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Port Stephens beyond the beach

Tomaree Head Summit Walk, Port StephensCREDIT: Destination NSW

Port Stephens has some pretty amazing beaches, but there’s more to this coastal hamlet than sun and sand.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Port Stephens
beyond the beach

Tomaree Head Summit Walk, Port Stephens CREDIT: Destination NSW

Port Stephens has some pretty amazing beaches, but there’s more to this coastal hamlet than sun and sand.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

It’s hard not to be captivated by the shimmering Port Stephens coastline, known as the ‘dolphin capital of Australia’ for its pod of resident bottlenose. But this region, 200km north of Sydney, offers visitors much more than surf, sand and sunshine. From world-class golf courses to deluxe dining, trendy bars and educational wildlife activities, here are just some of the activities and adventures that await.  

Get golfing 

With three golf courses to choose from, Port Stephens has long been the tee-off destination of choice for avid golfers. Located on the edge of the Tomaree National Park, Nelson Bay Golf Club is a 27-hole championship course set over 70 wildlife-rich hectares — look out for kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and native birds. There are some challenging fairways in the mix, and you can reward your efforts in the 19th-hole clubhouse or with a meal at on-site Bluewater Grill.

Just a short drive west in Salamander Bay is Horizons Golf Resort, a scenic 18-hole championship course with manicured greens and an intricate lakes system. Yet another 18-hole championship course awaits at Pacific Dunes, which regularly takes home awards for its challenging fairways. For those less experienced with a club in hand, hone your skills over a friendly game at David Graham’s Putt Putt in Anna Bay. 

Horizons Golf Resort, Salamander Bay CREDIT: Destination NSW

Kangaroo having a rest at the Horizons Golf Resort in Salamander Bay, Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Horizons Golf Resort, Salamander Bay CREDIT: Destination NSW

Kangaroo having a rest at the Horizons Golf Resort in Salamander Bay, Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Oakvale Farm, Salt Ash CREDIT: Destination Port Stephens

Koala eating gum leaves at Oakvale Farm and Fauna World, Salt Ash in Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Oakvale Farm, Salt Ash CREDIT: Destination Port Stephens

Koala eating gum leaves at Oakvale Farm and Fauna World, Salt Ash in Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Family fun 

No family trip to Port Stephens is complete without a visit to Nelson Bay’s SPLASH Waterpark. This watery wonderland on the sea is packed with inflatable toys for thrill-seekers of all ages to jump off, slide down and fall onto. If you prefer to stay dry, visit Toboggan Hill Park, a fun, adventure-filled activity zone in Nelson Bay. Surrounded by native bush, the site features a toboggan track, mini golf, giant maze, tractor rides and indoor rock climbing. 

Animal lovers will enjoy getting up close and personal with the native and domestic farm animals at Oakvale Wildlife Park. Set over 10 hectares of native forest, the park protects all manner of fauna. Visitors can get involved by helping feed baby farm animals, and learn more about ducklings, sheep and horses as well as koalas, kangaroos and wombats. Native animals are also a focus at the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary, where you can spot these marsupials in their natural habitat. Here you’ll discover what the centre is doing to help protect and care for them — there’s an on-site hospital for injured animals — as well as the environment they call home. Check in to one of the glamping tents to extend your stay. 

Wine and dine 

Vintners, brewers, growers and artisanal purveyors: Port Stephens is blessed with a bounty of forward-thinking gourmands. Begin your culinary journey within the Hamptons-chic haven of The Anchorage Port Stephens, where Moby’s Bar is a near perfect perch to sample a selection of the world's finest whiskies and wines, while overlooking the water. Pair your beverage of choice with a platter of antipasti or Sydney rock oysters, shucked fresh for your enjoyment. When the sun is shining, head to Terrace Bar at Bannisters Port Stephens to enjoy laid-back dining by the sea — and the hotel’s infinity pool. The establishment is also home to a seafood-focused restaurant by applauded chef Rick Stein.

Bannisters, Port Stephens CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple relaxing by the pool at Bannisters, Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Bannisters, Port Stephens CREDIT: Destination NSW

Couple relaxing by the pool at Bannisters, Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Nelson Bay, Port Stephens CREDIT: Destination NSW

Luxury private chartered yacht experience with Blue Water Sailing in Shoal Bay, Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Nelson Bay, Port Stephens CREDIT: Destination NSW

Luxury private chartered yacht experience with Blue Water Sailing in Shoal Bay, Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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