Sydney to Gold Coast Drive
DAY SIX: Port Stephens
Port Stephens is a water-lover's paradise and the dolphin capital of the state. With 16 things to do and 7 Port Stephens Caravan Parks that make our recommended list, you could spend longer than a day here. Myall Lakes National Park, a little further north, is a less developed option with plenty of affordable camping ($6 per adult) amongst nature. If time is short, choose a base camp in either Port Stephens or Myall Lakes from which to explore, rather than cramming them both in.
All our recommended campgrounds and points of interest are marked on the map below.
13 Things to do in Port Stephens
- Dolphin Tours will get you close to the playful charismatic dolphins.
- Explore the many bays and inlets by kayak, paddle board or bicycle. There are plenty of places that will rent you the equipment you need.
- Tomaree Peninsula on the south side of the harbour has near-deserted beaches, national parks, undulating sand dunes and the main town, Nelson Bay, on its tip.
- Hit the beaches! Clothing is optional on Sumarai Beach. One Mile Beach is a patrolled beach with gently sloping powder-soft sand and incredibly blue water. Boat Harbour Beach has calm water which is great for kids to swim in.
- Learn to Surf at the surf school on One Mile Beach.
- The Tomaree Peninsula National Park has coastal walks with panoramic views and is home to the endangered quoll.
- If you like sand dune landscapes, Worimi Conservation Land is a must. The Port Stephens sand dunes are so big you can go sand-boarding.
- Barrington Tops National Park on the inland side of the lake has steep alpine plateaus, a range of walking trails, and prolific wildlife.
- Go horse riding on the beach with Sahara Trails.
- Pretend you’re Laurence of Arabia and go camel riding through the dunes and along the beach with Oakfield Ranch.
- Take a 4 Wheel Drive Tour.
- Enjoy the aquatic life by snorkelling & diving
- Take a Dolphin & Whale Watch Cruise.
Port Stephens Caravan Parks
The criteria for our recommended caravan parks is two-fold; they must be well-located, and be well-reviewed (4 stars or more) on Trip Advisor and Google.
- Bays Holiday Park is surrounded by natural forest a short drive or cycle to the beach. Facilities include a resort style pool, spa, camp kitchen, hot showers, laundry, toddlers sand pit, playground, BBQs and picnic tables, a recreation room, mini golf, large chess game, ten pin bowling, a large aviary and a rabbit hutch.
RATES: $30 - $60 for two. Additional people $10 - $15.
- Port Stephens Treescape sits amidst 8 hectares of natural forest at the foothill of Sumarai Dune and is connected to the beach by a short nature trail. Facilities include a pool and spa, games and equipment, hot showers, laundry, tennis courts, free BBQs and picnic facilities.
RATES: $27 for two. Additional adults $10, children $5.
- Active Holidays One Mile Beach is located right on the patrolled one mile beach amidst 15 acres of sub-tropical gardens. Facilities include a resort style pool and spa, tennis courts, basket ball, a playground, jumping cushion, mini golf, hot showers, laundry, a café, and BBQ facilities.
RATES: From $35 for two. Additional adults $20, children $10.
- Active Holidays BIG 4 Soldiers Point is just a stone’s throw from the lake amidst tropical gardens. Facilities include a resort style swimming pool, bike track, indoor pool, splash park and playground, giant chess, pedal karts, trampolines, games room, BBQ facilities, camp kitchen, laundry, hot showers, and a gym.
RATES: $30 for two. Additional people $10.
- Fingal Bay Holiday Park is right on the calm patrolled waters of Fingal Bay and surrounded by national park.. Facilities include a resort style pool, camp kitchen, BBQs and picnic tables, play ground, recreation room, laundry and hot showers.
RATES: From $30 - $40 for two. Additional adults $20, children free. *Minimum stay required.
- Halifax Tourist Park is on the calm waters of Little Beach with all the conveniences of being in Nelson Bay. It has its own jetty and facilities include a laundry, BBQs and undercover and open air dining options, playground, direct beach access, a kiosk, and tour bookings.
RATES: From $34 for two. Additional adults $20, children free.
- Northcoast Holiday Parks Jimmys Beach, Tea Gardens, is on a white sand beach surrounded by sand dunes, crystal clear waters and natural forest. The sites are spacious and shady. Facilities include camp kitchen, laundry, hot showers, playground, free WiFi and BBQs.
RATES: From $30 for two. Additional adults $15. Children $10.