On the shores of a magnificent Marine Park, the largest in NSW, Port Stephens is home to the scenic Tomaree National Park and the Stockton Sand dunes, the largest active sand dune system in the South hemisphere.
An eco tourism destination paradise Port Stephens has attracted a superb range of water and land based activities.
Bushwalking & Mountain Biking - find out more
Water based activities
Water based activities are a must in Port Stephens - Famous for its dolphins and whales, it is known as the dolphin capital of Australia. The friendly population of around 100 bottlenose dolphins attracts people from all over the world. They can be seen all year long from the shore or from the local eco-tour boat. There is a great choice of cruise operators to choose from, departing at all times of the day from Nelson Bay d'Albora Marina.
Port Stephens offers a unique location for whale watching from mid-May to mid-November. Our Marine Park is home to the Whale Highway a narrow corridor used by over 7000 Humpback Whales during their annual migration. The best spots to watch the whales from land are from Boat Harbour and Fishermans Bay just a short drive from Port Stephens Treescape. For a closer encounter with the awesome giants jump on a cruise boat, they depart twice daily from Nelson Bay Marina. All tours include a dolphin watch, a bonus offshore island cruise and the whales are guaranteed. If you don't see the whales our friendly local operators will welcome you back for free! Try Imagine Cruises or Moonshadow Cruises for the experts in dolphin & whales watch cruising.
Port Stephens has over 26 magnificent beaches. Some very well protected, others open toward the offshore swell and perfect for surfing. One of the best is Samurai Beach on the doorsteps of Port Stephens Treescape. Governed by the wind there is always a beach to surf and if you have never done it and feel like learning why not try Port Stephens Surf School for lessons and board hire.
Port Stephens is twice the size of Sydney Harbour, it has magnificent offshore islands and is an ideal place for sailing. 3 marinas are sheltered along its shores and the Yacht Club is conveniently situated at Soldiers Point. Catamarans can be hired from Shoal Bay Beach where you can also learn to sail.
To experience sailing in style and comfort you will have to join a sailing cruise at Nelson Bay Marin. You will have the choice of sailing with dolphins or whales and in summer sail, swim and snorkel to the offshore islands on a Sunset Sail Cruises.
Snorkelling & Diving
There is very good snorkelling both in the bay and offshore. The Halifax Sanctuary, near Halifax Point, offers the best snorkelling & diving in the Bay: Discover beautiful soft corals, and meet with lots of fish! If you feel more adventurous jump on a boat for a day to Broughton Island or spend the afternoon on a sail swim and snorkel adventure to Cabbage Tree Island Bird Reserve.
Best dives are from a dive boat to Broughton Island. Explore the looking glass and have a chance to meet with the impressive but friendly endangered Grey Nurse shark!
Try Feet First Dive or Pro Dive
There are many places to hire a boat from and go fishing or meander around the bay and the local beaches. Try Nelson Bay Marina, the Anchorage Marina and Soldiers Point Marina.
Port Stephens is well known for its abundance of fish life. Beach fishing and rock fishing are favourite. Every year the trailer boats competition, in March, attract boats from all over the region. Best ramp access is from Halifax Boat Ramp , Soldiers Point Boat ramp and Shoal Bay Boat Ramp.
Port Stephens is one of the best spots along the East coast of Australia for deep sea fishing. The 3 local marinas in Nelson Bay, d'Albora Marina, The Anchorage and Soldiers Point Marina have a large fleet of ocean going vessels. Annual events last for weeks on end from February to March. Come and witness the procession of the fleet during the parade and the fabulous catch of the big fish every evening at the weigh station! More information on fishing licences.
Land activities are diverse throughout the local playgrounds, national parks and the famous sand dunes.
Camping, Bush walking, cycling, horse riding, sand boarding, 4WD sand dune adventures, animal parks, tobogganing fun park, go karts, tennis, bowling and golfing (3 golf courses) helicopter joy riding and much much more. Just ask us.