I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
On our many trips to Nelson Bay, we had never taken the short diversion to Gan Gan Lookout but we did recently and were very impressed with the views. The turnoff on Lily Hill Road is well signposted on the Stockton Road 1.5km south west of the town centre. There are no food or toilet facilities here but it should not be a problem due to the proximity to town.
In 1997, the then APEX Club of Nelson Bay established the lookout on the 160m hill and in 2012 the facilities were updated by the local Rotary Club with the assistance of Port Stephens Council and the NSW government.
The elevation ensures sweeping views of Port Stephens, encompassing Newcastle to the south and Myall Lakes and Hawks Nest to the north. Impressive sights are the expanse of blue bay, and the striking Yacabba and Tomaree headlands, Tomaree National Park and the Worimi Conservation lands. It is also possible to pinpoint the various towns of the region and see the impact of man on the natural environment. On top of the hill, there is some telecommunication buildings and a carpark located close to the two viewing platforms. There is a paved pathway to the top lookout which is a little steep but can be accessed by wheelchairs, some seating, binoculars and informative signage.
Lily Hill Road is named for the abundance of Gymea Lilies which put on a very impressive show during spring. The stalks of these 5m tall plants were used as Aboriginal bush tucker and as spears. At the right time of year, the lower more accessible lookout is a perfect location for whale watching as it is oriented towards the coast off the Stockton Bight dunes.