Port Stephens is home to the Tomaree National Park, which covers an area of 2,400 hectares.Tomaree National Park has a number of dedicated and well maintained walking tracks, offering stunning views of native flora and the Pacific Ocean. Some walks include –
Big Rocky (1.4 kilometres one way route/30 minutes each way/medium difficulty) – This sandy track leads to the rocky headland (plan your trip at low tide so that you can also explore the rockpools). Walkers can also access tracks to Little Rocky and Boulder Bay from the 4WD carpark. This walk begins at the carpark 1.8 kilometres along Big Rocky Track, off Gan Gan Road (if you start the walk from Gan Gan Road it will be 3.2 kilometres each way).
Wreck Beach (1 kilometre one way route/20 minutes each way/medium difficulty) – Wreck Beach can be accessed via a short hiking track through coastal angophora open forest. The beach is not patrolled and can have strong currents or rips, so please be careful in the water. The track is accessed from Verona Road, Shoal Bay.
Tomaree Head Summit Walk (2 kilometres one way route/45 minutes each way/medium difficulty) – Tomaree Head stands 161 metres above the entrance to Port Stephens and from here you get panoramic views over Port Stephens, up and down the coast and to Broughton, Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah Islands. The summit was also the site for the longest serving radar in World War II. You might even see some of our resident dolphins and from May to November the migrating Humpback whales. The path has elevated walkways and stairs and care should be taken (particularly in the wet). The walk starts at the end of Shoal Bay Road, at the Zenith Beach carpark.
Fort Tomaree (2 kilometres one way route/30 minutes each way/medium difficulty) – This paved track takes you around the lower slopes of Tomaree Head to the historic World War II gun emplacements. Fort Tomaree was established during World War II as part of the defence system for the east coast of Australia. There are some steep sections and paved areas which can become slippery when wet. This walk begins at the Zenith Beach carpark at the end of Shoal Bay Road.
Morna Point Walk (5.5 kilometre loop/2 hours 30 minutes/medium difficulty) – Take a relaxing walk to the coast at Morna Point. In Spring the heathlands around Tank Hill are awash with wildflowers and if you detour along the sandy tracks toward the shore you will see interesting geological formations. Some areas adjacent to the coast are steep and care should be taken. This walk begins at Tomaree Crescent, Boat Harbour (look for a sandy trail at the back of the National Parks and Wildlife Service depot).
For more information on bushwalks and Tomaree National Park, click here.