Out and About

Travel Tales: Port Stephens

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I had a pretty good time at Port Stephens. So here’s my chance to tell you all about my trip. You know, because I want to! 🙂 Firstly though, let me give you some background information on Port Stephens.

Port Stephens is located in New South Wales and is about a 3 hour drive north from {where I live in} Sydney. It is well known for its beaches and the whales and dolphins. A number of coastal townships make up Port Stephens and the heart of these is Nelson Bay. Which is where I stayed. I left Sydney on Monday around 11 and drove up the Pacific Highway highly caffeinated and voiceless. I reached Nelson Bay around 3 because well, I predictably got lost when I reached Newcastle. But I didn’t panic and eventually found my way around and made it to the motel I’d booked a while back: The Admiral Nelson Motor Inn. I had booked a queen deluxe suite which was pretty decent for one person.

Monday arvo I just drove around Nelson Bay and neighbouring Shoal Bay and Fingal Bay after checking into the motel. I stopped at the Visitor’s Information Centre and picked up a few maps about the local attraction and stuff. And armed with papers I headed back to the motel to relax, have some dinner I’d got from home, and well, check out what to do over the next few days. Tuesday the weather didn’t seem too crash hot so I tried to walk around Shoal Bay a bit and checked out Nelson Bay shops and the marinas. I also made enquiries about whale watching cruises. I wasn’t feeling the best thanks to not much sleep due to my sinuses and continued to not have a voice and have a splitting headache through the day. Not the best for a holiday I know!

I stayed close to this

I stayed close to this

Wednesday though, I decided to take charge despite feeling a bit sick. The weather was gorgeous. And I went for a walk around Tomaree National Park. It was truly an amazing day for some coastal walks. After spending most morning walking, I headed towards Anna Bay but first stopped over at Gan Gan Lookout which gives you the most incredible view of Port Stephens. Photos don’t do it any justice! I drove around Anna Bay and had lunch at a pie shop. Eventually I headed back to Nelson Bay with stopovers at One Mile Beach and Boat Harbour. I stayed indoors that evening just resting as I was still a bit fatigued from being crook.

Coastal Walk through Tomaree National Park

Coastal Walk through Tomaree National Park

Walk around Fingal Bay

Walk around Fingal Bay

Gan Gan Lookout

Gan Gan Lookout

Yet another view from Gan Gan Lookout

Yet another view from Gan Gan Lookout

Thursday dawned bright and early and I rushed to catch the 8:30 a.m. ferry to take me to Tea Gardens. It was another gorgeous day and on the ferry, it was just me, an older couple and a young girl. Australia’s beauty never ceases to amaze and awe me. After an hour’s journey, we reached the Tea Gardens. I got myself a cappuccino from one of the local shops and enquired about what they would recommend I do. The owner recommended I walk to Jimmy’s Beach and along the beach at Hawks Nest and possibly head up Yacaaba Head. Once there I could possibly sight some whales. So head there I did. I walked across to Hawks Nest and the walk was amazing. There were parts on the road and parts along the coast. But what struck me most was how quiet most of the area was. It was that entire morning that prompted me to write about the sounds of silence. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed nature more and just being present and aware of everything around me. The solitude was refreshing! Later that evening, I decided to go on a dinner date by myself. I ended up going to Flipped Burger Bar which was a pretty funky looking place with really good food. Sure, I spent time instagramming and on my phone, but I also chatted with the guy serving and well, managing the place that night given I was one of his two customers. Yes, it was a quiet night!

View from the ferry

View from the ferry

Yet another gorgeous view

Yet another gorgeous view

Hawks Nest

Hawks Nest

On Friday, I decided to go on a whale watching cruise and was in luck as we spotted a couple of humpback whales that were pretty game and friendly. They swam right around the boat and my pictures obviously will not do them any justice. It was incredible! Apart from the whales, we also spotted dolphins and seals and well, the landscape itself was amazingly beautiful. I had a lovely lunch at Nice at Nelson Bay and then wandered around the shops until the skies looked grey and threatening.

Humpback whale

Humpback whale

There he is again!

There he is again!

Love the way the rocks have formed

Love the way the rocks have formed

Dolphins!

Dolphins!

How's that for a view!?

How’s that for a view!?

Finally, on Saturday when Port Stephens was grey and rainy, I left. To come home to Sydney.

I loved my holiday and had quite a few epiphanies during the trip. One of which was I need to do this often — as in, go on holidays by myself. Even if it is for a weekend. I enjoyed my own company but also enjoyed talking to strangers and meeting people. More importantly, I feel completely refreshed and rejuvenated. Which was one of the main reasons for going away. Sure, I missed my kitties. But they were well looked after by my flatmate. With this holiday, I also managed to cross off one other thing on my 30-by-30 list. I might even contemplate going back to Port Stephens to check out other things I have missed.

Have you ever been on a holiday by yourself? Did you enjoy it? 

Do share! 

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Reply
    Avada Kedavra
    July 23, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Never been on a holiday all by myself so far. I must try to do it sometime. Those views are amazing PB! Love the ocean and the blue water. Whale watching is something that I have been wanting to do from a long time. Glad to know you came back refreshed from the vacation 🙂
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Hawaii trip – 4My Profile

  • Reply
    Avada Kedavra
    July 23, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Never been on a holiday all by myself so far. I must try to do it sometime. Those views are amazing PB! Love the ocean and the blue water. Whale watching is something that I have been wanting to do from a long time. Glad to know you came back refreshed from the vacation 🙂
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Hawaii trip – 4My Profile

  • Reply
    R's Mom
    July 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Wow! those pics are amazing…I have never been on a holiday by myself..and I doubt I ever will..somehow cant imagine doing it :):)
    R’s Mom recently posted…Dear PotHoles of MumbaiMy Profile

  • Reply
    R's Mom
    July 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Wow! those pics are amazing…I have never been on a holiday by myself..and I doubt I ever will..somehow cant imagine doing it :):)
    R’s Mom recently posted…Dear PotHoles of MumbaiMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vivienne
    July 25, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I’m envious – you got to see whales and dolphins up close! I love dolphins, and of late, I’ve started warming up to whales too.

    I’ve never gone on a vacation by myself, but should the occasion present itself, I know I’ll enjoy myself just as much. I’m comfortable in my company 😀
    Vivienne recently posted…Le Petit NicolasMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vivienne
    July 25, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I’m envious – you got to see whales and dolphins up close! I love dolphins, and of late, I’ve started warming up to whales too.

    I’ve never gone on a vacation by myself, but should the occasion present itself, I know I’ll enjoy myself just as much. I’m comfortable in my company 😀
    Vivienne recently posted…Le Petit NicolasMy Profile

  • Reply
    Aleney @ BoyEatsWorld
    July 26, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I love Port Stephens. And solo time. Beautiful pics 🙂

  • Reply
    Aleney @ BoyEatsWorld
    July 26, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I love Port Stephens. And solo time. Beautiful pics 🙂

  • Reply
    Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    July 26, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    The scenery looks amazing!
    Sally@Toddlers on Tour recently posted…Dreaming of SummerMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    July 26, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    The scenery looks amazing!
    Sally@Toddlers on Tour recently posted…Dreaming of SummerMy Profile

  • Reply
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    […] around the shops as well. And then, I did the big thing last year. Well, big for me. I went on a holiday by myself. My first ever. And it was the best thing I ever did. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a week long […]

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    April 14, 2014 at 6:01 am

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    […] printed!}. And well, LIVE — that’s been my motto for the year. I found it last year on my trip to Port Stephens when I had epiphanies of different kinds — the most important one being about living my […]

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