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Published October 28th 2018
A dog walking beach, that swans visit too
Bagnalls Beach is a scenic, dog-walking beach just 5 minutes from Nelson Bay town centre. It is a "must-do" for all dog walkers in the area, as there are always people walking their dogs off-leash along the beach - stopping every once and awhile to socialise with other dogs. There are also plastic bags provided and plenty of sand and bush at the back of the beach, to sniff and explore. If you don't have a dog, don't despair - you can still walk up and down the beach and enjoy the wide range of cute dogs that pass you by.
Oh, and the view isn't bad either...
Walk your dog off-leash and take in the view across the bay, to the majestic Yacaaba Head in the distance
This pristine, untouched beach may be loved by dog-lovers, but there is also a particularly interesting natural attraction that also lies out in the water. Starting just several metres out from the shoreline is an underwater seagrass meadow, which attracts dozens of swans to sit on top of the water and stretch their long necks down to nibble on the grass. The result is a horizon of black mounds, just bobbing on top of the water in a beautiful display of nature.
A meadow of seagrass, just metres from the shoreline...
According to the signage, this seagrass meadow is particularly important for the local ecosystem and is a haven for a variety of species of fish that use the grasses for protection. The seagrass itself is also a fascinating marine plant and the only underwater plant that produces a flower. They originally evolved from land plants and have now adapted to living and reproducing entirely within sea water, all along Australia's coastline.
Read the signage and learn more about this unique natural attraction
Apart from the seagrass growing out in the shallows, this beach is just like any along the sandy shores of Port Stephens - it has crystal clear water, white sand that fits softly between your toes and 180-degree views over the bay. Our family have been back to this beach a few times now, to see if the swans were there each time - and they were. They were interesting to watch and our daughter enjoyed walking along the beach counting how many there were, whilst looking for more to fly in. The best time to visit the beach is at low tide, when there is more sand at the back of the beach and the swans find it easier to nibble on the seagrass.
As well as admiring the swans and watching the dogs frolic with each other on the sand, there are reserves along the back of the beach to park your car and have a picnic in the shade afterwards. If you have kids, there is a shady bike path behind the beach to ride along and a playground at each end to have a play.
Bagnalls Beach is simply stunning - which makes it even better that it is a beach that the whole family, including your pooch, can enjoy.