I am a freelance photographer and writer from Port Stephens NSW Australia. Visit my web site at www.philipduncanphotography.com
Published March 3rd 2014
A wheelchair friendly lookout
One of the best and easiest way to get a feel for Nelson Bay is to visit the lookout on Gan Gan hill.
The lookout was originality built by the Apex Club of Nelson Bay with funding from Port Stephens council in 1997. The Nelson Bay Rotary club in partnership with PSC and with funding from PSC and the NSW Government have updated this great lookout. The updated lookout was officially opened on the 10th of December 2012.
With the new upgrades there are now 2 lookouts and both of them are wheelchair friendly. The bottom lookout is at the car park with a flat entry to the lookout. The top lookout is accessed by a concrete path and ramp to the wide lookout. This path is not very steep and can be easily accessed by a wheelchair.
To get to the lookout you turn off Nelson Bay Road onto Lily Hill Road and you follow this road to the car park. This is a narrow, twisty and steep hill so take care. At this car park is the lower lookout which has views over Boat Harbour, Anna Bay and onto 9 Mile Beach.
There is a short walk to the top lookout which has spectacular views over Port Stephens through the headlands of Yakaba on the left and Tomaree on the right. You can also see the Islands just outside the heads and Broughton Island in the distance.
On a good day you can clearly see from Newcastle to well past Hawks Nest and into the myall lakes. There is a binocular mounted in the centre of this lookout and for $2.00 you can get a close up view. This is also a wonderful place to visit at sunrise or sunset. But there have recently been gates installed at the entry road to the lookout and they are open from 5am to 9pm. So a sunrise may require a bit of a walk to reach the top.
This place also has a large amount of the Gymea lilies growing around the lookout and its access road. The Gymea Lily Doryanthes excelsa is indigenous to the Sydney Basin and a truly iconic plant of the Australian bush. The botanic name, 'Doryanthes', derives from two Greek words - 'dory', meaning spear, and 'anthos', meaning flower and this refers to the beacon like flower heads that stand out in the bush. They have big spectacular flower heads, and also clumps of luxurious green leaves that make a fabulous feature in the landscape. This plant is also known as flame lily, giant lily, giant spear lily. They will flower after a bush fire but they can also normally be found flowering around Christmas time and are a very spectacular sight in the bush.