Chasing your next holiday destination? Look no further than Port Stephens, New South Wales – we’re sure you’ll love it as much as we do.

Boasting a relaxed, coastal vibe, Port Stephens is a hidden holiday hotspot about two and a half hours’ drive from Sydney, and is a gateway destination for exploring the Hunter Valley.

If you’re wondering why Port Stephens should be your next destination-of-choice, we’re about to give you five great reasons.

1. Port Stephens has epic sand dunes.

worimi national park sand dunes

Australians aren’t strangers to desert landscapes, but Port Stephens has some pretty special dunes. The Worimi Conservation Lands (also known as the Stockton Bight Sand Dunes) cover 4,200 hectares, encompassing the longest moving dune system in the Southern Hemisphere.

2. Port Stephens is loaded with a little dose of history.

tomaree national park sunrise

What makes a cool holiday in Port Stephens even cooler?  Seeing real-life World War II gun emplacements, bunkers and more.

Historically, coastal forts were positioned to afford their defenders excellent views of the surrounding landscape, so that they could spot and intercept approaching enemies.  Modern visitors can soak up some truly stunning sights at these locations, which is why we recommend a walking trip through Tomaree National Park.

This used to be the home of military guns, torpedo tubes, search light stations and barracks, and there’s a range of historic attractions available for viewing. Interpretive signs detailing the region’s past are scattered along the Fort Tomaree walk, which is a 2-kilometre return trip.

3. It has a bunch of absolutely stunning beaches.

fingal spit port stephens

Offering activities like surfing, paddle-boarding and dolphin watching, Port Stephens is a town that boasts 26 spectacular beaches, perfect for everyone from experienced surfers to shore-hugging families.

For surfing, try One Mile Beach, Fingal Beach, Anna Beach or Samurai Beach; if paddle-boarding is more up your alley, head for Dutman’s Bay Beach or Shoal Beach.  During whale-watching season, spot the gentle giants from Birubi Beach, Boat Harbour or Tomaree National Park.

4. Port Stephens is an incredible family destination.

camel rides port stephens
There’s nothing like a sunset camel ride on the beach to keep the kids entertained.

If the beaches weren’t enough, Port Stephens is also home to a line-up of awesome family activities.

Sprawling national parks with hiking trails and spectacular views?  Tick.  Wildlife park featuring water attractions, Aussie wildlife and exotic animals?  Yep.  Sandboarding down giant dunes?  Absolutely.  Mini-theme park with adrenaline-based activities?  Right here.

If you want to keep the kids entertained over summer, head to Port Stephens.

5. There’s food and wine aplenty.

seafood and white wine

Seafood meets sauvignon blanc in Port Stephens.  The small seaside town delivers the goods with top-tier seafood and a suite of excellent vineyards and breweries.

For chow, check out the Nelson Bay Fish Market and Holbert’s Oyster Farm – you can cook your freshly bought seafood in your Ramada Resort by Wyndham Shoal Bay kitchenette, then wash it down with a glass of something white from Port Stephens Winery, Wonganella Estate Winery or Tynan Wines.

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