From indigenous studies to marine life, Port Stephens is a haven for apprentices.

Any seasoned traveller will tell you that exploring great places is like learning from a great teacher. Port Stephens in New South Wales is a place that deserves a space on your bucket list. It has pristine beaches, magnificent dunes, marine species, and picturesque flora and fauna.

A trip to a place like Port Stephens, about 2.5 hours from Sydney, is worth ten times more than history, botany, zoology, and social classes combined. Know the history, culture, indigenous people, and rich natural resources like the back of your hand. Immersion is the key if you want to have fun while discovering what makes this place popular among nature and adventure lovers.

Port Stephens has a wide range of accommodations. A comfortable place with sumptuous food is good enough, but what if your accommodation has a bonus attraction like marine study camps? Experiencing nature’s gift to Port Stephens through study camps is like experiencing heaven on earth. Discover why Port Stephens is a great place to learn.

A Quick History of Port Stephens

A Quick History of Port Stephens

Your educational trip to Port Stephens will not be complete without knowing her history. A Blue Water Paradise in Australia has a rich and colourful history.

The Aboriginal people called Worimi (or Warrimay) first inhabited the region. They lived on the water edge around the port. Hunting and fishing were their favourite occupations. During the early history of Port Stephens, it was a haven for convicts who fled from Sydney.

In 1770, Captain James Cook of the British Navy sighted the entrance to the port and named it after the Secretary of the Admiralty. A British ship ‘Salamander’ entered Port Stephens in 1791. In 1795, Captain W.R. Broughton was surprised to see five white men with the Worimi tribe. They were convicts who escaped from Parramatta near Sydney. The Worimi tribe welcomed them to the port when they got shipwrecked in 1790. The discovery led to a garrison called Soldiers Point in 1820. Today, Soldiers Point is a famous landmark teeming with holiday and retirement residences.

Indigenous Studies

Get acquainted with the rich culture and tradition of the Worimi Aboriginal people and appreciate cultural diversity thru workshops at Murrook Indigenous Education. Select from a variety of programs to get a feel of the Worimi people and their traditions:

  • Dance
  • History
  • Boomerang and spear throwing
  • Didgeridoo workshops
  • Food and medicine resources
  • Tools and weapon resources
  • Art, beading, and weaving

Marine Study Camps

Do you want future marine biologists to have hands-on experience with marine species? Explore the vast marine parks at Port Stephens and enjoy pristine waters that ooze with marine life for a fun learning experience. Different fish species, sea urchins, sea turtles, and bottle-nose dolphins are too hard to resist! The young ones will get first-hand information about biodiversity in Marine Study Camps at The Retreat Port Stephens.

What’s in it for the young ones? Our marine studies curriculum aims to enrich young minds about the impact of environmental change and conservation on marine life. They will learn how humans’ impact marine resources and have fun interacting with marine species.

Maximise your kids learning experience with the following marine life encounters:

Meet the resident dolphins

Hop into one of the Imagine Cruises and meet the lovable bottle-nose dolphins along the cooling waters of Port Stephens. Your young ones would squeal in delight as resident dolphins tag alongside the boat.

Swim with diverse marine species

Enjoy the calm waters as we sail to our favourite snorkel spots. A lighthouse cove at Fingal Island and the western side of Cabbage Tree Island offers a vantage point to snorkel around various marine species.

Our dive master will introduce the young learners to an amazing underwater world and swim with different fish species, sea turtles, and sea urchins. Soft corals are a sight to behold!

Have a fabulous maritime experience as you view the scenic landscape along the coast of New South Wales. Enjoy a panoramic view of the volcanic island and the headlands of Yaccaba and Tomaree.

Close encounters with sharks and stingrays

Excursions engage active minds. The mere thought of sharks and sting rays may be scary, but Irukandji Shark and Ray Centre will guide the youngsters with a safe and fun learning experience.

The guided tour focuses on conservation awareness and stewardship of the environment. The friendly staff will help the learners understand aquatic animals and build an emotional connection with them.

Learn how to surf

The incredible waves on beaches and bays are picture-perfect. The experienced surfer would love to lap up waves on world-renowned surf breaks. You might fancy a showdown with other skilled surfers in One Mile Beach, Birubi Beach, or Zenith Beach, to name a few. For novice surfers, there is always a first time. Why not hire a mentor at the renowned Port Stephens Surf School? It is an adventure of a lifetime worth reminiscing about in twilight years.

Encounter animals in wildlife parks

The best learning tool about animals is not in tonnes of books. A hands-on experience with wildlife is still the best learning experience.

How about a unique interaction with Australian native animals at Oakvale Wildlife Park? The kids will surely love to bottle-feed baby farm animals and learn more about kangaroos, wombats, and emus. Or get up close and personal with koalas in their natural habitat at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary.

Worimi Conservation Lands and Worimi National Park

The Worimi tribe welcomes visitors to enjoy the breathtaking landscape and rich cultural and spiritual sites at the Worimi Conservation Lands in Port Stephens. The Worimi National Park, part of the Worimi Conservation Lands, is an ideal place for riding horses along the beach. It is also fun to drive a 4WD along the dunes. Visitors can also engage in fishing, whale watching, and wandering at the Aboriginal historic sites. In addition, the area offers a vantage point from the gigantic Stockton dunes.

Book your Port Stephens accommodation at The Retreat!

Book your Port Stephens accommodation at The Retreat!

The Retreat Port Stephens is nestled in bushland sitting next to giant dunes. It has a vantage point from marine and wildlife parks, conservation parks, and other exciting venues for educational tours. Choose us for a more comfortable and accessible stay in Port Stephens. Call us on (02) 4982 1244 to book your Port Stephens accommodation.