You know the scenes of two best friends cruising with the roof down through rows of tall thin trees? That’s what you can create for yourself and your bestie on your way to Port Stephens. A short 2.5 hour drive North from Sydney brings you to a place where you can relax at 26 different beaches, hike 161m above Port Stephens entrance, go sand duning, camel riding and much more.
Take a long walk along Zenith Beach
When I went it wasn’t the best time for tanning since it was Winter – hence the jumper and jeans. Still a nice day to take your long walks along the beach though, like the people in the background. Zenith beach is a quieter alternative to Anna Bay as the 400m long beach is located between two headlands and has more hikers and relaxers than 4WDs.
Hike up to Mount Tomaree Summit
This was yet again another one of Australia’s breathtaking hikes as you look back onto Port Stephens and many other landmarks. Looking out from the south lookout, you can see how far you’ve hiked as you are given an aerial view of Zenith Beach. In the background you can also see Stephen Peak, wreck beach and box beach. On the north lookout you look out to the South Pacific Ocean and islands like Boondelbah and Broughton. My favourite though is looking at Port Stephens…the bay forms a perfect crescent and clear water allows us to see colour changes from 161m above as the sandy bottom peeks through.
Slide down high sand dunes
Without a doubt one of my most anticipated activities was sand duning! It definitely lived up to my expectations, even though was I was extremely nervous at first. Once we hit the slopes, high above everyone else, descending without accelerating or braking…I was confident. Accelerating over low dunes and trying not to not lose the quad bike was scary but definitely satisfied my adrenaline junkie side.
Take a camel ride in the sunset
Not many people knows Australia has the largest feral camel population in the world, and Port Stephens is one of the places to ride one. It’s a 20 min camel ride departing from Anna Bay using a first come first serve system so make sure to get in earlier to get your spot. Alternatively, you can book a sunset camel ride lasting an hour.
Enjoy the sunset at Gan Gan lookout
Another breathtaking way to experience the sun setting over Port Stephens is at Gan Gan Hill. This lookout is one of the highest points in Port Stephens at 160m high with panoramic views of the town including Tomaree Head. You’ll look over not just Port Stephens but also Newcastle’s longest beach and as far as Hawkes Nest. It’s super easy to get to as you can drive all the way to the top on Lily Hill Rd. This road was actually named after the native Gimea lilies you can see in the corner of my photo. To see full bloomed lillies, it is best to go in Spring.
For a weekend away, Port Stephens is the perfect getaway. Make sure you check out my stay at The Anchorage Port Stephens.