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Published November 1st 2014
The ultimate in weekend getaways
Whether you are looking for a romantic escape or a family getaway, Port Stephens offers the ideal affordable city break. Situated just 2.5 hours north of Sydney and 1 hour north of Central Coast, this lovely coastal area has so much to offer couples and families.
Covering the townships of Nelson Bay, Anna Bay, Fingal Bay, Shoal Bay, Soldiers Point, Williamtown, Raymond Terrace, Tea Gardens and others, you are sure to find just the right accommodation, things to do and places to relax, no matter what your budget is.
Located right on the beach and adjacent to Tomaree National Park, this holiday park offers accommodation to suit all budgets – from powered caravan and camping sites, through villas and cabins to luxury 4.5 star fully self contained beachside apartments. During school holiday the park runs a kids club and babysitting is also available. If you are feeling energetic, you will find a full size tennis, volleyball and basketball courts or enjoy a swim in the solar heated swimming pool. For campers, the park offers 3 camp kitchens and 9 BBQS.
Located between Samurai Beach and One Mile Beach, this holiday resort is ideal for those on a tighter budget. The resort has shady camping sites, powered caravan sites and standard cabins as well as 2 and 3 bedroom villas. Their facilities include a large jumping pillow, swimming pool, spa pool, games room, kids pool with a slide, playground, covered BBQ kitchen facility and grass volleyball court.
A great spot for families, this holiday park is located across the road from the stunning Shoal Bay Beach. Depending on your budget, you can choose from camping sites, caravan and motor home powered sites, ensuite sites, safari tents or even villas. This pet friendly park offers great facilities including guest laundries, modern amenities block, ½ court tennis and basketball court, picnic areas, playground, games room and camp kitchen.
A resort made up of lovely self contained apartments which overlook Port Stephens. With great facilities such as steam room, games room, heated lagoon style pool and restaurant, the hotel is ideal for couples, families and large groups.
For discounted accommodation in Port Stephens, visit wotif.com or sign up to receive great deals on holiday packages with Living Social or Groupon Travel.
Things to Do in Port Stephens
Oakfield Ranch offer an unforgettable camel ride along Birubi Beach. Suitable for even young children, these ships of the desert will take you on a guided tour of the area and may even venture into the water. The tours operate from the lower carpark at Birubi Beach.
A great spot to take your children is Toboggan Hill Park located just off Salamander Way, Nelson Bay. Spend the afternoon tobogganing, indoor rock climbing or playing mini golf. Other fun activities include remote controlled boats and cars, tractor train ride and plaster model painting.
Feed, pat or play with sharks and sting rays from the outside of the aquarium tanks or put on a wet or dry suit and venture into the tank. The only place in the world where you can hand feed these amazing creatures. The centre is home to over 14 different species of sharks and rays and the experience is suitable for all ages. Read more about Australian Shark and Ray Centre.
Several great companies operate these memorable tours – Tamboi Queen Cruises, a family owned and operated cruise company offers friendly staff and personalised service , while Moonshadow Cruises have the largest vessel in the bay. Their boats are equipped with boomnets and spacious decks, so you can relax and cruise in comfort. Imagine Cruises deliver quality eco friendly experiences.
With a population of over 140 bottlenose dolphins living in the area, you are almost guaranteed to see a pod, as you venture out on a dolphin or whale watch cruise. From late May to mid November, you can experience the awe inspiring antics of 12,000 whales as they pass through the area. Read more about Tamboi Queen, Moonshadow Cruises, Imagine Cruises
Quad Bike King offers the ultimate adventures when it comes to quad bike riding and 4WD tours. Explore the largest moving sand dunes or sign up for a combination Quad Bike Shipwreck Adventure tour and visit Sygna Shipwreck, as you hone your quad biking skills.
Port Stephens 4WD Tours, Sand Dune Adventures and Sand Dune Safaris let you experience a fun and thrilling sandboarding ride on some of the highest sand dunes in the southern hemisphere. Read more about Sandboarding
If you enjoy water activities, you will find plenty of spots to go diving, kayaking, surfing, fishing, stand up paddleboarding and even parasailing. To hire kayaks or stand up paddleboards, contact Port Stephens Paddlesports, for scuba diving adventures, visit Feet First Dive or Let's Go Adventures and for a parasailing experience head over to Port Stephens Watersports.