Thursday, 6 July 2017

Spotlight on Port Stephens for the nature lovers

Port Stephens is bursting with outdoor experiences for the young and old with Tomaree National Park, the Worimi Conservation Lands which includes the impressive Stockton Bight Sand Dunes and a marine park covering 98,000 hectares. The region features pristine national parks and waterways which are home to resident dolphins, an impressive koala population and stunning views from coastal lookouts and mountain peaks. During June and July Naturefest celebrates all things outdoors in Port Stephens with photography tours, festivals, and daily activities including fish feeding.
  • There are plenty of hikes, kayaking, surfing, diving and snorkelling, mountain biking and other outdoor experiences for the nature lover visiting Port Stephens all year round. Here is just a small selection of the exciting outdoor experiences on offer. The vast Sand Dunes of Stockton Beach, which form part of the Worimi Conservation Lands, is the largest sand dune system in the Southern Hemisphere. There are plenty of ways to explore these dunes. For a heart racing experience book a quad biking tour with Sand Dune Adventures where you can climb the 40 metre high dunes and zoom your way across this magnificent landscape, while also discovering the Indigenous significance of the area. If you prefer to explore at a slower pace, there are also guided and self-guided 4WD tours on the sand dunes as well. 
  • With 26 beaches spanning 30km, Port Stephens has just the bay, inlet or beach to meet your needs. The sparkling turquoise waterways of Port Stephens are perfect for surfing, swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. Not to be missed is a walk along the beach at Shoal Bay to the top of Tomaree Headland to enjoy the panoramic views. 
  • With a resident bottlenose dolphin population, there are plenty of opportunities to see these magical creatures in the wild. Book a dolphin watching cruise where you can swim in a boom net with the dolphins or join a kayaking tour at sunset and see these playful creatures up close in their natural environment. 
  • Divers will relish exploring the sea caves, sponge gardens and shipwrecks at Fly Point Marine Park. The 98,000 hectare Great Lakes Marine Parkincludes many species of dolphin, turtles and fish along with threatened specific and Humpback whales during their annual migration. Broughton Island and the Great Lakes where you can also camp, is another top stop for scuba drivers. Part of this marine park is Broughton Island, which has four camping spots and is a top spot for bird watching, swimming, scuba diving and snorkelling. 
  • Hiking the Tomaree Head Summit Walk provides awe-inspiring views of Port Stephens and the North Coast. At 161 metres above Port Stephens, the two hour hike offers unparalleled views from top which stretch as far as Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands – the world’s only nesting sites for the endangered Gould's petrel. While in Tomaree National Park you might also chance across a koala or two. Tilligerry Habitat is a popular feeding and resting spot for local koalas, as well as other native animals and birds. Don’t miss the Love Koalas Festival which will celebrating the region’s strong koala population and the ongoing efforts to protect these native creatures on 2 July as part of Naturefest.

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