- Unspoilt beaches, beautiful bays and lakes, national parks
- Famous as the dolphin capital of Australia
- Two-and-a-half hours’ drive north of Sydney. Fly from Sydney with QantasLink, from Melbourne, Gold Coast and Brisbane with Jetstar and Virgin Blue. Newcastle Airport is 25 minutes' drive to Port Stephens.
Why go there
With 26 golden beaches, an extensive bay and picturesque inlets, Port Stephens is the perfect place for a lazy holiday. Freshly caught seafood, boutique wines and award-winning chefs ensure that eating out in local cafés is a memorable experience.
For those who yearn for a more active holiday, there's plenty to keep you busy too, from water sports and fishing to bushwalking and horse-riding. The small township of Tea Gardens, on the Myall River, is at the southern end of the Great Lakes area and a great spot from which to explore the waterways of Port Stephens and Myall Lakes.
Things to do
- Try parasailing, jet skiing, surfing or snorkelling in the Port Stephens waterways.
- Walk to the top of Tomaree Headland for views of Nelson Bay and the offshore islands.
- Explore sea caves, sponge gardens and shipwrecks at Fly Point Marine Park.
- Visit the koala colony at the Tilligerry Peninsula.
- Play a round of golf at one of the area’s 18-hole golf courses.
- Hire a sailboat or canoe to explore Myall, Smiths or Wallis lakes.
- Explore Myall Lakes National Park – 245 sq km of coastal lagoons, wild forest, swamps and lakes.
- Whale-watching cruises, departing from Nelson Bay, from May to November; dolphin cruises depart throughout the year.
- Quad biking and sand-boarding at Stockton Sand Dunes.
- Kayaking with dolphins, with guides on hand, at Nelson Bay or Soldiers Point.
- Horse-riding through the bush or surf, from Anna Bay, Williamtown and Salt Ash.
- Jazz at the Winery at Bobs Farm, in March.
- Trailboat Sportfishing Tournament, Nelson Bay, in April.
- Whales and Blues Festival, Port Stephens, in June.
- Tastes of the Bay Food and Wine Festival, Nelson Bay, in November.