I am headed to Port Stephens / Nelson Bay in late September with my partner. What are some good things to do / see? I hear that the sand dunes are good as are some of the beaches.
Are there any good hikes around there (few hours max) and is it worth going whale / dolphin watching?
Also, has anyone eaten at any decent restaurants around there?
You could walk up to the top of Tomaree Lookout, it has some beautiful views. It is a little steep at the start, but should take about 30 minutes to the top - depending on your fitness of course :).
Some nice beaches are Fingal Bay and Boat Harbour - you can also do some nice walks around there too.
As for restaurants, The Point Restaurant for special occaisions is nice, or for something more casual there are lots of seafood restaurants in the Marina at Nelson Bay. Also, Bub's Fish and Chips in the marina is also great!
Hope this helps,
Casey about 10 years agoAnswered by Casey via Travellr.com
In addition to the Tomaree Lookout as Casey suggested you can also try Gan Gan Lookout which is car accessible and has spectacular views. You can also try the dolphin watch in Nelson Bay (if you’re lucky you might actually see some… I wasn’t very lucky). There are also 4WD tours in the sand dunes which can be fun.
I didn’t find that many options to eat in Nelson Bay though! Other from that, it’s just a great place to relax! about 10 years ago
Just reporting back on what was good over there:
Stayed at the Wanderers Retreat (http://www.wanderersretreat.com/) in a "tree house" it was a cabin up on stilts surrounded by trees and it was great. Also lots of wildlife around, like a koala up a nearby tree, a possum chilling on our balcony when we got back one night, and a kangaroo poking around right under us while we were having breakfast on the balcony. The only weird thing was the fact that it had a drop toilet even though it had a spa, but I suppose it was an eco cabin...
The long beach to the west of Fishermans bay was kinda cool, as long as you don't mind the 4wd's and camels on the beach and dunes nearby but that was part of what made it cool. The beach is 35 miles long so you can do plenty of walking....
Tomaree lookout was pretty amazing - great views, and it wasn't too hard walk up the hill to get there. There were also some really lovely beaches nearby and I wish I had had more time to explore.
We also took a ferry across the port and up the Myall River to Tea Gardens - the trip was great, and we saw lots of dolphins, but be warned that Tea Gardens is very very boring.
Finally, we had a *really good* dinner at a place called Catch. http://www.shoalbayresort.com/catch-at-shoal-bay.aspx about 10 years ago