Ten COVID-safe things to do in Port Stephens this weekend

Picture: Facebook/Port Stephens Tourism

Looking for something to do this weekend? Well, while day trips to Sydney might be off the cards for the foreseeable future, there are some spots, a little closer to home, that offer an array of COVID-safe activities for everyone.

And to that end, Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer has put the call out to people of the Hunter and beyond to enjoy a safe, socially distanced, and fun weekend in the picturesque region.

“Port Stephens is an easy drive for Hunter locals and with Sydney in lockdown, it is a great option for a day trip or weekend stay,” Cr Palmer said.

“Most of our neighbours throughout the Hunter can finish work, pack a bag and be here in time for dinner. Our local businesses have their COVID-safe plans in place and are ready to welcome visitors.”

So, if you’re keen on an adventure, are bringing the family, or are looking for some quality time with your significant other here are Mayor Ryan Palmer’s recommendations for ten COVID-safe things to do in Port Stephens this weekend and beyond.

Picture: Facebook/Oakfield Ranch

For The Adventurer

1. Got a 4WD? Get yourself a beach permit and head to Birubi Beach. Pack a picnic, a beanie and your camera.
The rolling dunes are spectacular and the drive from Birubi Beach to Stockton Beach is a great way to fill in the day. Especially if you stop along the way to check out the Tin City, a game of beach cricket or to stretch your legs with a walk over the dunes. 

2. If you don’t have a 4WD but still want to experience the dunes, there are plenty of options – 4WD tours and sandboarding, camel and horseriding, quad bikes.
Head to the visitor information centre at Nelson Bay or jump online to find out all the options. 

3. Feeling brave? There are plenty of scuba diving schools ready to explore the Port Stephens Marine Park and the upside is there is no wind chill underwater!

Picture: Facebook/Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary.

For families

4. Make the Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary your base for the weekend in one of the awesome glamping tents. Meet the resident koalas, walk the Newcastle Airport skywalk and learn all about our favourite Aussie animal.
If you want more wildlife encounters, drop into Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters and the amazing Oakvale Wildlife Park.

5. Put on your sneakers and head to Tanilba Bay to see if you can spot any koalas in the wild. There is a fantastic walk along the waterfront and this is known koala habitat.
Check out the Tilligery Habitat website for all the details.  

6. Grab the camera and head to Boat Harbour for a bit of whale watching. There is some climbing over rocks involved, so sturdy shoes and a jacket are a must. 

Picture: Facebook/ Saltwater Restaurant Fingal Bay.

For Couples

7. Grab your golf clubs for a leisurely 18 holes or a visit to the driving range. There are plenty of golfing options available for all levels of ability. 

8. Have a long lunch or dinner. There are plenty of waterfront options available but if you prefer a riverside option head for Raymond Terrace or Karuah. If a cosy country pub is more your scene, then Hinton is the place for you. 


For Everyone

10. Head through Shoal Bay and take on the Tomaree Headland Walk. It is a bit of a hike to the top but the view when you get there is spectacular. Keep in mind sections of the path are quite narrow, so take a mask in your pocket just in case. When you are done, visit Shoal Bay for food, drinks and ice cream.

Have fun, stay safe and head here for more information on everything to see and do in Port Stephens.

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