Port Stephens is located on the North Coast 200 kms from Sydney by car. We will go along the coast to join this famous seaside resort . To get there, you need a car, that’s good it will be our first car rental and a first for Anthony to drive to the left. Port Stephens is particularly known for its 26 sandy beaches and for being the Australian capital of dolphins .
We get our car, it will take 15 good minutes for Antho to adapt to driving on the left, even if at the exit of a parking lot, we found ourselves face to face with another car because Antho had recovered the old French reflexes …
We drive on the Pacific Coast Touring Route , this fabulous coastal road that joins Sydney to Brisbane. We arrive in the Central Coast area , still in the state of New South Wales, our first stop for lunch was Avoca Beach. Avoca beach is famous for its big sea rollers. Here surfers are not amateurs. We watch them during our lunch break on the beach. The sand is hot and it is very hot but it is not very recommended to swim outside the areas provided for this purpose because the currents are very strong.
Once our lunch ends, we continue our way. It’s really hot, it’s a beautiful day ahead. We arrive at ” The Entrance “, in a small family seaside resort for a specific appointment. Every day at 15:30, we have the opportunity to attend the feeding of pelicans at the edge of the Pacific Ocean . A very nice moment, many tourists are present but it’s free and free for all. Small selfies with our friends the pelicans and it’s gone for a few kilometers to reach the lighthouse Norah Heah LightHouse .
We finally arrive at Port Stephens, we booked a camping pitch not quite like the others. Located in a peaceful environment surrounded by nature and two minutes walk from the beach, we arrived at the owners of this establishment: Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers . Their welcoming wooden house is very warm, as are the owners who took the time to explain the activities around Port Stephens. The establishment in addition to receiving tourists is very frequented by koalas and Kookaburras (Martins hunters of Australia) and opossums . And then there is a free kangaroo and many parrots.There is a camping part where we were and part with wooden cabins and common areas (kitchen, barbecues available, tables, chairs, sanitary …). We set up camp in the evening and prepare our excursions for the next two days.
The next day, early departure to discover Port Stephens, we start for a trip on the beach not far from our campsite. Many surfers as you can imagine, the waves are present and surfers of all ages are there, young and old, here there is no age to surf. Then head for the port of Nelson Bay , breakfast on the terrace before going on a catamaran cruise with Imagine Cruisein Port Stephens Bay. All cruise ships depart from Nelson Bay. I chose this company because it is the only catamaran in the port and it is also a boat with a reasonable number of passengers, if you know what I mean. Anthony is a little stressed, the sea and it’s two and I’m super excited I know who I want!
We board and it is Yves, our French Skipper of the day who welcomes us with a big smile. We even discover that it has origins Angevin. In the 1h50 sailing program in the heart of Port Stephens bay to meet dolphins , the crew is very pleasant and welcoming, “Odette” the dog skipper of the boat seems to be used to sailing. We will see this day there dolphins and their babies in this clear and turquoise water . We even tested the boat’s sensational net (see video ). A wonderful getaway that we recommend 100%.
We continue our day in the water with a mask and snorkel at Fly Point , well deserved picnic on the water’s edge before diving into the bay. We will stay 1 hour to paddle because a little disappointed with the number of fish and corals, it was better to dive in bottle to enjoy this place known for diving.
We then decide to attack the “Tomaree Head Summit Walk” in a blazing heat , 1 km walk to climb to the top to be rewarded with a splendid view of the bay.
Back down, we enjoy this late afternoon by a nap on the beach and then we return to the camp quietly in the evening, with a stop at Fisherman Bay to end our day with a beautiful sunset.
That night was catastrophic , I think it was the worst storm we both knew. Awakened by a thunder above our head at 3am, the trees were not far from our tent, we were not serene both.
The next day, we discover the damage, not for us but for our neighbors whose tents had not held … But the pleasant surprise was the Koala that we discovered in our tree in the early morning.
Monday is the national holiday in Australia , all the flags are out, hanging on cars, houses, people, they had flags everywhere. After a terrible night and a very rainy weather, we decide to have breakfast on the port and to discover the animations planned for this national day: gathering of the inhabitants and tourists of passage, empty of lofts, animations, and raising of the flag, a moment very symbolic for the community here.
With this uncertain time, we decide to return earlier to Sydney, leaving we go through the Worimi Conservation Lands , 35 kms of moving dunes, the longest in the southern hemisphere. Sometimes if you lose sight of the sea, you could truly believe yourself in the Sahara desert .
In return, small detour by the Morisset park , well known to welcome a whole colony of kangaroos and wallibis . Few people in the park that day, under a fine rain we share a unique moment with them.
The weekend is over, it’s time to go home and find our little newspaper in Sydney. This weekend really made us want to discover Australia in road trip, which will be realized in the next stage of our trip.