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Published December 6th 2018
Explore the beauty of this hidden gem
Little Beach is a scenic bay in the Port Stephens region, just around the coastline from Nelson Bay. It is popular all year round with holiday-makers who stay at the Halifax Holiday Park nearby, as well as locals who go to enjoy the local attractions - and there are many. For such a little beach, there is a lot to do!
For those who are staying in Nelson Bay, you can either hop in the car for a short drive to get there or walk to Little Beach along the coastal path. Along the way, you can look for dolphins, watch the snorkelers at Fly Point, take a stroll through the Nelson Bay Native Flora Gardens and enjoy the shade of the trees as you walk down the road to Little Beach itself. These are our family's Top 5 Things to do at Little Beach - what are yours?
1/ Swimming is the main attraction for many people at Little Beach as the bay has no waves, the water is clear, the sand is white and you can easily put up a beach umbrella and stay for hours in the shade. Along the back of the swimming area is a row of buoys, so that jet-skis and watercraft from the nearby boat ramp don't enter the area. After your swim, lather up the sunscreen and relax by the water, or walk up the beach and along the two jetties, to view fish swimming down below.
Only a month ago, at the time of writing, a humpback whale and calf breached out of the water at Little Beach. According to the Port Stephens Examiner, "Time stood still as people watched the show the calf and its mother put on, waiting for the creatures to leave the Bay". Look out for more wildlife when walking along the beach or going for a swim, at this pristine bay.
The clear waters of the Little Beach swimming area
2/ Fishing is another popular activity at Little Beach, with many locals and visitors getting up early on the tide to try their luck. Port Stephens has strict rules when it comes to fishing, with many areas that are protected Sanctuary Zones - see here for a map. The main jetty, which has disabled-access, is a popular spot to fish, with fishermen and women catching a variety of species of good size to take home and BBQ up later. Even if you don't like to fish, just watch for a while and see what they catch. Another interesting place to walk to, especially if you have kids, is the fish scaling area near the boat ramp, as the local pelicans flock around when they think they are going to get some scraps!
Fishing is allowed from both jetties at Little Beach
3/ The Boathouse Restaurant is located at the entrance to Little Beach, tucked away around the corner near the jetty, above. This popular restaurant serves modern Australian cuisine with a focus on seafood and has a spectacular wooden jetty to sit out on, to take in the views. Spot dolphins from your table as you relax at this scenic venue. See here for details.
4/ Inner Light Tearooms is a small café that is located at the end of Little Beach and up the narrow road to Nelson Head Lighthouse. Be aware that there aren't many car parking spaces at the top, so if you drive up the hill you may need to turn around and park down the bottom and walk up. The café is located to the side of the lighthouse keeper's cottage and has one of the best views in the region - and the best scones! See here for a full article.
Scones and views at Inner Light Tearooms, Little Beach
5/ Wests Nelson Bay is a popular club for many holiday-makers and locals, located on the road to Little Beach. This large club has a spacious bistro upstairs and everything you need in terms of delicious food, a variety of bars, gaming and entertainment throughout the year. They also have a range of specials throughout the week - on our last visit, we enjoyed the $20 Sparkling & Lobster Deal, which was a delicious treat to start the weekend! See here for the latest offers.
Enjoy a relaxed meal at The Bay Bistro, Wests Nelson Bay
If you have kids, you will also enjoy the playground at Little Beach that is popular with toddlers, as well as the Bites on the Bay takeaway shop, to buy an ice block to take back down to the sand. Little Beach is a tucked away gem along the Port Stephens coastline and each time you visit, you will discover something new. Whether it be a perfect shell washed up on the sand or a pelican sitting on top of the lamp post, you will enjoy the slow pace and holiday atmosphere of this cute little hideaway.
Why don't you go for a walk along the sand this weekend?