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Tomaree National Park, Port Stephens NSW

Home > Port Stephens > Beaches | Day Trips | Lookouts | National Parks | Walks
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published January 21st 2023
Secluded beaches & bushwalks with a view
Tomaree National Park is located in Port Stephens in NSW, 2.5 hours north of Sydney. It is the traditional land of the Worimi people and extends between the tourist towns of Nelson Bay and Anna Bay. This coastal national park has scenic bushwalking tracks, hills to climb, rock platforms to explore and wildlife in abundance (don't forget to look up for koalas!). If you visit between May and November look out for whales off the coastline and if you visit during the summer months, beware of snakes on the paths!

Other things to note when visiting this national park is that no dogs are allowed in national parks, so you can't walk your dog on any of the tracks in order to protect native wildlife. Also, Zenith Beach and Wreck Beach are both Sanctuary Zones within the Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park. This means that visitors can't collect anything off the beach or fish, to keep this pristine environment for the next generation to enjoy. Here are just some of the scenic things you can do when you visit...

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Hike up to the top of Tomaree Summit (photo shows Zenith Beach, Wreck Beach, Box Beach and Fingal Island in the background)

Tomaree Head Summit Walk is the highlight of the Tomaree National Park. It is a steep 1 kilometre walk up to the summit and then you are rewarded with some of the most spectacular views over the entire region. The views take in the waterways of Port Stephens, along the coastline and also down to Zenith Beach and Shoal Bay. On the way up, ensure you take the detour to view the World War II gun emplacements, which has signage to explain the history of the area and the significance of Port Stephens. As the walk is quite steep, see here for 5 tips to read before you go. You will need your energy!

Unspoilt Beaches are a large part of the national park and each one has their own unique rugged beauty. Zenith Beach is a popular unpatrolled beach to visit, located under Tomaree Head and walking distance from Shoal Bay. All of the beaches in the national park have no flags or lifeguards, so swimming is at your own risk. The beautiful beaches in Tomaree National Park are Wreck Beach (only accessible from the Tomaree Coastal Walk), Box Beach, Kingsley Beach, Samurai Beach (a nudist beach accessible by 4WD) and Fisherman's Bay.

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Zenith Beach, walking distance from Shoal Bay

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Walk down the bush track to Wreck Beach

Point Stephens Lighthouse and Fingal Island are located at the end of the Fingal Spit at Fingal Bay. The lighthouse was built in 1862 and visitors can kayak there or take their own boat - just keep an eye on the tides before you go. Alternatively, visitors can catch a cruise boat there for a historical tour and bushwalk of the island. Be aware that it is not safe to walk across Fingal sand spit at low tide to get to the island as the deep channels and ocean swell have made the crossing extremely unpredictable and hazardous.

Bushwalking trails criss-cross all throughout the national park, with excellent signage and a variety of walking grades. Popular walks include hiking to Wreck Beach and Big Rocky - the National Parks website has an interactive map with details, grades and distances. At the time of writing, the Tomaree Coastal Walk path doesn't meet up in certain areas as the terrain is too rugged, so work has now started on joining these walks together as part of the 20km Birubi Beach to Tomaree Head Tomaree Coastal Walk project. Locals and visitors to the area can't wait for it to be complete!

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Fingal Island (Port Stephens Lighthouse is located on the other side of the island)

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Clear signage at the start of each bushwalk in the Tomaree National Park

Tomaree National Park is a large part of what makes Port Stephens such an attractive place to explore. The unspoilt beaches, abundant wildlife, whale watching vantage points and walking trails make it an ideal place to visit for outdoor adventurers. Ensure that you allow plenty of time to soak it all in - my family and I take a picnic with us each time we visit and find a scenic vantage point to enjoy it in serenity. I can guarantee that the unspoilt beauty of the coastline and bushland at Tomaree National Park will make you want to return to it, again and again.

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Take a picnic and enjoy a leisurely morning at Zenith Beach

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Why? Explore nature!
When: Open all year around to enjoy
Phone: 1300 072 757
Where: Nelson Bay to Anna Bay - see the map on the National Parks website
Cost: Free entry
Your Comment
Sounds and looks like a great place for a semi-active holiday.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4582) 64 days ago
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