Port Stephens is one of my favourite places. I head up there at least twice a year, and it's only two and a half hours from Sydney. The turquoise clear water and calm bays makes it the prettiest spot in NSW in my opinion.
Check out that view from nearby Mount Tomaree
With each visit to this paradise, there's the inevitable decision about where to stay. Usually we stay somewhere in town at Nelson Bay to be close to the restaurants at night. However on this occasion my friend and I decided to try something a little different and so we stopped at The Peninsula Nelson Bay
, set about a block back from the water between Little Beach, Shoal Bay and Nelson Bay. As we found out, the location is perfect. Five minutes' walk down the road you arrive at Little Beach and it's about seven minutes' walk to Shoal Bay. Nelson Bay is also only about 15 minutes' walk, so it's still easy to get to the restaurant and Marina action at night.
Beach access just metres away
Speaking of night life activity, after our Thai dinner in Nelsons Bay on the Saturday night, a local advised us that the best place to head for after-dinner drinks is the West Diggers Club. Yay! No need to be staying right in town after all; this club is about three minutes walk from The Peninsula. Talk about convenience.
That's it behind me
In terms of resort facilities, we had a Deluxe Twin room which suited us fine. We especially liked the free movie channels and free Wi-Fi. There's something luxurious about lying in bed on holidays and watching a B-Grade Owen Wilson movie. We also had a cute balcony that looked across to a quaint triangular looking place which the Manager, Andrew, said is going to be a part of The Peninsula Nelson Bay soon. He explained that there's also Standard, Executive and Budget styles of accommodation as well two-bedroom apartments which would be perfect for families.
Loved the view of this triangular house - soon to be a part of the Peninsula Group
On the subject of families and kids, the Peninsula has a pool at the side of the hotel and a second one in their other property Peninsula Palms across the road.But the beaches are so close by and enticing that we just swan everyday in the sea. On some days the water was so clear, we pretended we were in the Whitsundays. If you do the hike up to Tomaree Lookout and enjoy the views, you'll know what we mean. In terms of other things to do around the area, the staff at The Peninsula were really helpful. For example I never knew about the Gan Gan Lookout, which we finally checked out as we headed back to Sydney.
Spectacular Birubi Beach
At my next visit I'd be keen to check out the resort's restaurant/bar which was still being renovated when we were there. A great way to end a tiring day of koala spotting, swimming and hiking would be a bite there and then a quick night nightcap up the road at the West Diggers Club. Oh well, I suppose I'll just need to go up for a visit again soon...And finally there's a room rate to suit every budget. Rates start at around $99 but check their website for specials.
See you again soon, movies in bed