On a recent winter escape that I've been dreaming of ever since I found their Instagram, I finally found myself in Port Stephens and I have to say, this place exceeded my expectations. The top of my list to see and do was the walk to the summit of Mount Tomaree, to enjoy the views of the beautiful coastline.
The map route
Our wake up time was 4:30am. One coffee and breakfast burger later we began the walk at 5:30am. To enjoy the sunrise from the summit, which was timed on the day for approximately 6:50am, we gave ourselves plenty of time to reach the summit with ease, being the not-so fittest people in the world. The walk to the summit from the base car park is 1km, but with my research beforehand, I realised a bit of time for the height was needed as the track is steep. There are exactly six sets of stairs that will make your legs and bottom sore afterwards. But the walk, although steep, is able to be completed with a sense of determination for what lies ahead. For instance, our time we had planned to reach the summit was cut much shorter, making it to the top at 6:05am (not bad if you ask me!). A sense of pride and relief washed over us, and in 30 minutes we were delighted with one of the best sunrises I have seen to date.
The view from the summit
Exercise and the health benefits is just one reason to hike Mt Tomaree if you ask me. If you ''missed leg day'' or just want to give those legs and backside a bit more of a workout, the hike is perfect for this with steep slopes, staircases and the walking in general. The second reason is based on the nature aspect of the walk. Not only are you surrounded by the beautiful Tomaree National Park, but you also have the chance to see some wildlife along the way (in and out of the water). There is plenty of flora and fauna as well, such as birds, insects, maybe even a possible snake.
And from May to November you may be able to witness the many whales that migrate close offshore of Port Stephens. An estimated 100,000 whales swim through these waters, along with pods of dolphins, so good reason to bring your binoculars and keep an eye out for these majestic creatures.
Last but not least, is the amazing view at the summit. To one side, it is a bay of small islands, with grand views of Providence Bay and Mount Yakabah. The other side has a stunning view of the famous Zenith, Wreck and Box beaches. It also shows the connection between Fingal Spit to Point Stephens and the gorgeous clear, turquoise waters Port Stephens is so well known for.
Mount Tomaree sunrise
The view at the summit is unreal!
The view of Zenith, Wreck & Box beach
Whether it's warm or cold, you are able to do this walk all year around. Be sure to rug up in the colder months, remember your binoculars for a bit of whale watching and enjoy the views Mount Tomaree has to offer. A little tip too - if you don't mind an early wake-up call or have a torch/phone light to get up or down in the dark, it is well worth it to do this walk for sunset and/or sunrise. So take a weekend away and enjoy the natural beauty of Port Stephens and Mount Tomaree!