stephens Lighthouse For a charming slice of Australian history (with a fantastic view to boot) take a stroll up to the heritage-listed 140-year-old lighthouse and keeper’s cottage.

9. Hunter Valley Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Tasting Go walkabout while in town and immerse yourself in a ‘Day of Indulgence’ in nearby Hunter Valley.

4. Sandboarding on Stockton Beach The biggest stretch of sand in Port Stephens (over 1km (0.6mi) wide in places) is a killer spot for sandboarding.

8. Gan Gan Lookout Photo op alert! Snap a spectacular panorama that would rival even those of Ken Duncan.

3. Blue Water Sea Kayaking Whether you’re a shaky beginner or a seasoned paddler, there is a sea kayak adventure for everyone.

7. 4WD Tour Book a 4WD coast tour and explore the expansive sand dunes along Stockton Beach.

2. Toboggan Hill Park Fantastic for the kids (or your inner child). Jump in the deep end and fly down the metal toboggan ride.

6. Hoverflite Adventures Hold on tight as you explore both land and sea at 120km/h (75 mi/h) on a hovercraft.

1. Dolphin and Whale Watching All aboard on a day cruise, where more often than not you will see a pod of dolphins cheekily poking their heads up as they race your vessel around the bay.

Port Stephens Events

Sit back with some champers and watch one of the fastest-growing sailing regattas on the east coast at the Sail Port Stephens race in April.

Celebrate the long weekend with beers and busking at the Blue Water Country Music Festival in June.

Feast on some gourmet food and fine wine at the Shoal Bay Jazz, Wine and Food Festival in September.

Shuck an oyster or two at the Festival of the Sea in October.

When To Go

Summer gets nice and hot, and is popular with Sydneysiders looking for a less-crowded beach escape.

Spring is lush in Port Stephens, with most of the native wildflowers coming to life.

May to July is the best time to witness the thousands of migrating whales pass by.

Visit our partner page Port Stephens hotels by Hotel.com.au

Getting Around

There is a pretty decent bus service running between all of the bays of Port Stephens and Newcastle.

Each Port Stephens bay is relatively self-contained, so walking around the waterfront (especially Nelsons Bay) is a great way to see the sights.

By far the best way to get around Port Stephens is to drive – whether by your own car or by hiring a 4WD to check out the dunes.

General Information

The area of Port Stephens is easily one of the most beautiful in New South Wales, if not all of Australia. A ring of tidy hamlets, about one hour’s drive north of Newcastle, line a protected bay and offer more than 100 km of scenic shores to explore. To put it simply, Port Stephens is spectacular.

A massive natural harbor, Port Stephens is a wildly desirable holiday destination with urban-dwellers from Sydney, Newcastle and throughout New South Wales. Within a sunken valley of volcanic origin, people come from far and wide to admire rich biodiversity, magnificent scenery and a pristine coastline. With the recent creation of the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, the area looks to remain that way. The 980 km2 park protects humpback whales, nurse sharks, dolphins, turtles, migratory birds and a wide variety of plant life. Popular suburbs of Port Stephens include the unofficial capital Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Fingal Bay.

Attractions & Activities
Attractions

  • Lemon Tree Passage
  • Shoal Bay
  • Nelson Bay
  • Soldiers Point
  • Fingal Bay
  • Activities
  • Myall River Festival
  • Walk on the Wild Side Festival
  • Shoal Bay Jazz Wine and Food Festival
  • Newcastle Herald Spring Fair
  • Water Sports
  • Restaurants & Nightlife
    Restaurants

  • Catch at Shoal Bay
  • Rock Lobster
  • Aussie Bob’s
  • Marco’s Restaurant
  • Rob’s on the Boardwalk
  • Nightlife
  • Anna Bay Tavern
  • Lakeside Village Tavern
  • The Shoreline
  • Aquablu Bistro & Bar
  • Climate

    Port Stephens has a subtropical climate, with warm weather throughout the year.

    • Summer (November to February) 15-27°C
    • Fall (March to May) 12-26°C
    • Winter (June to August) 8-19°C
    • Spring (September to October) 11-23°C

    Port Stephens On Wikipedia

    Port Stephens official guide


    HotelClub Blog

    Best Spots to See Dolphins in Australia

    Hotels in Port Stephens

    17 hotels in Port Stephens

    1 Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Port Stephens

    4 stars
    4.4 / 5 61 reviews

    265 Sandy Point Road Map

    Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Port Stephens offers elegant and cosmopolitan accommodations for discerning travellers looking for a relaxing beach getaway in Salamander Bay. While in Port Stephens,... More

    2 The Nelson Resort and Conference Centre

    4 stars
    3.4 / 5 14 reviews

    3-7 Government Road Map

    Whether in Nelson Bay for business or leisure, travellers find ideal base at the stylish accommodations of The Nelson Resort and Conference Centre. This modern boutique-style resort is within... More

    3 Oaks Lure Apartments Nelson Bay

    4 stars
    4.1 / 5 61 reviews

    20 Tomaree Street Map

    Featuring modern accommodations close to must-see Nelson Bay attractions, Oaks Lure Apartments Nelson Bay offers an ideally situated sanctuary for holidaymakers in this part of Australia. While in... More

    4 Nelson Towers Motel

    3 stars
    4.0 / 5 1 reviews

    71 Victoria Road Map

    Nelson Towers Motel offers simply furnished accommodations with convenient facilities positioned in the heart of Nelson Bay, suitable for travellers seeking a tranquil holiday in Port Stephens.... More

    5 Anne's Waterfront Haven B&B

    4 stars
    Not yet reviewed

    44A Danalene Parade Map

    Anne's Waterfront Haven B&B Accommodation is a luxury 4.5 star bed and breakfast, right on the water in the heart of beautiful Port Stephens, with nothing but lawn and trees to stop you seeing... More

    6 Admiral Nelson Motor Inn

    3 stars
    3.0 / 5 1 reviews

    18 Gowrie Avenue Map

    Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, The Admiral Nelson Motor Inn offers modern luxury suites with free cable TV, heating and air conditioning. The tour desk can arrange dolphin and... More

    7 Port Stephens Motor Lodge

    3 stars
    Not yet reviewed

    44 Magnus Street Map

    Port Stephens Motor Lodge is located in a cool, shady parkland setting and is a short stroll through the adjoining park to the beach across the road. The marina, shops, restaurants and local... More

    8 Ramada Resort Shoal Bay

    4 stars
    3.6 / 5 11 reviews

    Shoal Bay Road Map

    Holidaymakers looking to escape the bustle of city life find an ideal retreat at Ramada Resort Shoal Bay. This Port Stephens beachfront resort offers chic comfortable accommodations and plenty of... More

    9 Beaches Serviced Apartments

    4 stars
    4.3 / 5 4 reviews

    12 Gowrie Avenue Map

    Engulfed with crystal waters, pristine beaches and heavenly year round climate makes the Beaches Serviced Apartments in beautiful Port Stephens a recreational haven for people from all walks of... More

    10 ibis Styles Port Stephens Salamander Shores

    3 stars
    3.7 / 5 18 reviews

    147 Soldiers Point Road Map

    Nestled amidst manicured gardens, Ibis Styles Port Stephens Salamander Shores Soldiers Point Resort offers travellers a secluded retreat close to the sea and with easy access to attractions in this... More