Thursday, 14 May 2015

Nelson Bay Holiday...

Back home today after a wonderful week's holiday in beautiful Nelson Bay, on the southern shores of Port Stephens. Only three hours north of Sydney, Port Stephens is an area we love and have visited many times.

Nelson Bay Holiday Destination... on the southern shores of Port Stephens ~ Threading My Way
Billy's Beach


This was our first visit to the Tilligery Habitat at Tanilba Bay and we were not disappointed. The flora and fauna reserve, run entirely by volunteers, is home to many native birds and sometimes, koalas, echidnas and bandicoots. We heard many birds and saw a few. There must have been koalas around, too, as we could smell them, but we didn't see any.

Billy's Beach

Easy walking tracks enabled access to the woodlands, wetlands and Billy's Beach. I was fascinated with the trees, exposed roots showing and virtually growing in the water. 

Tilligery Habitat Reserve

There were many different varieties of banksias. Wish I could grow them in my garden, but the soil is not sandy enough.

Billy's Beach

One day we'll come back and bring a picnic lunch - There were several seats along the boardwalk, overlooking the water.


Waves crashing on rocks is mesmerising - both the sound and the visual.

Zenith Beach

I lost track of how many beaches we strolled along this time - never get sick of it. As it's nearly Winter, it was definitely too cold to swim, although we did see a few surfboard riders out in the waves.

Rocks to the south of Fingal Beach

Another spot where we sat on the rocks, watching and listening to the waves...

Beach off Iris Moore Reserve

... and another.

Iris Moore Reserve

Australia has some of the best beaches in the world. Not surprising as our continent is entirely surrounded by water. Within the small region of Port Stephens, there is a huge variety in the landscape of the beaches - sandy or rocky, rough ocean beaches or calm harbour beaches, open or shady.

View from Barry Park, south end of Fingal Bay

We also spent quite a lot of time strolling along bush tracks - nothing too strenuous, and most of them with views of water.

Soldiers Point

Port Stephens has the best of both worlds - surf beaches and harbour beaches, all with clear, clean water. When the kids were little, Dutchies Beach was one of our favourites and it still is. In fact, that's where we usually stay. Last visit we paddled, swam, snorkelled and kayaked in the calm water of Dutchies. No photos of Dutchies this time.

Gun emplacements used during World War 11 ~ Tomaree Head

Even though we've been holidaying in Port Stephens for many years, we've never really looked into its history. Visiting the Nelson Head Heritage Light House and Maritime Museum and Tomaree National Park rectified that. The volunteer run museum is jam packed with interesting information and well worth a visit.

Tomaree National Park

We initially thought we'd walk to the summit of Tomaree Head, but opted instead for the less steep walk to the gun emplacements. Next time we'll walk to the summit.

Hard to pick a highlight, but seeing a dolphin trying to catch a fish in the water at the Nelson Bay Marina, in amongst the moored boats was something we'd never seen before. We always look at the expensive boats and dream.


There's no shortage of attractions to see and activities to engage in. Over the years we've:

Next time I'd like to visit Tin City on Stockton Beach, perhaps on a 4WD tag along tour. Maybe we'll try sand boarding, too.

Additional attractions and things to do in Nelson Bay can be found on the Destination NSW website.

As always, the holiday was all too quick and left us wanting more - a good thing in my mind. I'm already planning the next trip - sometime after Winter.

If you like the look of our beaches, you might like to see photos of other beautiful beachside locations in Australia:

Do you have a favourite holiday destination that you keep returning to?

... Pam

11 comments:

  1. How beautiful! Our off-in-the-distance plan is to take the cruise that makes a leisurely trip from the Hawaiian Islands to Sydney. Of course we want some extra time in Australia before flying home to see some of the wonders you have shown us. Gotta wait til Brian retires, though, for that much free time, but we WILL get there! Love your travel posts. My favorite place--hard to choose. If I have to, I guess it would be the Everglades in Florida.

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  2. Looks lovely! It's nice to step into nature and just breathe. I would love the history museum. Glad you enjoyed the R&R!

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  3. Gorgeous pictures - especially the fallen tree on the sandy beach ... I can imagine standing there, wiggling my feet in the wet sand, looking out into the sunrise ... :) What kind of temperatures were you having in those pictures? We're having a bit of a cold spell - when I got up this morning the temperature in the house was 64F (I have no idea why the thermostat is in Imperial instead of metric, lol) and I had to turn on the furnace!

    BTW - it's the 14th so I'll be emailing you to crack the whip - just give me 5 minutes ... HA!!! ;)

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  4. Beautiful pictures Pam. Sounds like a lovely holiday!

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  5. Stunning pictures, you deserve a holiday after your back problems. I also loved the garden photos but do make sure you don't overdo it, health is precious! So delighted you're posting again Pam xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Josie. I'm a slow learner when it comes to looking after myself in the garden.

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  6. It looks a beautiful place for a holiday, and lots of interest by the sounds of it as well as the gorgeous scenery.

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  7. We go a bit but not been to the WW2 stuff...thanks for the tip!!

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  8. It is easy to see why it is somewhere you can return to again and again. Great photos too!

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    1. Thanks, Melinda. Definitely not our last holiday in Nelson Bay.

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  9. Your photos are gorgeous. Such beautiful light, especially the first two. What a beautiful part of the world. We've explored that area a bit, but after 10 years in Sydney I think we have neglected it a bit. Even in winter a beach wander is always relaxing.

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