Port Stephens Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Port Stephens Outdoor 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: Worimi Sand Dune Quad Bike Adventure

3. Port Stephens: Worimi Sand Dune Quad Bike Adventure

Experience the thrill of riding a high-quality ATV through the Worimi Sand Dunes on this tour from Port Stephens. Cruise at high speeds over seaside grasslands and feel the challenge of tackling towering sand dunes.  Meet your guide in Williamtown and listen as you are provided with a tutorial on how to confidently operate your bike. Follow your guide on a high-octane ride over maintained tracks through coastal grasslands to get to the dunes.  Travel over more and more challenging sand dunes. Enjoy privacy as your ride as the local tour provider has exclusive access to the highest sand dunes on Stockton Beach.  Climb large sand dunes that are 12-30 meters high. Take a tour that is tailored to meet your needs and experience level. Have the option to add sandboarding to your tour. 

Nelson Bay: Dolphins, Slides, and Spa Cruise

4. Nelson Bay: Dolphins, Slides, and Spa Cruise

Spend a magical 2 hours looking for dolphins off the coast of Nelson Bay and get some time to splash about in stunning blue water. Choose from a morning, afternoon or tea-time departure and be entertained by the informative commentary as you go on search of beautiful dolphins jumping through the ocean waves. Get stunning views of the harbor, including spectacular Tomaree and Yacaaba headlands. Relax on the deck with a stronger drink and snacks purchased at the licensed bar. Laugh your way around the harbor as you make use of the large boom net and water slide. Soak up your surroundings at the on-board salt water spa.

Port Stephens: 4WD Birubi Beach Tour with Dune Sandboarding

5. Port Stephens: 4WD Birubi Beach Tour with Dune Sandboarding

After meeting your tour guide at the departure location, you’ll board a red, air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. Enjoy commentary provided throughout the tour onboard the vehicle. The first stop is 2 kilometers down Birubi Beach, where your tour guide will show you how to find and dig for pipis under the sand. Feel free to take photos, and you may even have a chance to see some RAAF fighter jets fly past at low level. After 20 minutes on the beach, you’ll head into the sand dunes to the sandboarding area. Your tour guide will show you how to sandboard correctly, assist with photos, and answer any questions you may have. Slide down the dunes for 45-50 minutes before returning to the departure location.

Port Stephens: Snorkel With Wild Dolphins

6. Port Stephens: Snorkel With Wild Dolphins

Your dolphin adventure begins at d'Albora Marina, Nelson Bay at 6:15 AM. Once you've checked in and been fitted with your wetsuit, mask and snorkel, the vessel leaves the dock and travels out through the heads of Nelson Bay. Whilst traveling out to the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, you'll be trained in the swim protocols and given a snorkel briefing (if swimmer option selected). Once the dolphins have been located and their behavior monitored and found to be favorable for a swim, the the first group of swimmers enters a net at the bow of the vessel, all the while attached with a safety lanyard to the catamaran. The vessel will stop while your group (and your divemaster) enter the water - it will then begin to move slowly forward. The dolphins will swim back and forth between the bows of the vessel, quite often within a meter of the swimmers and seemingly fascinated by the strange creatures being towed in the water behind them! You'll be so close to the dolphins, it will be just like being a part of the pod! You can of course also just observe the dolphins from the boat without entering the water.

Port Stephens: Koala Sanctuary General Admission Ticket

7. 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.

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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.

Thoroughly enjoyed the 4wd trip to the beach looking for puppies, then on to the sand hills for sandboarding

Its really fun and enjoy. The tour guide is very kind.

A fab family experience to touch, learn & support!