Roy Wood Reserve is located in between Corlette and Salamander Bay, in the beautiful Port Stephens region. It is popular with families in particular, as it has a safe swimming bay, free BBQs, toilet facilities and plenty of sand to play on. Although there are many family friendly swimming bays in the Nelson Bay area, Roy Wood Reserve is a local favourite for many reasons. The white sand and clear water are just the beginning...
The main parking area for the bay is located on the corner of Foreshore Drive and Sandy Point Road. If this is full however, you can also park along the street nearby or drive along to Carroll Avenue, and access the bay from the other end of the beach. This is where our family parks the car, as there is always a parking space in the street and it is a shady walk to the bay. If you are feeling energetic, you can also start the Corlette Point Headland Walk from here, which leads around to The Anchorage Hotel and Corlette Beach.
If you want to have a BBQ when you visit, there are two, small electric BBQs available near the main car park which are free to use. Each one is undercover, so you can cook and eat in the shade, with several tables dotted nearby. Be aware, however, that it is a popular venue for large family gatherings and community events, with groups of people often seen there each weekend.
The best time to visit Roy Wood Reserve to have a swim is at high tide, as the water is still shallow and there is more to swim in. If you visit at low tide, there is a long walk out to the water - past the boats that are anchored and resting on the sand.
Swimming bay at low tide - with boats resting on the sand
If you love to fish, Roy Wood Reserve is also popular for fishing - particularly with waders who walk out in the water to try their luck catching whiting and larger fish who enjoy the warm water. On our visits to the bay, our family have often watched people at low tide using home-made yabby pumps to suction out the sand in search of bait. If you are fishing in the Port Stephens region, ensure you have a NSW Fishing License and are aware of the fishing restrictions.
Roy Wood Reserve is more than just a place to swim - it is a whole weekend of family entertainment. Why don't you pack the esky, the rod and some snags and try it out this weekend? It is the perfect place to unwind and settle in, to the local's relaxed way of life.
Fishermen using yabby pumps to catch bait, as the tide goes down