Nelson Bay is located on the Port Stephens waterway, 59km northeast of Newcastle. The classy beachside getaway offers delightful scenery, calm beaches and plenty of tourist activities on the water or the sand dunes nearby at Anna Bay.
Approaching the township is Gan Gan Lookout, via Lily Hill Rd. This stunning lookout offers panoramic views of Port Stephens, Nelson Bay and surrounding coastline and lakes. If you visit in spring you’ll enjoy the spectacular Gymea Lilies, which grow up to 5 metres tall, bursting into flower. The car park is not suitable for towing vehicles.
The d’Albora Marina and foreshore in town is generally bustling with people, particularly in the warmer months. The marina boardwalk offers bars and restaurants overlooking the water and many specialty stores. A tour booking centre is located at the marina. Dolphin and whale watching tours, fishing charters and boat cruises depart from here. The foreshore beach is calm and protected and a very pleasant spot to relax and enjoy the water, views or both.
There are several beautiful beaches in and around Nelson Bay. Following Victoria Rd from town will lead to all the coastal hotspots Port Stephens has to offer. Fly Point is just gorgeous, with crystal clear water and a sandy white bottom, safe calm swimming and a wide expanse of beach for everyone to enjoy their own patch of sand.
Little Beach has the closest boat ramp to the town centre, a fishing jetty, fish cleaning station frequented by pelicans and a nice calm swimming beach with a grassed foreshore providing barbeque and picnic facilities.
Shoal Bay is a magnificent beach with views across to Tomaree Head. There are cafes, restaurants and bars along the foreshore and also barbeque and picnic facilities. The Country Club Hotel does a great meal and the Shoal Bay Caravan Park is a great beachside park permitting pets outside of school holiday periods.
Zenith Beach is bordered by impressive headland either side with the prominent Tomaree Headland Lookout to the left. The lookout walk is a 1km moderate climb to the 161m summit offering coastal views. Zenith Beach is nice and quiet and is subject to rips and strong currents, more suited to body and board surfers.
Fingal Bay is a large sweeping bay with gorgeous beaches. The beaches are patrolled and offer foreshore facilities and picturesque scenery. The southern side of the bay is opposite the Fingal Bay Caravan Park, which is pet friendly outside school holidays. Note that dogs are not permitted on any of the beaches here though.
Barry Park, south of Fingal Beach headland, offers ocean views of Fingal Bay, Fingal Spit and Fingal Head. At the right time of year this is a whale watching location. Southern Right and Humpback Whales head north in May and June and south in October and November.
The whale and dolphin watching
tours are a major tourist attraction here as the Port Stephens waterway is known to have one of the largest Bottlenose Dolphin populations in the country. Swimming and snorkelling with these fascinating creatures is part of the tour and operators guarantee sightings or a free return cruise.
Nelson Bay is such an appealing getaway with its calm waters and beautiful marine life on a stunning piece of Australian coastline.
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Destinations in New South Wales
Bundjalung National Park
Mt Warning National Park
Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
Royal National Park
Yuraygir National Park
Return from Nelson Bay to New South Wales