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About Port Stephens
From forest-topped mountains to sandy surfing beaches, Port Stephens is an adventurer’s playground. Nestled in a sheltered harbour on Australia’s east coast, its laid-back towns have plenty of Aussie charm, while its coastline is blessed with 26 pretty beaches and bays. Find almost-empty stretches of shoreline, desert-like sand dunes and waters teeming with bottlenose dolphins. Also home to several protected parks, you’ll get to experience nature at its finest from koala-filled forests to underwater marine life.
Port Stephens’ hostels put you in the heart of the natural landscape. Stay in wooden beach-style huts close to the sands or within the area’s rainforests and bushland. You can find hostels with camping pitches or hammock hangouts surrounded by greenery. Gather with other travellers around a campfire, on barbecue nights or in communal lounge areas. Expect free Wi-Fi and the choice of a shared dorm or private room in a Port Stephens hostel.
Port Stephens is an area covering a few towns and miles of coastline. Nelson Bay, on the southern shores, is the main hub. With a busy events calendar, restaurants and boutiques, this place has a buzzy vibe. A short ride from here is Shoal Bay, which is known for its diving spots, fishing and bushland trails. On the northern peninsula, you’ll find Tea Gardens. This small town on the Myall River is the gateway to the Great Lakes.
You can surf both on water and on land in Port Stephens. The Worimi Conservation Lands are home to 50-metre-high sand dunes that you can sandboard down or explore on a quad bike. One Mile Beach has dramatic swells for keen surfers. Head to Tomaree National Park for a challenging trek to its summit or relax on its sandy foothills at Zenith Beach. This area is known for its wildlife – visit the Tilligerry Habitat Reserve to see koalas in the wild and book a dolphin-watching cruise.
You can fly into Newcastle Airport from other cities across Australia and then hop on the coach to Port Stephens (about an hour’s drive). There’s also a bus that connects the area to Sydney (4 hours). To get around Port Stephens, you'll find a handy bus service that connects to Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Anna Bay (on weekdays). To reach Tea Gardens, jump on the ferry service that leaves from Nelson Bay. You may even spot dolphins along the way!