Nelson Bay, Australia
Nelson bay is by far one of our favourite places on the east coast of Australia. It’s a quiet, but beautiful little place. Lots of Aussies go there on little family holidays and we can’t blame them! It has crystal clear waters and beautiful white sand beaches. We loved it so much we went back at the end of our road trip as we travelled from Adelaide to Coffs Harbour.
There are tons of accommodation options in Nelson bay such as camp sites, hotels and cabins. There is even a hostel! We stayed in our car on one of the many campsites while we were there. It was one of the most expensive campsites we’ve stayed at in Australia but it had amazing facilities! If you’re car camping/van life-ing, there is a free campsite in a town called Bulahdelah, about half an hour down the road where we stayed the first time we went.
The only hostel in the area is called Port Stephens YHA, It isn’t in Nelson Bay itself, but is only a 10 minute bus ride away. Prices for one night are about $30, which is standard for that area. It’s also a very similar price per person for two people camping! The hostel itself looks beautiful and is set in a gorgeous area full of wildlife.
What to do in Nelson Bay
One of the first things we did when we arrived was walk up Mount Tomaree to the breathtaking lookout at the top. The view will blow you away! You feel like you’ve teleported back to the Whitsundays, it’s that beautiful! You can see ocean for miles and might even spot a whale or a pod of dolphins from up there!
Gan Gan lookout is another amazing place to see panoramic views of the town. It is incredible. There is a compass and information boards telling you about the wildlife in the area; you can really learn a thing or two by reading them. One of my favourite parts of this look out was the beautiful flowers that towered above us! From reading the information boards, we learned that these flowers are called Gymea lilies and can survive in extreme temperatures. They tend to thrive right after a bush fire!
There are tours offered by Dolphin Swim Australia where you can be in the water with wild dolphins, how amazing does that sound! The tour isn’t ‘swimming’ as such, though. You hold onto a rope attached the boat and are pulled along amongst the pod of dolphins! There is no company is Australia where you can swim freely with dolphins. This is to protect them from injury and being harassed by swimmers.
Most of the time people go to Nelson Bay to relax on the beautiful beaches, there are a few to choose from but all of them are great! We spent may hours soaking up the rays and topping up the tan.
If relaxing isn’t your cup of tea and you prefer a little more adrenaline then you wont be disappointed, there are lots of exciting tours and adventures to have. You can hire kayaks and go for a paddle around the little islands in the area, or you can go jet skiing, banana boating or any other exciting water sport you can think of!
If you head over to little beach for sunset then you might be in for a treat, dolphins are known to appear there at dawn and dusk! We were so happy when we spotted some bobbing about in the waves, it’s also a great place to watch the sunset and cook up some great food on the BBQ or “barbie” if we’re being proper Aussies!
So there you have it. Your full and complete guide to Nelson Bay and all the things you can get up to, so what are you waiting for… get booking! If you’ve ever been before and think we’ve missed anything out or want to tell us your favourite places then please leave us a comment below!
Kay and Dom
* All views and opinions are our own, we are not sponsored by any company(s) we just want to create great guides for people to enjoy their time travelling in Australia.