Port Stephens is only a couple hours from Sydney with plenty of things to do that’ll keep you busy this weekend. It’s a perfect beach escape with plenty of beautiful sandy beaches, massive sand dunes, breathtaking hikes and you’re sure to also come across some Dolphins. Port Stephens is perfect for a day trip or weekend trip from Sydney seeing as there is such a variety of things to do. Here’s a list of everything we got up to during our weekend visit!
Best Things to do in Port Stephens
Zenith Beach is a beautiful beach that is in between two headlands, giving it a unique view. You’ll also be able to see the peak of Mt Tomaree and people doing the hike. This beach is known for big waves and shore breaks which probably isn’t suitable for children. If you love bodysurfing and messing around in the waves, this beach is perfect! Zenith Beach is also super easy to access from the carpark and will only take 2 minutes to walk.
Mount Tomaree Hike
The Mount Tomaree Head Summit Walk was one of our favourite things to do in Port Stephens. It’s a great way to start off your day as the walk offers some of the most spectacular panoramic views overlooking all of Port Stephens. You’ll even be able to spot most of the beaches you’ll be visiting later!
Additionally, the hike itself isn’t too bad either, with plenty of families and kids giving it a go. From the carpark, it’s roughly a 15 – 20 minute walk which is a little steep and includes some stairs. The views from the top are definitely worth it and if you get lucky, you might even be able to spot some Dolphins like we did.
Shoal Bay is another popular place in Port Stephens. You’ll find a stunning view of the pristine inlet and soft sandy beaches. The bay has some of the calmest water in the area, making this spot popular for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and swimming. There are also a few restaurants and local fish & chip shops in the area. One of our favourite things to do in Port Stephens was grabbing some lunch and heading down to the picnic area in Shoal Bay. You’ll be able to find yourself some picnic tables and barbecues along the beach.
Shoal Bay is perfect for those that are afraid of swimming with large waves as the inlet is protected. You’ll always find calm waters and plenty of space for you to relax.
Fingal Bay Beach
Fingal Beach is a perfect family-friendly beach that is patrolled. It’s a great place to catch some waves, go fishing, or just relaxing by the ocean and enjoying the view. If you’re up for a beach walk, you can make your way over to the Final Spit which is a small sandbank that links the mainland to Fingal Island. The beach is also a popular place for surfing where you’ll usually find some good waves.
Fingal Spit is one of the most unique things to do in Port Stephens. A little sand bank connects the mainland to Fingal Island which you can walk over and check out. There is a lighthouse on the island and the headland also makes this spot great for whale watching.
Be Aware: The deep channel and large ocean swell can make the Fingal Sand Spit extremely unpredictable and dangerous. Make sure you check the tides and give yourself enough time to cross back over.
Try your luck at spotting Dolphins
Bottlenose Dolphins live around the waters of Port Stephens and are a popular sight. You’ll sometimes be able to catch of glimpse of them swimming around. They are also super playful and we were lucky enough to even spot a few playing amongst the waves at Zenith Beach. The coastal headlands and viewpoints make for an ideal vantage point to try and see the Dolphins. If you’re not having any luck, you can also try one of the many Dolphin and Whale watching tours available in the area.
Sunset at Stockton Sand Dunes
Finishing off our day watching sunset at the Stockton Sand Dunes was one of our all time favourite things to do in Port Stephens. They even have sunset camel tours if your interested in doing it yourself. Additionally, you can just sit back, relax and watch as they ride past.
Make your way over to Birubi Beach which is where you’ll find a carpark and viewpoint overlooking the endless stretch of sand dunes in the distance. Bring a picnic blanket and find yourself a spot along the sand dunes to sit back and relax while watching the sunset over the ocean.
Where to Stay in Port Stephens
Port Stephens is a beachside paradise on the east coast of Australia with plenty of accommodation options for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a cosy beachside cottage or luxurious resort to relax and chill, Port Stephens will have something for you.
Anchorage Port Stephens – Luxury: This luxury accommodation experience is set amongst the white sands of the beautiful port. The rooms are exceptionally clean and modern with most rooms also having their own spectacular waterfront views. Anchorage is ideal for those looking to enjoy the regions fine cuisine and local experiences. The excellent service and bubbly staff at Anchorage are sure to make your experience a memorable one!
Oaks Pacific Blue Resort – Midrange: Oaks is a resort style accommodation that is perfect for those looking to relax and unwind. The property features a massive lagoon-style swimming pool as well as tennis courts and a fitness centre. The resort is also only a 5 minute drive away from Salamander Bay where you can enjoy the water.
Samurai Beach Bungalow – Budget: Samurai Beach Bungalow is a Bali style backpackers that is located in a great spot. It’s only a 10-minute walk to the nearest beach. The bungalows are set amongst the rainforest and is the perfect surrounding for any nature lover. They also have a swimming pool and kitchen area available. You’ll also be able to use the tour desk to book various activities. Dolphin and whale watching cruises, quad biking, diving and snorkeling are all available to book.
↠ Check availability: Port Stephens Accommodation