Where To Eat, Drink, Stay & Play In NSW Port Stephens Region

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Just 2.5 hours drive up from Sydney you’ll find yourself walking alongside crystal blue beaches and admiring cliff-top views with a glass of white. Sound great? That’s Port Stephens, and it’s stunning whether it’s during the popular summer months or the more chilly winters.

The area sits just above Newcastle, meaning it’s an easy highway drive to reach. Encompassing popular spots like Nelson Bay and Fingal Bay, the area is rich in bushwalks, lush restaurants and accommodation, and beautiful scenery. 

Below is our selection of the most premium activities and treats to enjoy in the Port Stephens region. Whether you’re looking to soak up rays on the beach, swim with dolphins or hike the glorious bushland along the waters edge, this is your perfect weekender plan.

STAY: Bannisters Port Stephens


With views stretching across the stunning Salamander Shores and rooms that feature premium, beach-inspired interiors and breezy outlooks, Bannisters Port Stephens is the perfect accommodation for your weekender.

Expect three wonderful dining experiences, ranging from the top-end Rick Stein restaurant and its impeccable seafood offering through to the fun, family-friendly open plan pub Cheeky Dog, as well as a picturesque pool, spa on site and more. Pick the Ocean Deck room for a balcony you can sit at to watch the waves from.

EAT: Rick Stein at Bannisters

rick stein

You’d be doing it wrong if you ventured up to Port Stephens and didn’t book a seafood dinner at Rick Stein’s. The seafood maestro is renowned for using locally sourced ingredients and whipping them up into delectable meals. Fresh seafood + crisp wine. What could be better?

DO: Swim With The Dolphins

port stephens

The Port Stephens area is teeming with dolphins, and companies like Dolphin Swim Australia are there to take you out to meet them. Ethically, of course – you’re attached to a rope and slowly pulled through the water, as dolphins come up to you inquisitively. Yep, dolphins are naturally curious creatures so expect a lot of interaction!

DRINK: Shoal Bay Country Club

shoal bay

A chic-as-hell establishment that comprises of a restaurant, accommodation and takeaway pizzeria, Shoal Bay Country Club is a lush spot for an afternoon cocktail… or three.

DO: Tomaree Head Summit Walk

summit walk

Get those runners on and hike up to the top of Port Stephens. It’s not a long walk, but it’s quite strenuous so expect a lot of huffing and puffing. Still, it’s well planned and won’t see you scrambling over rocks. Plus, that VIEW.

EAT: The Little Nel

little nel

Searching for a delicious long brunch? Head to The Little Nel, an adorable cafe serving up premium dishes like Coconut Quinoa Porridge and Ham Hock, Green Pea & Hash.  

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