Nelson Bay is a tourist hot spot all year around, due to its balmy weather, scenic beauty, outdoor lifestyle and gorgeous, sandy beaches. Each weekend and school holidays, the town attracts thousands of visitors from Sydney (2.5 hours away), from overseas and those who are travelling up and down the highway between Sydney and the Gold Coast.
So what is there to do in Nelson Bay in a weekend? Plenty! See below for your A-Z Guide of things to tick off on your next visit to this Port Stephens town. Let's get started....
A SWIM is the first thing you should do when you visit Nelson Bay, as the water is particularly clear and the fine sand creates an aqua hue. The closest bay to town is Little Nelson Bay.
BIRUBI BEACH is located 15 minutes from Nelson Bay and is a popular beach for swimming, surfing and exploring the Stockton Sand Dunes. Go sand boarding, ride a camel or take a 4WD tour through the sand dunes, which are part of the Worimi Conservation Lands.
EVVIVA CAFE & BAR is a cafe on the main street of Nelson Bay, with retro furniture and delicious coffee.
FISHING is a popular sport in Nelson Bay, with marlin fishing boats often going out through the heads of Port Stephens to catch the big ones! There are also many family friendly areas and jetties inside the port to throw in a line.
Go fishing off the Nelson Bay Breakwall, or Soldiers Point Jetty (above)
GAN GAN LOOKOUT is located on the main road into Nelson Bay and shows the beauty of Port Stephens from above.
HOLBERTS OYSTER FARM can be found on the way to Soldiers Point and you can sit in the small picnic area with fresh oysters and prawns. IRUKANDJI, SHARK & RAY ENCOUNTERS will be opening in their new location in Anna Bay in mid - 2020. Get into a wet suit and meet some of the ocean's most interesting creatures!
MURRAY'S BREWERY is located at Bobs Farm, on the main road that travels into Nelson Bay. It is a family-friendly pub with kid's activities and a large beer garden.
NUDE KAYAKS is a company at Bagnalls Beach who have see-through kayaks, so you look under the water as you kayak. OAKVALE WILDLIFE PARK is a popular family attraction located at Salt Ash, on the road into Nelson Bay. It has baby farm animals, Australian animals and a Splash Park in summer.
RICK STEIN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT is located at Soldiers Point in the Bannisters Hotel. This seafood restaurant, from the UK celebrity chef, is a highlight for all seafood-loving visitors.
SHOAL BAY COUNTRY CLUB is one of the most scenic venues in the region, located right across the road from Shoal Bay. Enjoy cocktails and share a seafood platter with a view! TOMAREE SUMMIT WALK is another "must-do" in the area, with spectacular views after the steep walk up. UNCORK A WINE BOTTLE at the Hunter Valley, which is just under 2 hours from Nelson Bay.
V-BUFFET is an all-you-can-eat buffet underneath the Landmark Resort.