10 Apr Visiting Port Stephens On a Day Tour
Port Stephens is a coastal town about 2.5 hours north of Sydney’s CBD by car.
Boasting Idyllic scenery, no less than 26 sandy beaches and super laid-back vibes, Port Stephens is one of those hidden gems that many travellers overlook.
35km of Sand dunes, along the ocean
View from Mount Tomaree in Port Stephens
There are plenty of things to keep you as busy or as chilled as you like while visiting Port Stephens whether it’s just for the day or a more extended stay.
For the more adventurous you may wish to jump aboard a cruise to spot Dolphins all year round or Whales if it’s the season. All water activities are catered for with great surf, swimming, snorkelling and fishing topping the list. For the land lovers why not delve deep into the Dunes, where you can try your hand at sandboarding, essentially snowboarding on sand! It’s also possible to take a Camel ride or a quad bike safari on the Sand Dunes.
Of course, for the more relaxed of us or when you are all adventured out you can take advantage of any one of the world class beaches and kick back while watching the wave’s crash in. There are a multitude of excellent local bars, cafes and restaurants to keep you well feed and water as well as a great selection of local stores offering excellent retail therapy options.
Port Stephens can be easily reached by car or by booking a day trip. You can also travel by train or bus, but the trip takes about 5hours so keep that in mind.
There are a few tour operators offering trips to Port Stephens. The price range from $99 to $199 so most people can find a budget to suit them.
On the way to Port Stephens with Coast Warriors
Meeting the Kangaroos
Boarding the 4WD Bus
Looking out for dolphins
We were lucky enough to take a day trip to Port Stephens with local tour operators Coast Warriors. The adventure began early with a 0700 departure from the city.
Within 1 hour we were out of the city and into grass fields, where we stopped to meet a very friendly mob of Kangaroos. These Roo’s are used to human visitors and more than happy to pose for a selfie or two.
Next stop, the famous Port Stephens Sand Dunes, where we took a 4wd bus across very bumpy, sandy tracks to arrive at a prime Sandboarding slope. We were kitted out with boards, given a quick tutorial and then hit the hill! Needless to say much fun was had with many a friendship made while battling to get to grips with a very unique technique. Even if you fail in perfecting the stand-up technique you can still have a blast sitting on your ass!
After brushing the sand from our hair we bounced our way back across the Dunes to make the short hop in to town to rendezvous with our Dolphin Tour. This part of the day is optional, either splash out the extra 20 bucks to take part in the 90 minute Dolphin spotting cruise or take the time at your leisure to check out the local vibe.
The cruise itself was a little bit chilly due to the sea breeze so come prepared and pack something warm, even if it is a sunny day. However, we did get rewarded with a pod of delightful, inquisitive dolphins greeting us out in the bay. Some of these cheeky characters were confident enough to swim within touching distance of our boat, magical, and great for photos too. There’s also the opportunity to take a ride in the boom net of the boat if you want to get as up close as possible with both the majestic beasts and the water. Exhilarating!
Sand Surfing 🙂
We were back on shores just in time for lunch where our excellent guides from Coastal Warriors had the barbeque fired up and had grilled up a storm. We were treated to a tasty BBQ meal with good company, what else in ‘Straya?! After lunch there was time to enjoy the sun before setting off on a short (optional) hike to the top of Tomaree Mountain.
BBQ lunch included (and yes they offer veggie options 😉 )
The walk to the top takes about 20 minutes and is quite strenuous with lots of stairs. However, the hike was well worth it. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful! Stunning archipelago scenery and perfect beaches as far as the eye can see. After the decent back to sea level there was a short stop for a quick dip at one of the stunning beaches we had just ogled from afar. The water was delicious and we were treated to A show from mother nature with some showers in the distance creating multiple Rainbows over the ocean. The kind of thing you read about in Fairy Tales. Wow, what a way to end the day!
The drive back to Sydney was full of tales from the day shared with new friends and of course the chance for a cheeky nap. On arrival back in Sydney our hosts for the day offered those of us with energy left in the tank the opportunity to join them for a drink in the city. A fitting Aussie wrap up to an awesome Aussie day.
The crew at Coastal Warriors ensured we fully made the most of our time up the coast at another one of the remarkable spots that the east coast has to offer. We will be back!
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