Port Stephens, some 2.5 hours' drive north from Sydney, is a popular destination for families, groups, and couples. During holidays and long weekends, all roads north seem to lead to Port Stephens, but alas, you'd be surprised that any of its best spots never get too crowded. At least, maybe, that is if I would compare it to any of Sydney's best, with Bondi and Manly on top of my head.
Try windsurfing at Port Stephens, the waters do not get as crowded as Sydney's beaches.
Get wet with water. There is a lot that Port Stephens has to offer, but since it is surrounded by beautiful bodies of water, the list of things to do should be topped by water activities, which could range from simply sitting by the beach and relaxing to parasailing, diving, surfing or snorkelling.
There's plenty of sand, sun and fun in Port Stephens.
Savour the sand. Port Stephens has one of nature's masterpieces in its 32-kilometre Stockton Bight Sand Dunes. You can do sand surfing, sand boarding, or for the uninitiated, sand sledding will be great fun. Come prepared though, because unlike water, sand is solid and you wouldn't want to accidentally swallow any, or get some in your eyes, or worse, inhale a few grains. Tour operators will have all the safety gears, perhaps you only need to psyche up yourself about the dos and don'ts.
A lookout affords you the best view of the city, and Port Stephens is no exception.
Learn from lookouts. A nice vantage point from one of the taller peaks in any city, town, or country affords one of the most beautiful views. In Port Stephens, that would either be Tomaree Headland or the Gan Gan lookouts. Each has its own charms, but both offers majestic views of Port Stephens.
Great food does not break the budget at Port Stephens.