Maximise your weekend vacation at Port Stephens

The idyllic Port Stephens, around 2.5 hours north of Sydney, is a panacea to every adventurer’s thirst for water and land sports, wildlife, and beautiful landscapes. The pristine beaches and adorable bottle-nose dolphins make it a perfect weekend getaway for family, group buddies, and romantic couples.

Fun activities in Port Stephens will tickle your adventurous bone – diving, surfing, kayaking, quad biking, sandboarding, and horseback riding. Visit and celebrate milestones or relax with friends and loved ones.

Read on to discover more about Port Stephens in this weekend travel guide made just for you.

Indoor and outdoor activities

The list of fun activities is endless. There may not be enough time to explore all of them on weekends, but at least you have options to try which activities suit your family or partner best – and an excuse to come back for more next time.

Things to do in Port Stephens for free

Things to do in Port Stephens for free

At Port Stephens, if it is too good to be true, it is true. Let your family and loved ones enjoy some activities for free. 

·        Visit beautiful beaches

Twenty-six stunning beaches surround Port Stephens, all of which can be accessed without spending a dime. Water sports are at the forefront of our must-do activities in the region. Get to discover the beauty of these aquatic resources, or you will be missing out on a lot of fun.

There are amazing things to do in One Mile Beach, Zenith Beach, and Box Beach. Stockton Beach – a large coastal mass – is a class of its own.

·        Tomaree Head summit walk

The hiking trail leads you to a breathtaking view across Port Stephens. The panoramic view of Cabbage Tree, Yacaaba Head, Broughton, and Boondelbah from the north is captivating. While Zenith, Wreck, and Box Beaches from the south will leave you speechless. Be careful around the steep areas, though. A sumptuous lunch awaits you at the summit, where you can rest on the bench by the lookout. Don’t forget to bring binoculars. You might be able to spot whale sharks if you are lucky.

·        Tomaree Community Art Centre

Take pleasure in art appreciation. Tomaree Community Art Centre offers free entry where a collection of works by local artists are constantly changing.

·        Gan Gan Hill

Take a panoramic view of the whole stretch of Port Stephens from Gan Gan Hill, the highest and most accessible lookout. You can view Newcastle to the south and Myall Lakes to the north from a height of 160 metres. A view of the magnificent sunset sets the tone for a romantic interlude for lovers who troop to the scenic place at dusk.

·        Tilligerry Habitat Reserve

The reserve is home to a wide array of flora and fauna. You might be able to see a koala as you follow the trail along the boardwalk.

·        Explore d’Albora Marina

On any given day of the week, the heart of Nelson Bay is a sight to behold – beautiful yachts, cruisers, and fishing boats line up at d’Albora Marina. Food outlets never run out of fresh supply of seafood. The outdoor entertainment awaits revellers on weekends.

Nelson Bay activities for the family

Nelson Bay activities for the family

There are a lot of fun activities the whole family will surely enjoy. If it’s an outdoor trip or an indoor activity, things to do in Nelson Bay will snap everyone – even toddlers- out of boredom.

·        Go kayaking

Kayak hire is available in Shoal Bay and Nelson Bay, among others. You may be lucky to spot a dolphin or two!

·        Go on a whale watching or dolphin watching cruise

It is easy to spot dolphins on a cruise since more than 100 dolphins live in the waters off Port Stephens, whereas humpback whales are visible only between May and October.

·        Irukandji Shark and Sting Ray Encounters

Families will have a close encounter and learn more about sting rays, jellyfish, and marine animals.

·        Hire a jet ski

Nelson Bay jet ski hire is available for kids over eight years old. The adults must accompany them.

·        Snorkelling

It is a fun activity for all ages. The Fly Point is a favourite spot to snorkel. The smaller kids can try snorkelling in family-friendly bays in the region. Little Beach, which is just around the corner of Nelson Bay, is also worth a try.

·        Tomaree Aquatic Centre

It is a popular and safe venue for families with toddlers. A separate pool for toddlers and a slide for older kids are available.

·        Go fishing

Families have fun fishing at Nelson Bay Breakwater early in the morning.

·        Go boogie boarding

The surf beaches, just a short distance from Nelson Bay, have lifeguards to ensure the safety of everyone.

·        Go for a bike ride

You may hire bikes from Nelson Bay Bike Hire and bike your way around Nelson Bay coastal path to Little Beach.

·        Oakvale Wildlife Park

It is a popular wildlife park in Salt Ash, just a 25-minute drive from Nelson Bay. It offers diverse wildlife species that are safe for petting and photo encounters.

·        Toboggan Hill Park

 It is a family entertainment venue offering tobogganing, mini-golf, indoor ice-skating, rock climbing, and tractor rides. The little tots will surely love it.

·        Sacred Tree Markets

Buy a sizzling sausage with the kids in this market along the Nelson Bay Foreshore.

·        Playgrounds

The biggest and the best playground is at Nelson Bay.

·        Nelson Bay Gold Club, Nelson Bay Bowling Club, and Wests Nelson Bay

These are family-friendly modern clubs with kid meals and super fun activities.

·        Cafes and restaurants

They are all over Nelson Bay and cater to families all year round. Be sure to check Nice Café, Harbour Bay Café, and Bub’s Famous Fish and Chips, to name a few.

·        Nelson Bay Cinema

A rainy day is not a hindrance to having fun. Nelson Bay Cinema is fun and entertaining for the whole family.

Things to do in Anna Bay

Things to do in Anna Bay

The giant dunes in Anna Bay are the main attraction. A camel or horse ride at sunset, cruising around in a 4WD are ways to explore the dunes with your family and beau. Fishing, surfing, and exploring rock pools are also fun activities in the port area.

Book your accommodation at The Retreat Port Stephens

After a day of fun-filled adventures, dine, relax, and have a good sleep. The Retreat Port Stephens is a perfect sanctuary for couples, families, and group buddies.

Call us on (02) 4982 1244 or email [email protected] to make your reservation. Our friendly staff will help you get the most out of your retreat and can even help you ensure a customised experience. Contact us today!