If you live in Nelson Bay in Port Stephens, or are planning a visit to this beautiful area in the future, then you will be spoilt for choice on where to go for your early morning walk, run, yoga or exercise. There are many scenic walking paths, beaches, outdoor exercise gyms and hills - all guaranteed to get the heart pumping.
These are my favourite free exercise venues around Nelson Bay - where do you like to go? If you have a favourite jogging path or natural yoga oasis which you have discovered, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your discovery. The best part is that they are all free, so you can enjoy them every morning of the week...
Get fit walking up the Stockton Sand Dunes at Birubi Beach!
Uphill Sand Walking is a good way to burn the calories, as your muscles adjust to walking or running up the soft sand. Birubi Beach in Anna Bay, 15 minutes from Nelson Bay, has the largest moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. They are called the Stockton Sand Dunes and are part of the Worimi Conservation Lands. They stretch for 32 kilometres south towards Newcastle, with hundreds of sand hills to walk up and over. Although the sand dunes themselves are soft, the lower areas may have sharp metal or broken glass unearthed by the wind, so it is best to wear shoes. This is also an ideal beach to find a quiet sand dune and practice yoga or tai chi.
Swimming Laps in the Bays is a popular activity, with calm water and clear visibility, so you can see the sandy bottom as you swim up and down. Some bays are busy with boats and watercraft, however, you will find many secluded ones on the coastline up to Soldiers Point. Wanda Beach in particular, is a favourite of mine as it is a long, quiet beach with shallow water. Wear goggles and be prepared to come across seaweed and seagrass at the southern end.
Tomaree Head Summit Walk would have to be the most popular walk for locals and tourists, to get the heart pumping and the legs burning. It isn't a long walk up, but it is steep, so take your time and have a rest after each vertical staircase or climb. When you get to the top, you will be rewarded with 360-degree views over the region, with a chance of seeing whales between May to November. When you come down, why not take a walk along Shoal Bay, to top up your step count. See the article Tomaree Head Summit Walk - Top 5 Tips to Read Before You Go for more details.
Coastal Walks are a spectacular way to start the day, as the sun rises over the bays and beaches. If you start at Nelson Bay marina (d'Albora Marinas), you can turn right and walk all the way to Little Beach in less than half an hour (see details here). This is a flat walk, enjoyed by all ages. Alternatively, you can walk up the stairs behind the marina and turn right and walk all the way to Bagnalls Beach, past Dutchmans Beach (see details here). This walk has a few small hills, to keep things interesting and get you puffing!
Have you found a scenic walk, a mountain to climb, a water activity or an interesting sport which costs nothing to do? If so, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your top tips. We would all like to join you there!
Although gyms have their place, when the weather is beautiful, you just can't beat going outside and soaking up that beautiful Port Stephens sunshine...
Enjoy the views along the coastal walk between Nelson Bay and Little Beach