The Port Stephens Area

History Of Port Stephens

The Evolution Of Our Seaside Sanctuary

History of Port Stephens is long and rich with colour. Port Stephens is the submerged estuary of the Karuah and Myall Rivers.

Aboriginal tribes known as the Worimi first inhabited the region. The Worimi consisted of the Grewerigal, Gamipinigal and Maiagal tribes that lived on the water edge around the port. The existence of the Worimi in the area is evident in the occupational sites and artifacts left behind such as scar trees and shell middens.

The Port Stephens Area - The Retreat Port Stephens

Early Development Of Port Stephens

An idyllic coastal Paradise where the emphasis is on pleasure. From the early history of Port Stephens typified by volcanic peaks along the coastline to crystal clear bays fringed by golden sand, Port Stephens has lots to offer.

Captain James Cook in the Endeavour, sighted the entrance on 11th May 1770 and named the bay after the Secretary of the Admiralty. It was first entered in 1791 by the British ship “Salamander” from the Third Fleet, and surveyed in 1795 by Charles Grimes.

Later that same year, Captain W.R. Broughton turned the HMS Providence into Port Stephens and was shocked to find five whites living with the Worimi. These turned out to be five convicts who had escaped from Parramatta, which lies near Sydney. They had shipwrecked at Port Stephens in 1790. They were welcomed into the tribe by the Worimi, who gave them wives and took them along on their wanderings.

During the early history of Port Stephens, the area was a haven for convicts escaping from Sydney. This led to the establishment of a garrison in 1820, which today is known as Soldiers Point. The area continued to grow throughout the 1800s.

Early shipping of timber and wool to Sydney commenced in 1816 with Capt Corlette in his 62 ton cutter “Lambton”. The Australian Agricultural Company carried produce from the hinterland to North Arm Cove from 1824, and there was a timber mill at Winda Woppa. They operated “Karua”, one of the first steamers in Australia. Whalers were frequent visitors.

Local Climate

The 2 top questions when travelling are what to pack and what weather can we expect.
Here is the seasonal breakdown for you of Port Stephens where the weather is mild and very comfortable.

Summer (December - February)

The average temperature in Port Stephens is a pleasant 18-28°C. It is the perfect time to find one of the 26 perfect beaches and perfect for outdoor water activities.

Autumn (March - May)

Sunny days are followed by cooler nights – making it ideal for outdoor activities such as fishing, sailing and dune adventures. Autumn temperatures fall between 12-24°C.

Winter (June - August)

Generally sunny with comfortable but cooler temperatures of 9-18°C. From late May through August, Port Stephens is an excellent place to watch the thousands of
migrating whales pass by.

Spring (September - November)

Sunny days followed by mild warmer evenings. September is the perfect time to enjoy cycling, walking and the National Parks. The temperatures fall between 13-25°C.

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