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Port StephensNew South Wales, Australia

Port Stephens showing a coastal town, a marina and boating

Take to the water and go whale watching, diving or fishing or just relax on beaches around this enormous natural harbour.

Close to Sydney but with a relaxed coastal feel, Port Stephens is a popular holiday destination for those looking for action or relaxation on its many lovely beaches.

Roughly 200 Kilometres (125 miles) from central Sydney, Port Stephens has miles of pristine shoreline and is home to a huge range of marine and wild life.

Pack some lunch, grab your gear, and head to one of many beaches around Port Stephens. Many are patrolled by lifeguards, but others are nearly completely deserted. Stroll along the soft golden sand or jump straight into the crystal-clear waters. For a bit more action, learn to surf, hire a boat or jet ski, or even go parasailing. To swim with fish, turtles and even sharks, organise a diving trip with one of many local operators. For a look at some of the ocean’s most majestic creatures, take a dolphin and whale watching cruise.

Adventurers can take their four-wheel drives off road and onto the beach, or even tackle the Stockton Sand Dunes. Fishing enthusiasts will find some great spots right off the beach and along local creeks, or can hop aboard a chartered boat. For great views of the area, climb Tomaree Head. It’s a steep trek, but the trail and stairs are well maintained, and most people agree it’s worth the effort.

Explore some of the stunning countryside with a journey inland to Wallaroo and Karuah National Parks, or take a trip out to the Myall Lakes. When the sun starts to go down, make your way to one of several towns for a hearty meal and refreshing drink. Nelson Bay is the biggest and most popular, with a good selection of cafés, restaurants, and shops.

Port Stephens is where you’ll find untouched beaches and an addictive holiday atmosphere. Learn to surf, spot dolphins, or just lie on the sand and read a good book.

Popular cities in Port Stephens

Nobbys Head Beach which includes a sandy beach, rugged coastline and a bay or harbour
Known for Family-friendly, Sea and Hunting
Soak up the history of one of Australia’s oldest cities, hit the beach, or head out into the countryside to spot local wildlife or explore wineries.

Reasons to visit

  • Glenrock State Conervation
  • Newcastle Beach
Nelson Bay which includes landscape views and general coastal views
Nelson Bay
Known for Beach View, Marina and Family-friendly
Nestled against Tomaree National Park is this haven of stunning beaches and coastline where dolphins are a regular sighting and humpback whales pass by.