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Published November 16th 2020
Take a short cut to paradise
Fingal Spit is a bridge of sand that is only visible at low tide, that connects Fingal Beach to Shark Island in Fingal Bay, Port Stephens. It is a particularly beautiful area to visit, with bright blue water either side of the spit and pure white sand down the middle, which looks like a postcard from paradise. The area was made famous by a Tourism Australia advertisement back in 2007, which had Lara Bingle standing on the beach at Fingal Spit in the last scene (see the ad on YouTube here).
Although you can walk along Fingal Beach to visit the spit, there is also a bushwalk to get there through the Tomaree National Park, which comes out at the sand dunes above the spit. It is utilised by locals with their fishing rods who want a shortcut to the beach, however, it is a shady, easy walk for the rest of us to experience this view...
To access the Ocean Beach Trail bushwalk, park your car down Tomaree Road and walk along Marine Drive to the entrance of the walk. Alternatively, park along Ocean Beach Road and walk straight ahead into Tomaree National Park. See here for a Google map.
On the day of our bushwalk, we appreciated the canopy of trees overhead, as it provided welcome shade on a hot spring day. The bush track itself was well-maintained and it was an easy, single-file walk through the bush. We kept looking up at the canopy above us, searching for koalas in the trees and spotting several kookaburras on their branch perches, looking back down at us.
After walking for 5 to 10 minutes, the path then became steep up the back of a sand dune. When we eventually popped out the top of the treeline and over the back of the dunes, we then looked down at the view below, which literally left us speechless...until our daughter squealed with delight and ran down the sand!
A flat walk through the bushland, before an uphill hike up the back of the sand dunes...
Our family found a place to sit in the shade, opened up our picnic lunch and simply looked at the view in quiet awe. Everywhere we looked was a panoramic photo, waiting to be taken. The bright white sand contrasted against the bright blue water was like any vision of paradise we had ever seen.
As we sat there, it was also interesting for us to watch the tide cover the spit and the bridge of sand disappear underwater. We also said hello to three groups of people as they popped out from the back of the sand dune, from the Ocean Beach Trail bushwalk that we had walked along. One couple were carrying fishing rods, another were carrying surfboards and one family had obviously done the walk before, and ran all the way down the dunes to the bottom. It really is a special place to discover, in the scenic Port Stephens region...
Why don't you discover it for yourself, this weekend?
* Please note: If you plan on crossing Fingal Spit to walk to Shark Island, check the tide times to ensure it is low tide when you cross and it will still be low tide when you cross back. There are warning signs at the start of the Spit to say that people have died crossing the spit, as the tide has risen. Although it looks beautiful, it is a dangerous crossing at high tide.
For more walks to do in the region, see the Port Stephens Weekendnotes website here.