Are you planning on visiting Nelson Bay in the stunning Port Stephens region? There is a lot to do in the bay, with whale watching, walks, beaches and natural beauty in abundance. If you're after some shopping therapy while you're here, Nelson Bay town centre has fashion and home-wares boutiques, cafes, restaurants, a small cinema and a large Woolworths - however, there isn't a large indoor shopping centre in town.
If it is a rainy day, or you need to buy some more clothes for the warm climate, there are a number of shopping options nearby, or an hour away in Newcastle. So put petrol in your car, clear your credit card and get shopping!
Salamander Bay Square, servicing the Nelson Bay region. Image: Original images from Salamander Bay Square Facebook
Salamander Bay Square is the only indoor shopping centre near Nelson Bay, so it is the place to go if you are visiting the area. It is just 10 minutes from town. It may not be huge, compared to Sydney or Newcastle standards, but it has the basics of what you need. It has 75 stores including K-Mart, Aldi, Woolworths, Coles, a small Target and a food court - see the centre map here. Outside there is a McDonalds, a KFC, Dominos, Harvey Norman, three gyms, a number of restaurants, medical centres and more speciality stores. It is a good place to support local businesses in the area. See here for details.
L'il Buddha Asian Cuisine - a popular, local restaurant outside Salamander Bay Square
MarketPlace Raymond Terrace is located 40 minutes from Nelson Bay and it is a small, indoor shopping centre with 40 speciality stores. It has the closest Big W to Nelson Bay. See here for details.
Green Hills Shopping Centre in East Maitland is a large, modern shopping centre and my personal favourite! It is the closest large shopping centre to Nelson Bay and takes 55 minutes to get there. It is an easy, relaxing drive as you by-pass all the Newcastle traffic. The shopping centre itself is easy to navigate and has everything that you want - and more! There are two long levels to explore, 250 retailers, a cinema complex and a games arcade. The department stores are Big W, Target, David Jones, H & M, Woolworths and Coles. When at Green Hills, ensure you stay for lunch at The Courtyard, for a wide range of international dining options. This centre also has free parking all day, which is a bonus! See here for details.
The Courtyard at Green Hills Shopping Centre - go for the shopping, stay for the food!
Westfield Kotara Shopping Centre and Charlestown Square, below, are the two main shopping centres in Newcastle. From Nelson Bay, it takes 55 minutes to drive to Kotara, depending on the Newcastle traffic. The centre has a Target, Kmart, David Jones, H & M, Coles, Woolworths and 250 speciality shops. There is also a cinema complex, games arcade and everything you would ever need. Make sure you stay for lunch upstairs at The Rooftop (with restaurants such as Kinn and Noodle Hut), with a modern outdoor dining area with a wide range of international restaurant options. The parking is timed, with the first 3 hours free. See here for details.
Another good place to explore while you are there, is the Home Centre across the road, which has a large TK Maxx.
Charlestown Square Shopping Centre is the other main shopping centre in Newcastle, which is located 1 hour from Nelson Bay, depending on Newcastle traffic. The centre has over 240 stores, including Myer, Target, Big W, H & M, Aldi, Coles and Woolworths. There is also a range of entertainment options with Reading Cinemas, Strike bowling, Holey Moley mini golf and Timezone games arcade. This centre has a number of levels and if you're anything like me, you're sure to get lost! This shopping centre has ticket-less parking, with the first 3 hours free. See here for details.
The best part of visiting or living in the Nelson Bay region is that it has natural beauty, no traffic jams and a relaxed pace of life. When you want a serious day of shopping, however, you can make a whole day of enjoying the large shopping centres, just a road trip away. Just make sure you drive there in a car with plenty of room for your bags! Happy Shopping!