Port Stephens is an easy 2.5 hours drive from Sydney, with its beautiful beaches, stunning sand dunes, coastal walks, national parks, pristine waters, carefree laid back lifestyle and a great range of accommodation. There are 26 beaches located in the Port Stephens region including the 32-kilometre Stockton Beach, which is home to the largest sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere.

We’ve been in Port Stephens three times and still love coming back. It offers a huge range of fun activities for the whole family. 

Port Stephens’s top attractions:

  • Watching sunset & sunrise
  • Camel riding and sand boarding
  • Shark & Ray Encounters
  • Exploring Nelson Bay
  • Salt Ash and Bobs Farm

Watching sunset & sunrise at the beach

I personally really enjoy watching the sunset and sunrise at magnificent beaches here. 

Camel riding and sand boarding

Camel riding and sand boarding at Anna Bay are two popular activities in Anna Bay. You can drive straight to the big car park right next to the starting point. You can purchase tickets at gate or buy cheaper online using Groupon. You should also purchase tickets in advance during peak seasons such as public holiday or school holiday as tickets can be sold out quickly. Sand can become very hot in warmer weather, it’s a good idea to sand board early in the morning or late afternoon. Normally it takes us 3 to 4 hours to finish the sand boarding.  

 Shark & Ray Encounters

The Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters in Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia, is a highly sought-after activity for those seeking an extraordinary experience. It provides an opportunity to swim and engage with Sharks and Rays in a breathtaking setting. With a variety of options available, guests can enjoy shallow encounters with stingrays, either with or without a wetsuit, feed and interact with both stingrays and sharks, snorkel and swim alongside the likes of stingrays, reef sharks, or zebra sharks, and even hold rays on their lap in the shallow waters of Fingill Lagoon. Additionally, thrill-seekers can come face to face with the largest reef sharks, some measuring up to 3 meters in length!

Exploring Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay is the largest town in the Port Stephens area with plenty of cafes, restaurants and shopping as well as sheltered beaches perfect for families with young children. 

The dolphin Splash and Slide Dolphin Cruise is also a really good choice in Nelson Bay. 

The cruise is available from November to April. Kids love watching dolphins and then water slide directly to the ocean, so much fun. 

Salt Ash and Bobs Farm

Don’t forget to check out the Salt Ash and Bobs Farm neighborhood, just 15 minutes south of Nelson Bay. Our suggestions for this area are Murrays Brewery for craft beers and wood fired pizza and Cookabarra restaurant for a tour and delicious fish dish. The tour will talk you through their Hydroponic’s gardens and see the fish as they move through their lifecycle from fingerlings right through to a market ready product. You can feed some bigger fish. 


There are plenty of yummy restaurants in the area for your hunger needs.  

There’s no shortage of fantastic dining options in the area, such as Crest Birubi Beach, which offers delectable food and stunning beach views from its open-air terrace. 



There are a huge range of accommodations in Port Stephens, from hotels, holiday parks to airbnb. The last time we stayed at Ingenia Holidays One Mile Beach with direct access to One Mile Beach. There’s plenty to keep the family entertained within the holiday park grounds such as a games room, jumping cushion, playground and ball court.

Peak season

Due to its proximity to Sydney, Port Stephen is very popular during school holidays or public holidays. You can avoid these peak seasons if you want to save money on accommodations and less queue for activities. 

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