The best camping near Port Stephens, New South Wales.
Go sandboarding, whale watching, and swimming just a short drive from Sydney on the NSW North Coast.
It’s hard to believe this patch of paradise is just 2.5 hours’ drive north of Sydney and about 30 minutes from Newcastle. Home to a bay twice the size of Sydney Harbour, the Port Stephens region encompasses towns such as Nelson Bay, Anna Bay, and Shoal Bay. Swim in crystal-clear water at one of the area’s 26 beaches, go sandboarding down the largest dunes in the SouthernRead more...
It’s hard to believe this patch of paradise is just 2.5 hours’ drive north of Sydney and about 30 minutes from Newcastle. Home to a bay twice the size of Sydney Harbour, the Port Stephens region encompasses towns such as Nelson Bay, Anna Bay, and Shoal Bay. Swim in crystal-clear water at one of the area’s 26 beaches, go sandboarding down the largest dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, or book a cruise to either swim with wild dolphins or go whale watching in winter.
Where to Go
Head to Stockton Beach for a spot of fishing or to explore its famous sand dunes. Book a tour to go sandboarding, 4WDing, quad biking, or horseback riding along the dunes, which stretch for more than 30 kilometres and reach heights of more than 30 metres.
Take in the area’s natural beauty with a climb to Barry Park Lookout at Fingal Bay, which offers views of white-sand beaches and Fingal Spit connecting the mainland to Fingal Island. You can also cruise to the island and embark on a guided nature walk to an Aboriginal fish trap lagoon and Point Stephens Lighthouse to learn the area’s fascinating history.
Tomaree National Park
Neighbouring Tomaree National Park is the only place in NSW where you can see outcrops of the acid volcanic rock rhyodacite—plus, it’s a great place to spot wild koalas. The park features a range of scenic walks, including the short Wreck Beach walk through coastal angophora forest and the longer Morna Point walk, which comes alive with wildflowers in spring. The Tomaree Head Summit walk offers views over the coast and out to Broughton, Cabbage Tree, and Boondelbah Island.
Port Stephens Great Lake Marine Park
Home to dolphins, turtles and fish, Port Stephens Great Lake Marine Park stretches from Birubi Beach Life Saving Club at the northern end of Stockton Beach all the way north to Cape Hawke Surf Life Saving Club near Forster. Cruise from Nelson Bay to go swimming with dolphins, whale watching from June to October, or head out to Broughton Island in Myall Lakes National Park for snorkelling and swimming in secluded coves. Other places to check out include the quiet town of Hawks Nest between the Myall River and Hawks Nest Beach, Lemon Tree Passage on Port Stephens' western edge, and Soldiers Point.