Port Stephens is a wonderful beachside area that features an extensive list of things to do all year round. You can either stay directly in the area, or you can stay nearby and take a Port Stephens day trip. A Port Stephens tour from Sydney, for example, is a fun way to see all of the sights and get away from your normal routine. Let’s take a look at things to do, sightseeing opportunities, and much more.
Why Port Stephens is a Popular Holiday Destination
Just a short hour’s drive north of Newcastle and 2.5 hours from Sydney, Port Stephens is a sheltered harbour that features gorgeous beaches, a unique area of sand dune, and an extraordinary national park, popular as a destination of day tours from Sydney. Port Stephens’ main hub is Nelson Bay, and you’ll find a fleet of tourist’s vessels along with an armada of fishing craft, right here. Tourism is a big thing here due to Port Stephens’ nickname as the Dolphin Capital of Australia.
Visitors flock here to see the over 140 resident bottlenose dolphins and the pods of whales that frolic just off the shores and pass by in almost every month of the year. Outdoor enthusiasts are attracted to Port Stephens for the dozens of unique opportunities they can partake in from hiking and cycling to more extreme sports, snorkelling, swimming and much more. It’s a fun family-friendly destination that has a host of activities for all ages to enjoy.
With over 26 beaches to explore and some of Australia’s best snorkelling or surfing locations, Port Stephens is a playground for more than one million day-trippers and families on holiday.
10 Things to See in Port Stephens
If you’re wondering what to do in Port Stephens, you’ll find a plethora of activities year-round, and this is why it’s so popular. We’re going to outline the best things you can do while you visit, and these things are great for both short and long holiday stays. The most popular trip itineraries include:
1. Visit a Brewery
Breweries are packed full of history, and this especially applies to Murray’s Craft Brewing Company. You’ll be able to learn more about the entire brewing process from one of Australia’s leading craft beer brewers when you visit Murray’s Craft Brewing Company, and they have daily tours that start at 2:15 p.m. They even offer shuttle bus rides to and from the brewery so you don’t have to worry about driving! If wines are more your speed, the oldest vineyard in the region organises daily wine tastings in the brewery. There’s even a small vineyard just up the hill!
2. Visit Oakfield Ranch
For a more unique experience, visit Oakfield Ranch. This company allows you to go on camel rides on the beach. You can choose from a short 20-minute walk, or a full hour ride at sunset along the dunes. Rides are run on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays all year round, and during public holidays. They also hire horse-drawn carriages for events, and you can hire a broad range of animals for events in and around Port Stephens.
3. Tilligerry Habitat Association Inc
Located right in the heart of Port Stephens, Tilligerry Habitat Association is a fun walking experience that allows you to get up close to koalas. You’ll see unique flora and fauna, a range of native birds, and more while you’re on your walk. There are also very easy walking trails with gravel and flat areas and guided walks that give you the history of the association, along with events throughout the month that you can enjoy.
4. Irukandji Shark and Ray Centre
The Irukandji Shark and Ray Centre is an excellent day trip destination providing a very hands-on experience. You’ll get guides who provide education on each species of shark or ray before you meet them. They can reach out and touch the rays, and there are over 190 shark species here. During the morning before 10 a.m. or in the afternoon after 3 p.m., are the best times to experience this centre without having to navigate huge crowds. It’s a fun and educational opportunity for kids and adults of all ages.
5. Worimi National Park
Playing in the sand isn’t just for kids, and Worimi National Park in Port Stephens will prove it to you! If you have 4WD, you can take your vehicle with a permit and drive around the dunes. If not, you can park in Anna Bay, and it’s just a quick walk to the dunes. You can ride quad bikes and other recreational vehicles around the dunes for heart-pounding thrills. It’s a 32-kilometre stretch of dunes that offers near endless opportunities to enjoy an adrenaline-fuelled day trip.
6. Play with the Dolphins
As the Dolphin Capital of Australia, no visit to Port Stephens would be complete without seeing or playing with them right in the water. There are over 140 bottlenose dolphins that stay in the area year-round, and you can get right in the water with them. Dolphin Swim Australia drops you right in the water between two boats and slowly pulls you along with them so the dolphins think that you’re one of their pod! This is the perfect day trip for anyone who wanted to get up close and personal with a wild dolphin.
7. Tomaree Head Summit Walk
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to take a scenic hike, the Tomaree Head Summit Walk is a great challenge. You’ll get some of the best views of Port Stephens from the summit at 161 metres above sea level. It’s very steep, and it can be slippery if it rains so you do want to be very careful. However, you can grab a pair of binoculars and try to spot the numerous marine life down blow all around Port Stephens. You can see everything from whales to dolphins, and it’s a must-visit for anyone travelling through.
8. Snorkel or Scuba Dive
Reportedly having some of the best snorkel and scuba diving spots in Australia, Port Stephens offers a host of opportunities for both beginner and veteran divers alike. You Pipeline and Fly Point are two fantastic areas to try out, but you have to do it at high tide, when you’ll be able to see a huge variety of marine life. Some of these marine animals do get quite close to divers and snorkelers! Nelson Bay has several dive shops that are happy to point out the best areas to go and set you up with all of the dive gear you need.
9. Fresh Seafood
Port Stephens is a seafood lovers paradise. All of the restaurants in Nelson Bay receive shipments of fresh seafood every day, and you can enjoy it while overlooking the water. The Anchorage in Corlette, or Catch at Shoal Bay, are high-end dining destinations. For family options, head over and try Cookabarra Restaurant in Bobs Farm. They have their own hydroponic garden on site and daily fresh Barramundi. Holbert’s Oyster Farm is another fun destination to visit if you like to eat oysters and want to learn more about them.
10. Water Sports
Port Stephens has a host of water sports and gorgeous locations to enjoy. You could easily fill several days with just playing on, and in, the water! If you want to try outstanding paddle boarding, go to Shoal Bay. Nelson Bay has jet skis and kayaks available for hire for cost-effective rates. There are also four famous surfing beaches including the patrolled Fingal Bay Beach and One Mile Beach and the unpatrolled Dutchman’s Beach and Birubi Beach. Little Nelson Bay also provides a fun smaller water park in peak season.
Take a Port Stephens Tour From Sydney With Sydney Tours R Us
If you’re ready to explore all of the famous sites Port Stephens has to offer, why not enhance your experience by going on a guided Port Stephens day trip with Sydney Tours R Us? Our clients rave about how much they see, do, and learn on each tour they go on, and we use local guides that know every inch of Port Stephens.
We’ll take you on an adrenaline-fuelled ride across the dunes to kick off our Port Stephens tour from Sydney, and then we’ll take you on our luxury coach to our boat where you’ll spend the afternoon relaxing, soaking up the sun and looking for dolphins. We give you plenty of opportunities to explore the area while you’re out and about, and we’ll fill your day with unique experiences that you just can’t get anywhere else.
It’s an excellent choice for individuals and families, and we’ll ensure that everyone has a good time from start to finish. We’ll help you see new and unique sites that you’ve never experienced before, no matter if this is the first time to the area, or if you’re a local. We asked what to do in Port Stephens, and took our clients’ suggestions to form a fun itinerary from start to finish.
If you’d like to know more about our Port Stephens day trip, you can reach out and get in touch. Our staff are ready to answer any questions and book your perfect day out today!0