Twenty-five year old girl living in Yamba, NSW. I am in love with nature, music, food and animals so you'll see a lot of that here 🌿 See @chloeoliviad on Instagram for more photos from where I've adventured. 🚐⛰
Published August 15th 2016
Crystal clear waters & pools to make you feel like a mermaid
Just a short drive north of Newcastle, you will find the beautiful and picturesque town of Port Stephens. What I'd call an aquatic lovers heaven, this list is a compilation of the 4 must-see beaches of Port Stephens that all contend for 'Best Beach Award'.
Box Beach would have to be my favourite beach in Port Stephens. Location wise, 'Wreck' separates Zenith and Box but the beach is still easily accessible through the coastal walk that begins at the base of Tomaree National Park carpark. There are three reasons why I think this beach is so special, not only is it picturesque but it is just the right size that you can get decent waves and find a spot that you won't be disturbed by other guests. Of course, there will be other people on this beach but it's rare to find something like Box Beach in a 'touristy' place and not feel overcrowded when you're trying to relax. If you want your own little private place to swim, snorkel & dive or get that Insta photo to make all your friends jealous, head towards the rocks on the southern end of the beach where something magical awaits.
There are miniature pools, private beaches and if you climb up the rock wall there is an incredible view/lookout of Mount Tomaree and the islands offshore. A bit of rock-jumping later you will also be on Fingal Spit beach, Box's neighbouring beach, which is an excellent place to fish, snorkel and dive and you are able to do the walk over to Point Stephens. Be careful however, this walk can be dangerous with unexpected tides and currents. It is advised against it to do this walk, but if you are confident and cautious about attempted it, there is another island for you to explore.
Zenith Beach is right next to Mount Tomaree National Park and couldn't be left out of this list. The white sand and clear blue water make it the perfect place for a swim, play-date with the dog or even a picnic on the sand. The coverage of the mountain allows for a pretty little spot on the northern-most part of the beach. Take my advice to consider the wind conditions though when doing this, I decided to have a picnic just where the footpath ends and it gave a whole other meaning of crunch to my Fish and Chips. Aussie Bob's in Shoal Bay was my go-to fish and chips place whilst there, and I recommend giving their deep-fried mars bars & Oreos a go, you'll be going back for seconds (maybe even a sneaky third!).
The view of Zenith beach from Tomaree summit. Photo by Chloe Doyle
The Great Lakes Marine Park is 98,000 hectares of prime snorkelling, diving, swimming and fishing and Port Stephens is a part of this must-see park. The best beach for access to this park I think goes to the gorgeous Shoal Bay Beach. Across from Zenith & Box, Shoal Bay is a relatively flat, 2.5km long beach that is perfect for snorkelling and having a paddle around. At Shoal the visibility is incredible and you will have the chance to spot marine wildlife and all the colourful coral in the area. Thanks to the Tomaree National Park and exterior islands, this beach being flat is perfect for children, non-strong swimmers and snorkelers/divers to enjoy the beach without the added anxiety of strong waves and currents.
Port Stephens is an ultimate tropical destination that has something for everyone. These beaches are the few that I will never get tired off, but if you have any suggestions or just want to share your favourite beach, please post it in the comments below!