PORT STEPHENS – THE AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER GUIDE
Looking for a short holiday that won’t liquidate the credit card? Quentin Long focuses on Port Stephens, NSW, finding plenty of bargain highlights for couples and families. There are loads of great value destinations in NSW, but I have gone for Port Stephens (over Gerringong, Blue Mountains and Central Coast) because, being that little further out of Sydney means prices are a little cheaper. To do Families Go fishing in the port. Amazing dolphin viewing tours - family of four about $75 Hire bikes and ride along the port. Stocktonsand dunes – for sandboarding or a camel ride. Shark and...
In any other country Port Stephens would be a national icon. But here in Australia, writes Quentin Long, the gorgeous bay and its beaches fly relatively under the radar. Lucky you. Why come here? Port Stephens is the goldilocks of holiday spots – nothing is too big, nothing is too small, it’s all just right. The development has been mostly very careful and therefore gives the place enough to do without being either brash or boring. Oh yeah, and it just happens to be a gobsmackingly beautiful part of the world, with a superb kiddie-friendly beach at Shoal Bay and...
Natalie Bray dips into one of the best hotel pools in Oz - at Oaks Pacific Blue in Port Stephens, NSW. Let’s get straight to the point. I judge my accommodation on it’s pool and it’s bedspreads… or lack of bedspreads. I know they say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover but let’s be honest, few of us are likely to book a hotel or resort without first having looked at photos of the accommodation. Thank god for the internet in that regard. My absolute pre-requisite for a relaxing holiday is a nice pool and our recent stay...
NSW's Affordable Accommodation - Caravan Park Where is it? Port Stephens, NSW Mid North Coast. Located on a peninsula, Soldiers Point Holiday Park is sandwiched between Sunset and Salamander beaches, just metres from the accommodation. There is also an adjacent marina and boat ramp facilities, popular among fishing enthusiasts. This year the park was awarded the CCIA Award of Excellence for the best North Coast Holiday Park under 100 sites, for the third year in a row. What’s it like? Across 2.3 hectares of beachside land, this award-winning holiday park offers 93 sites, a family-friendly atmosphere and an array of facilities. Since...
These friendly mammals don’t mind us joining them for surf and that’s why the NSW Marine Parks Authority has given Dolphin Swim Australia a special three year permit to run these one of a kind encounters. Frank Future from Dolphin swim Australia says “trials of the in-water dolphin encounters have shown that these types of dolphins just love to ride the waves with us and come right alongside our guests in the water”. This experience is the first of its kind in all of Australia. Upon arrival at Nelson Bay Marina in Port Stephens, you’ll be thoroughly briefed before they let...
Australian Traveller Magazine's 100 Great Australian Holiday Homes Not a single other house can be seen from the sun-bleached decks of this secluded property on the fringes of Anna Bay in northern NSW. With an expansive northerly outlook over both bush and bay, and surrounded by empty green acres of national park, guests at Ocean Muse can while away lazy days by the infinity pool in total calm and privacy. The modernist three-bedroom house is sparse in design and set out as two separate pavilions with high arched roofs, through which air and light flow freely. One pavilion has an...
Looking in every direction, it’s impossible not to be taken aback by the endless panoramic views of the beaches that border this NSW north coastal town. Part of Port Stephens, Nelson Bay is the largest town in the “Blue Water Paradise”. More than 160 bottlenose dolphins have made it their permanent home, and it’s the port-in-passing to over 3000 migrating whales each year. Rows of bobbing boats line the shores, some private charters, others just private luxuries. Moving with the times is the Nelson Head Inner Lighthouse that has been operating since 1872; previously lit by a kerosene lamp, nowadays...
21-year-old AT Reader Lahnee Thomas takes time out at the NSW resort town of Nelson Bay, where coastlines are endless and relaxation is second nature. The drive from Newcastle to Nelson Bay is so picturesque and diverse you begin to feel as though Mother Nature herself would be smugly impressed by her work. One minute we pass lush fields of wildflowers and grass as tall as I am, meadows filled with lazy cattle grazing under the sunlight, the next we’re surrounded by towering bushland and the sun can barely be seen at all. Out of nowhere, gigantic dunes rise triumphantly...
"My absolute all time favourite weekend spot is where the 1872 lighthouse at Fingal Heads in Northern NSW stands. Each day at around noon pods of dolphins frolic in the breakers between the heads and Cook Island. The dolphins take great delight in surfing the breakers and quite regularly join in with the human surfers. Very few people take the lighthouse trek (most are happy to enjoy the beaches either side), and as such it’s always very peaceful to take shelter under the Pandanus trees on the rocky outcrops and partake of a picnic lunch.” -AT reader Susan Smith, Happy Valley SA...
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