Port Stephens Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Port Stephens Family-friendly activities

Port Stephens: Dolphin Watching Cruise & Boom Net Experience

1. Port Stephens: Dolphin Watching Cruise & Boom Net Experience

Take a cruise around magnificent Port Stephens Harbour on the biggest boat in the bay. Keep an eye out for the resident Bottlenose Dolphins as you head out on the water. Take in the sights of Tomaree and Yacaaba Headlands, Shoal Bay, Nelson Bay, and the Northern Harbour. Sit back and relax on the deck area, or if you feel like getting a bit wet, join in the boom net action. Slide down the Twist, Twirl, and Splash Waterslide attached to the boat, which whirls you into the boom net. Enjoy entertaining and informative commentary on board. If you feel like indulging in something a little different, there is a licensed bar on board that you can choose to purchase from. 

Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

2. Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

You have to experience sandboarding in Port Stephens. The thrill of sliding down the spectacular Stockton Sand Dunes is so much fun. From the meeting point at Birubi beach, you will board the custom-built off-road vehicle to start your adventure on the short, bouncy ride into the largest moving sand mass in the southern hemisphere. The dunes stretch 32 kilometers, the entire length of Stockton Beach, and can reach over 40 meters high, the same as a 10 storey building. The views alone are spectacular. Once you are in the dunes, the team will give you a rundown on sandboarding and how to use the handmade custom-designed boards for maximum safety and speed. Then you are off. Climb to the top of the dunes, jump on your board, then slide on down and repeat. Your ticket includes unlimited sandboarding so you can stay and play as long as you like. For most people that’s about 1 – 1.5 hours. When you're done just jump back aboard one of the 4WD buses, that leave every half an hour, and be taken back to the Birubi Beach starting point. It’s an amazing experience for everyone, no matter your age. The instructors are always on hand to help, answer any questions about sandboarding, Port Stephens or the dunes and to make sure you have maximum fun. Don’t forget to bring your camera along as you’ll have the chance to capture some amazing Port Stephens holiday snaps.

Port Stephens: Koala Sanctuary General Admission Ticket

3. Port Stephens: Koala Sanctuary General Admission Ticket

Spend a few hours or a whole day at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary learning about Australia’s beloved koalas and the threats they face. Walk amongst the beautiful Australian bush and see koalas in their natural environment doing what they do best – sleeping and eating.  Sanctuary Story Walk is a meandering 250-meter pathway offering an immersive educational experience of the koala and its habitat. The koalas at the sanctuary have been brought there for treatment and rehabilitation after injury, with the aim of returning them to the wild if possible. At the Koala Hospital veterinarians care for koalas requiring treatment and general check-ups. You can watch through a viewing window as veterinary staff carry out examinations and administer treatment to koala inpatients, however there is no guarantee when these procedures may occur. Newcastle Airport SKYwalk is a 225-meter-long pathway with viewing platforms raised 10 metres into the tree canopy. The unique tree top perspective is a great photo opportunity. You may even find yourself eye-to-eye with a cuddly koala – always remember, look but don’t touch, they are wild animals. Due to the natural setting of Port Stephen’s Koala Sanctuary you may spot echidnas shuffling around on the ground around the walkways. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of an adorable brush tail possum hanging out in a tree hollow as well. After you have experienced all the attractions Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary offers, finish with a visit to Fat Possum Kiosk. Grab a snack, coffee or treat and browse a variety of souvenirs and gifts. Proceeds go towards the continued conservation effort of koalas and their threatened habitat. Visiting Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary entails a round-trip walk of about 1km in length. All pathways and elevated viewing platforms are easily accessible and designed for all ages and abilities. Some limited bench seating is provided along the Sanctuary Story Walk.

Port Stephens: Interactive Aquarium plus Little Ray Cuddle

4. Port Stephens: Interactive Aquarium plus Little Ray Cuddle

The Little Ray Cuddle is a unique and gentle activity perfect for all ages and great for families looking for an extra special animal encounter. Your ticket includes both the shallow water encounter where you can feed and pet sharks and rays, and a 20 minute intimate encounter with the rays and stingrays in Fingill Lagoon. When you arrive at Irukandji you will be greeted by a friendly team who will equip you with wetsuits and wear and keep souvenir socks to wear into the water. They will run through some specific instructions about interacting with the animals before guiding you into the lagoon. Together you will sit quietly and wait as the keeper summons the rays to glide over your laps for a very special cuddle. You can pet them as they hover around you and enjoy getting to know their individual personalities. After your encounter is done you are free to wander the aquarium and interact with the animals from the shallow waters of the lagoons. You can head over to the tropical lagoon to meet a variety of shark species that live there and listen to the educational talks from the keepers as they share their wealth of knowledge with you. Your whole encounter will leave you with a newfound appreciation for these gentle, elusive creatures and with a deep sense of stewardship for the ocean. Afterward, rinse off under a warm shower before checking out the rest of the aquarium. Don't forget to check out the souvenir shop for a large range of sustainable gifts, cute fluffy toys, snacks, cold drinks, and hot coffee.

Frequently asked questions about Port Stephens

What top attractions are a must-see in Port Stephens?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Port Stephens

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What people are saying about Port Stephens

It seems daunting at first, but it’s epic fun. The staff are exceptional, make conversation with them, they have a lot of local info for you! Ask to ride up front in the bus, excellent views.

Fantastic. Thoroughly recommend it. Great for families. Worthwhile spending the extra $10 to hire a wet suit so you can walk into deeper water to feed and pat the rays and sharks.

So worth the money just to be out listening to the ocean. Both of my daughters really enjoyed the trip.

The dock is easily accessible. Friendly staff. Boom net experience is awesome

A fab family experience to touch, learn & support!