Nelson Bay is a pretty town on the Southern coastline of Port Stephens, near to the Port Headlands. It is about 60 kilometres by road north-east of Newcastle.
Chinese fishermen established a camp here early in the 1800s. A post office and a school were built later in the century, but it was not until well into the 20th century that Nelson Bay became a popular tourist destination.
Within the sheltered arms of the bay there are safe, calm beaches that are ideal for small children, while the coastal beaches just a five-minute drive away are washed by booming waves. The diving and snorkelling here is exceptional.
Not only are there plenty of things to do in Nelson Bay itself, but it also makes an ideal location from which to explore the rest of Port Stephens with its pretty beach and busy harbour. There are plenty of activities in the area to keep yourself and your family occupied.
There are a variety of shops in the area and so you definitely won't have any trouble finding those holiday souvenirs. There are also a number of restaurants and cafes serving a wide range of styles of food, situated along the coast and in the town itself. Nelson Bay is not short on accommodation within walking distance of all amenities.
Nelson Bay is the perfect place from which to explore the port and the beautiful surrounding areas. There are numerous paths and walkways around the coastline and also a number of tours which take you to the Hunter Valley and the other bays and beaches of Port Stephens.
A trip on the water is also very popular, with a variety of cruises available. You can join a cruise to watch dolphins and whales, as well as deep sea fishing trips. If you'd prefer to go out on your own it is possible to hire a variety of boats for either fishing, sight seeing or dolphin watching - or all three from Nelson Bay Boat Hire.
For those who like the faster side of life why not hire a jet ski for a few hours. Alternatively take the relaxing, but still fun, option of hiring a water bike. Nelson Bay offers everything for every age and taste of visitor to the area.
Located a little over two hours drive from Sydney and about 25 minutes from Newscastle Airport, Nelson Bay makes a great place to unwind for a couple of days or even longer. There is a range of accommodation in Nelson Bay from farmstay and villa accommodation to bed and breakfasts, hotels and apartments.
Well known for the many Bottlenose dolphins that live around the Port, Dolphin Spotting is an extremely popular passtime for visitors. Then there are Whales. Approximately 3000 Humpback Whales pass close to the coast of Port Stephens whilst migrating to the warm tropical waters from late May to July each year.
September to November offers even more excitement when the Whales can be viewed returning to the Antarctic with their calves.
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Featured Nelson Bay Activities and Tours
Experience the thrill of the ships of the desert over the vast sand dunes of Port Stephens. Our Port Stephens Camel Ride Adventure is available 6 days a week throughout the year (closed on Wednesdays)...
Experience the thrill of surfing down some of the largest sand dunes on Stockton Beach, an incredible Eco-system stretching from Newcastle 32kms north to Anna Bay. All ages are welcome to come along a...
Join the Tin City Sand Dune Adventure Tour for two hours of 4WD adventure across the sand dunes in one of our all-purpose designed 4WD Hummers or 21-seater 4WD buses. After an exciting 20 minutes driv...
This full day tour from Sydney visits the Central Coast including reptile park, luxury dolphin watching trip with boom net, 4WD Tour and sand-boarding adventure. Port Stephens is the perfect destinati...
Come and enjoy a relaxing day fishing off the renowned blue waters of Port Stephens. You'll be taken to all the best reefs and hotspots off the coast and you will have a great time on your trip. Targe...
Charter your own boat for a day of game fishing off the coast of Port Stephens. Enjoy the beauty of the coastline as you head out to open seas to catch the day's trophy. Come fishing for blue, black ...
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