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Five Reasons to Visit Shoal Bay This Summer

Home > Sydney > Beaches | Escape the City | Long Weekend | Views | Weekend Escapes | Lists
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun! Find me on instagram: @australianrecipesbythebay
Published November 13th 2021
A weekend escape to paradise
Shoal Bay is a particularly stunning bay and town, that is located in Port Stephens - just 2.5 hours north of Sydney. This pristine piece of paradise is an ideal venue to spend the weekend or the whole summer holidays, as you can go down the beach every day and not get bored with the view! Shoal Bay itself is a cute small town with a stretch of shops behind the beach with hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops and of course, the obligatory fish and chip outlet so you can have fish and chips on the beach! Nearby there is the tourist town of Nelson Bay and there are over 20 Bays and Beaches to Visit around the area. If you love the outdoors, then you will love a weekend away at Shoal Bay!

Here are five reasons why you should visit this summer...

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Views, water sports & walks!




1/ The View

You can't beat the view of Shoal Bay, as you drive along the road that takes you into town. The bright white sand is in stark contrast to the brilliant aqua water, with the tall peaks of Tomaree Head and Yaccaba Head behind. There are various walkways to access the long beach so that you can walk along and find your own private place on the sand. Most accommodation options have views overlooking the water, so you wake up to a spectacular view and a fresh, sea breeze every morning.

2/ Water Sports

While staying at Shoal Bay, you can enjoy some of the relaxing and fun water activities that there are on offer around the region. Just behind Shoal Bay, there is Port Stephens Paddlesports where you can hire paddleboards, kayaks and SUP's and also book group tours. If you haven't tried SUP'ing yet, the flat, calm waters of Shoal Bay are perfect! Even if you don't want to hire anything, you will see many adults and children alike, lounging on their inflatable unicorns whilst bobbing in the bay - so you can enjoy the water in a variety of ways.

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Get out on the water! Image: Port Stephens Paddlesports Facebook


3/ Walks

At the end of Shoal Bay, there is a towering mountain that has a walk to the top, with a lookout area to enjoy the 360-degree views. The walk to the top of Tomaree Headland isn't an easy walk - there are many vertical stairs and some rocky areas - however, once you get to the top you soon forget about the sweat on your brow, as the view will take your breath away! From the top, you can look down on Shoal Bay, Zenith Beach and Fingal Spit and watch the waves roll in from the ocean. Don't forget to take your water!

There are other walks in the area, such as the Zenith Beach to Wreck Beach Coastal Walk and the Ocean Beach Trail Bushwalk to Fingal Spit, located just a short drive away. Every walk comes with a view!

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Take a bushwalk to Fingal Spit


4/ Shoal Bay Country Club

Shoal Bay Country Club is the place to be in town if you are looking for colourful cocktails, seafood platters, live music and family pizza, overlooking the blue waters of Shoal Bay. It is open until late most nights, so you can party away at Shoal Bay. Check out their new Atmos Greek restaurant - if you can't get to the Greek Islands this summer, then Atmos is the next best thing!

5/ Inner Light Tea Rooms

Inner Light Tea Rooms is located on the headland, at the opposite end of the beach to Tomaree Headland. This popular cafe gets busy in summer, so if you wish to enjoy some coffee, scones or lunch with a view, then give them a call and book a table. Every table has a view of Shoal Bay, so you can't go wrong wherever you sit!

Shoal Bay is a unique place to visit - it has a small-town feel about it, but it is has a view that would rival any island view in The Whitsunday's. The best part? It is just 2.5 hours from Sydney and just 1 hour north of Newcastle, making it accessible for a short time - or a long time. Summer is the perfect time to visit. It may get busy, but you will feel like you are miles from care. Why don't you book in for this weekend?

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Enjoy a coffee with a view at Inner Light Tea Rooms


* For more ideas on what to do around the region, check out the Port Stephens Weekendnotes website.
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Why? Explore NSW!
When: All year around, but the summer months (when it is warm enough to swim!) is ideal
Where: Shoal Bay, NSW
Cost: Peak season is the summer holidays, so book in early and look out for deals!
Your Comment
It's over forty years since I have been to Port Stephens. The scenery looks the same, but the amenities have increased.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|3303) 17 days ago
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