With whale watching, sand dune tours, beach camel rides, championship golf courses, waterside dining, a boutique brewery and wineries, cycle ways and a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, Port Stephens is the perfect destination for a winter short break. Destination NSW suggests these 10 activities for a winter wonderland getaway.

  • Whale watching: Port Stephens is one of the best places in NSW to spot a whale as the majestic mammals make their annual migration. Sail with the Whales on a yacht with Imagine Cruises or jump on board a Whale Watch Express for a 90 minute cruise on board a fast boat
  • Sand dune adventures: Explore the Stockton Sand Dunes with a quad bike or hummer tour, which includes the story of the regions interesting Indigenous heritage and a sandboarding experience with Sand Dune Adventures
  • Beer and wine: Visit Murray’s Brewery and Port Stephens Winery to sample a range of local beer and wine. Take a brewery tour before tasting the great range of boutique beers on offer and enjoy lunch at the onsite restaurant. Try up to 20 local and regional wines at the Cellar Door, then learn all about grape growing and wine making on a Wine Walk before a game of bocce on the lawn
  • Cycling: Hire a bike from Nelson Bay Bike Hire and explore the region on two-wheels. With several routes to choose from including 2km, 8km and 12km tracks there is something for all ages and abilities. Ride from Salamander Bay right through to Nelson Bay enjoying spectacular water views passing Bagnalls Beach and Dutchie’s Beach as well as bushland and parks
  • Get back to nature: Pack a picnic lunch and take the invigorating shortTomaree Head Summit Walk to the top of Tomaree Head in Tomaree National Park for breathtaking views over Port Stephens and the coast. This is a great vantage point for whale and dolphin spotting
  • Local produce: Port Stephens is famous for its Rock and Pacific Oysters with Holberts Oyster Farm a great place to pick up some freshly shucked oysters and fresh local seafood. Sample local avocados, macadamia nuts, honey and figs at from the Avocado Farm Stall which is open from June to mid-December
  • Tee off: Play a round of golf on one of the many championship golf courses in the area including The Palms Golf CourseHorizons Golf ResortPacific Dunes and Tanilba Bay Golf Course
  • Camel or horse riding: For something truly memorable, ride a camel on the beach at sunset with Oakfield Range or enjoy a Bush Trail Ride or Beach & Dune Ride on horseback with Sahara Trails Horseriding
  • Dining with a view: Take full advantage of the waterside location and enjoy breakfast and coffee at Swell Beach Kiosk, lunch at Little Beach House and dinner at The Galley Kitchen
  • Go glamping: Stay in the brand new waterside eco safari tents at Thou Walla Sunset Retreat at Soldiers Point. Indulgent campers will love the flat-screen TVs, electric fireplaces, ensuites and balcony daybeds. Take advantage of the special offer of $299 per tent for two nights until 30 September.