Nelson Bay Attractions & Activities
Located on the Legendary Pacific Coast, Port Stephens is home to a magnificent waterway (2.5 time bigger than Sydney Harbour), 26 golden sandy beaches, the Tomaree National Park, the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes (our own Sahara Desert) and so much more... You can explore the botanic gardens, walk up Tomaree Headland, experience the thrill of a toboggan ride or go kart race or meet our local wildlife with a fantastic interactive experience.
For history lovers, immerse yourself in our fascinating past at one of our historic buildings or sites and for the foodies, sample some of our fresh local seafood and produce or visit our boutique wineries (and brewery) to try some of our own award winning wines and craft beers.
Take some time to look around and explore.
Dining Out Port Stephens
Pick up a copy of 'Dining Out Port Stephens,' from your accommodation or the Visitors Centre. Dining Out Port Stephens includes the finest restaurants, dining precincts and entertainment venues within the area. You can quickly find dining options to suit your needs, from atmosphere and ambience to sophistication, special occasions, functions, weddings and conferences, or just simply browse for the best in affordable dining or take-away options. Find out more about Port Stephens food, wine and beer by clicking here.
Dolphin and Whale Cruises
Join one of the local cruise operators as they set out in search of some of our resident bottlenose dolphins (there are approx.150 dolphins that call Port Stephens home all year round and cruise operators can boast a 99% sighting rate). And, don't miss out on a whale watch cruise if you are here between June and November (Port Stephens is ideally situated right on the whales migration path). Multiple cruises depart daily with Moonshadow - TQC Cruises and Imagine Cruises. For a more interactive experience, you can also swim with dolphins in their natural environment with Dolphin Swim Australia. For further information on Port Stephens dolphins click here and for further information on the whale migration click here.
Stockton Bight Sand Dunes (Worimi Conservation Lands)
32km long, 1km wide and covering an area of 4,200 hectares, this almost surreal dune system needs to be seen to be believed. Only 10 minutes from Nelson Bay, this is the largest sand dune system in Australia. Join a 4WD or quad bike tour to visit the Sygna Shipwreck, Tin City and WWII sites and have a go at sandboarding down those huge dunes. Tours depart daily with Port Stephens 4WD Tours, Sand Dune Adventures and Quad Bike King.
Golf, Golf, Golf
From the 27 hole Nelson Bay course, to Horizons challenging par 72 course, to Pacific Dunes at Medowie, to the easy walking 18 holes at Tanilba Bay, there are plenty of golfing options in Port Stephens. We are also only 45 minutes to Newcastle and just over one hour to the Hunter Valley, which means Port Stephens is a great base for your golf getaway. Click here to visit Nelson Bay Golf Club, Horizons Golf Resort, Pacific Dunes or Tanilba Bay Golf Club. For more detailed information on golf in Port Stephens click here. Did you know that Port Stephens Accommodation have approximately 14 holiday apartments and villas at Horizons Golf Resort and can also organise play and stay packages and group bookings? Click here to find out more.
Wineries and Brewery
Murray’s Craft Brewing Co shares its home with Port Stephens Winery, the region’s oldest vineyard. Showcasing beer and wine together is quite a natural thing for us. Bringing the two together in a great tourist location seemed like a great way to provide visitors with a wide variety of taste sensations.
Visit us at Bobs Farm and sample Murray’s beers - there’s up to 10 on tap at any one time, plus bottled specials. Taste local and regional wines, enjoy a delicious meal from the Brewery Restaurant, play a game of bocce, enjoy our entertainment and events, and learn more about craft beer by taking a Brewery Tour (public tours are daily at 2.15pm).
Discover Koalas in their Natural Habitat
Port Stephens, in particular the Tilligerry Peninsula, has a number of Swamp Mahogany trees, one of a koala's favourite foods. Visit Tilligerry Habitat Reserve to discover koalas in their natural environment, local flora and native birds. Call into the Environment Centre to pick up a walking map, join a guided koala walk and check out the local arts for sale. Click here to find out more.
Explore the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park
Come on in... the water's fine! You can dive, snorkel, boat, fish, surf, swim or kayak in this massive 98,000 hectare marine park. Incredible sights and experiences await and there are plenty of licenced operators in Port Stephens that can take you out on the water or hire you gear. Visit Let's Go Adventures (diving, snorkelling, spearfishing, game fishing), Feet First Dive, Boab Boat Hire, Port Stephens Surf School, Pacific Blue Charters. Remember to pick up a map of the marine park and a fishing licence before you head out onto the water (click here to visit the Marine Park website).
Visit the Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters
Either feed, pat or play with friendly sharks and huge rays from the outside of the purpose built aquarium, or get suited up and jump in. A 'hands on' experience that will provide memories and photo's to last... Open daily and only 10 minutes from Nelson Bay. Click here for more information.
Get Up Close and Personal with Cuddly Farm Animals
Oakvale Wildlife Park have a wide array of Australia wildlife and farm animals to capture your heart. Hand milk cows, bottle feed baby animals, pat koalas, join a tractor ride around the farm and check out the 'Reptile House' with over 25 species of reptiles. There are also gas BBQs, picnic areas and a kiosk.
Saddle Up for a Beach or Bush Ride
Port Stephens offers a spectacular environment for horse riding for all levels and ages. Join a fully guided ride along a bush trail, ride over the dunes and along the beach. The horses are all trained and friendly and all equipment and instruction are provided. Enquire with Sahara Trails.
Jump on the Ferry over to Tea Gardens
Board the ferry at Nelson Bay and learn about the waterway and history of Port Stephens Harbour, the Myall River and Lakes, and Winda Woppa on your journey across to Tea Gardens. The ferry has multiple departures daily so you can cross the harbour for a game of golf at Hawks Nest, go for a bike ride, have lunch at one of Tea Gardens cafes or the hotel, or walk over the Singing Bridge to Hawks Nest. You will probably also spot dolphins on the way! Click here for more information.
And... there are also plenty of FREE things to do! Click here to find out more.
The above is just a taste of all that Port Stephens has to offer. You really need to set aside some time to visit and explore! Book your accommodation with Port Stephens Accommodation and also visit the website of the Port Stephens Visitors Centre for more inspiration.