Enjoy these indoor and outdoor activities in Port Stephens.
Port Stephens is one of New South Wales’s most scenic coastal destinations, boasting breathtaking beaches and beautiful in-land tourist attractions. It is perfect for families looking for a relaxing getaway or couples who want a romantic weekend escapade. Port Stephens definitely has something in store for everyone.
Autumn days in Port Stephens are generally sunny, while its nights are cooler. The autumn season in Port Stephens is ideal for outdoor activities, such as sailing, fishing, and fun adventures in its sand dunes.
Here are some things one should do when in Port Stephens during the autumn months.
Explore the dunes
Visitors to Port Stephens should not miss the chance to experience its ancient dunes. Port Stephens has the largest coastal dunes in the area – the Worimi Conservation Lands and the Stockton Sand Dunes.
The sand dunes, which are over 40 thousand years old, run 32 kilometres up to Newcastle. Some parts are as high as 40 metres. The landscape can be explored by foot, riding a 4WD, or getting on a quad bike. Another way to experience the dunes is by riding a camel or a horse. What makes the sandscape more interesting is that it is constantly changing and moving.
Go hiking in Tomaree National Park
Hiking to the summit of Tomaree National Park is a must when in Port Stephens. The hike may be steep, but the fantastic views of the coast of Port Stephens make it worth it. Those who are into learning about military history will also enjoy the experience.
The park is home to gun emplacements used during World War II and played a significant role in Australia’s coastal defence system. Here, tourists will get to see a radar tower, search light stations, barracks, and torpedo tubes. In addition, visitors can join a guided tour to learn more about its history.
For those looking for a more heart-pumping adventure, the Tomaree Head summit walk is the perfect activity. It takes hikers to the summit, where they can enjoy panoramic views of Port Stephens. Bask in the bird’s eye view of Cabbage Tree, Broughton Islands, Boondelbah Island, Yacaaba Head, and Zenith Beach.
The heritage-listed Port Stephens Lighthouse in Fingal Bay can also be seen from the summit. The lighthouse was originally built in 1872 and was restored in 1986.
See migratory whales
Autumn in Port Stephens lasts until May. During the last week of May, visitors may be lucky enough to see migratory humpbacks and southern right whales passing Port Stephens. The majestic whales are moving north towards their breeding grounds, giving people at Port Stephens the chance to see them up close.
There are various whale watching packages offered to those who want to have a close encounter with these beautiful giants. Renting a boat or joining a whale cruise is one option. Another option is to hike up to Tomaree Head Summit to see the migration from the top.
Enjoy a close encounter with dolphins
Port Stephens is home to over 140 bottlenose dolphins. They are well-loved residents of the area. From the coastal headlands to the white beaches of Port Stephens, tourists can catch a glimpse of these friendly locals. Tourists can watch from the shores or join cruises that will give them a closer glimpse of the dolphins.
Some cruises allow visitors to take a swim and even have fun slides. They usually also serve foods and drinks that tourists can enjoy during the cruise. Of course, these cruises offer spectacular views of the beautiful harbours and headlands of Port Stephens.
Enjoy waterfront dining
Nights are generally cooler during autumn, making it the perfect time to eat outdoors. There are many restaurants that offer a view of the bay in Port Stephens. Feast on fresh delicacies while sipping on tasty cocktails and basking in the cool night air.
Whether fine or casual dining, the food in Port Stephens never fails. The local produce is abundant, and tourists get to enjoy fresh ingredients from fishing trawlers and farms. The local farms have macadamias to avocados. Different kinds of seafood are caught every day. It provides visitors with some of the best dining options in the region, matched with spectacular views.
Discover Australia’s aviation heritage
May, the last month of Autumn, is generally wet. It is one of the coldest months in Port Stephens and may not always be conducive for outdoor activities. Nevertheless, it is the perfect opportunity to explore the indoor attractions of the area.
Fighter World is a family-friendly indoor attraction where tourists can go around and explore some of Australia’s popular aircraft. It houses the iconic F-111, and visitors can take a look at its cockpit. There are also Macchi and Mirage jets, a wide range of weapons, and jet engines.
Visitors can take a break and eat at Café Fighter World. There are guides who are ready to assist visitors in their tour.
Go inland and visit the hinterlands
Should the weather get wet to enjoy the beach, there is always the hinterland to explore. Port Stephens has charming villages and towns, idyllic rolling pastures, and beautiful rivers.
Tourists can visit farms and delight in fresh harvests. There are also cafes by the riverbanks where one can indulge in fresh oysters and seafood.
The historic town of Raymond Terrace is also worth the visit. Rich farmlands with mid-19th century architecture surround the place. Meanwhile, a stop at the Rectory Tea House is a must in Raymond Terrace. It is open for breakfast and lunch and sits on a property that was built in the 1840s.
Another noteworthy stop is The Woodville Store, the oldest running business in Woodville. The store opened in 1844 and is still running up to this day.
When in Port Stephens, stay at The Retreat.
The Retreat Port Stephens is a family-owned and family-operated business that offers families a peaceful and relaxing retreat in Port Stephens. It is located just next to the sand dunes, setting you up for a perfect adventure during your stay. The property provides on-site activities with its facilities that include a saltwater pool, playground, campfires, and game rooms. Call us at (02) 4982 1244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for your next Port Stephens getaway.