You’ve arrived at The Retreat, you’re smack bang in one of the most beautiful parts of New South Wales, what to do next? There’s plenty to explore and do, here’s a few suggestions for you to get the most out of your stay in Port Stephens.
Breakfast at Inner Light Tearooms
Could there be a more perfect start to the day than beautiful food served with stunning views over Shoal Bay and Nelson Bay? Inner Light Tearooms is set in a heritage listed building serving freshly made food, beautiful coffee and delicious house made desserts. They’re also famous for their scones! Gluten free and kids’ menu options are also available. For those keen on local history there’s a maritime museum located in the former lighthouse-keeper’s cottage close buy and a gift shop to grab a memento of your visit.
5A Lighthouse Rd Nelson Bay
02 4984 2505
Take in the views at Gan Gan Lookout
Take a drive up Lilly Hill Road in Nelson Bay, park your car and take the short, easy stroll to the lookout on Gan Gan Mountain. You’ll be blown away by just how much there is to see, from the features of the coastline stretching from Newcastle to Hawks Nest. You might spot some of the local dolphin colony or, depending on the season, whales frolicking along their migratory path. Spectacular Gymea Lillys dot the surrounding bushland. Accessibility is perfect for children and wheelchairs. Don’t forget your binoculars and camera!
Lilly Hill Road, Nelson Bay
Visit Toboggan Hill Park
If you’re thinking “that went downhill quickly” that’s exactly the point! There are activities for all ages at Toboggan Hill Park. As the name suggests there’s a one kilometre toboggan track to hurtle or amble down (depending on how much you use the brake of course). Take the challenge of finding your way through the outdoor wooden maze. Roller skating, indoor rock climbing, rides for the little ones, carnival style amusements, even Putt Putt Golf all add up to a great day for the family.
16 Aquatic close, Nelson Bay
02 4984 1022
Experience the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes.
The largest moving coastal dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, running behind the 32 kilometre long Stockton Beach, the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes, part of The Worimi Conservation Lands, are truly one of Australia’s wonders. They are not only tremendously significant to First Australian’s, with many significant and sacred areas but also strikingly beautiful to behold, explore and enjoy. Sand Dune Adventures offer a complete package with exploration on quad bikes, explanation of Worimi history and the exhilaration of sandboarding. If you prefer a more leisurely, relaxed experience you may prefer horseback or perhaps even more appropriately being perched on top of a camel. If you just want to get your adventure on there are 4WD tours, Quad Bike Tours and sandboarding expeditions all available.
See how Barramundi is farmed
The Cook-A-Barra Restaurant and Function centre is located at a world leading sustainable fish farming facility at Bob’s farm. They also grow a range of hydroponic produce. Informative guided tours of the farm are available, explaining and giving you the chance to see all stages of life and production of this famous Australian fish. You can even buy fresh fish too cook yourself or better still sit down at the restaurant and let the experts take care of the hard work.
476c Marsh Rd, Bob’s Farm
02 4982 6740
Cuddle a shark
No that is not a misprint. At Irukandji Shark and Ray encounters you can do exactly that! From wading in the shallows with rays to snorkelling with some of the oceans most beautiful creatures and yes, all the way up to getting hands on, this Anna Bay attraction will take your breath away. The team also play important roles in marine animal rescue and coastline conservation.
2 Jessie Bay Road, Anna Bay
02 4982 2476
Brush up on your World War Two history
Thankfully it was never needed for use but during the Second World War Fort Tomaree was home to radar and searchlight towers, torpedo tubes, gun placements and a barracks. The buildings and equipment may have moved on but the gun placements are still accessible by taking the Fort Tomaree walk. After you’ve soaked up the history you can scale the summit or take in the beauty and serenity of Zenith Beach.
Do nothing at all
OK so technically this probably shouldn’t be on a list of things to do but look where you are! Everything is laid on for you here at The Retreat! When was the last time that doing nothing was even a viable option? Do you need a minute to think about it? Go on. Treat yourself to some quality time doing as little as possible. If you have to make an effort make sure it’s to find a quiet spot. Near the water, in the bush, wherever works for you. If you’ve really got nothing on maybe a visit to Samurai Beach is in order. Take the time. You’ve earned it.
So many options to choose from in Port Stephens
There’s something for everyone in this list but the truth is it barely scratches the surface of what Port Stephens has to offer. Our front office has loads of brochures for local attractions to help make your stay at The Retreat and your Port Stephens holiday a time to remember. Enjoy! Book your next getaway here or call the reception on 02 4982 1244.