Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon

Nelson Bay: A Paradise for Outdoor Types

Nelson Bay is a quintessential Australian beach town, 60km from Newcastle. With golden sand that stretches on for miles, panoramic lookouts over Port Stephens and a prominent seafood culture, you won’t be disappointed in this holiday destination made for families and lovers of the outdoors. All year round, visitors flock to Nelson Bay, but you can easily retain the impression of seclusion by spending some time in the region’s parks, heritage listed headlands and lesser-known beaches. Holiday rentals are scattered in and around town, ensuring there’s a house or apartment to suit your needs.

Favourite Nelson Bay Beaches

Many visitors to Nelson Bay and Port Stephens are primarily attracted to the region by the promise of pristine beaches, both large and small. One Mile Beach is the best place for a swim or a surf lesson, thanks to waters than are neither too placid nor too agitated.

Families with small children may prefer Little Beach. This quiet alternative features calm waters and plenty of shade. Visitors seeking more excitement and adventure can head to Birubi, split into two beaches over a total of 32km. With the famous Stockton Sand Dunes as a backdrop and plenty of space to spread out, guests can fly kites or take part in various water sports.

Dolphins, Whales and Koalas, Oh My!

Nelson Bay is home to iconic Australian species as well as favourite marine mammals. Indeed, approximately 160 bottlenose dolphins permanently live in the waters around Nelson Bay. Several tour companies offer 1.5 to 2-hour journeys into the waters of Port Stephens, where dolphin sightings are assured at 99%.

In addition, whales migrating for the winter take up residence around Port Stephens from May to August. Moonshadow Cruises specialise in dolphin and whale watching and conveniently depart from Nelson Bay, combining sightings with buffet lunches onboard sleek yachts with open decks. This company offers a free cruise guarantee if no whales are seen. However, chances are you won’t disembark disappointed, with a 98% success rate.

Once you’re ready to leave the water for a little while, head to Tilligerry Habitat, a lush koala sanctuary. A half-hour drive from Nelson Bay, this State Reserve is threaded with forest and wetland trails that visitors can navigate on their own or as part of a guided tour. Koalas are a prominent species in the park, but you’ll also find a number of different birds and frogs.

Hikes and Walks Leading to Scenic Lookouts

To take in Nelson Bay’s natural beauty, several lookout points have been erected, two of which are located in the Tomaree National Park. Generally, guests must hike up to these lookouts but the trek isn’t difficult and the views from the top are simply breathtaking. If you only have time for one walk, climb the paved path to the Tomaree Head Summit, from which you can admire sprawling views of the coastline, Port Stephens, Nelson Bay and the islands of Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah.

Also in Tomaree National Park is the famous Point Stephens Lighthouse, built in 1862. This unique construction is an essential part of Nelson Bay’s heritage. Today, visitors can see the ruins of the light keeper’s cottage and take part in a guided tour to learn more about Port Stephens’ maritime history. Of course, you’ll also benefit from exceptional coastal views.

Gan Gan Lookout is a popular alternative to Tomaree Head and the Lighthouse. Known as the easiest hike in the Port Stephens area, visitors only need to climb 160 metres to witness coastal and hinterland views all the way to Newcastle. The best time of day to visit Gan Gan is at dusk to take advantage of glorious sunsets.

Nelson Bay’s Dining Scene

Nelson Bay is known far and wide for its fresh seafood. The best restaurant to sample the catch of the day is the Rock Lobster, an award-winning venue on the marina. If you’re seeking a more casual atmosphere, Stockton and Donald Streets are lined with cafes. Finally, locals and visitors alike often take advantage of the beautiful weather to have a picnic at Dutchies Beach, a calm nook within easy walking distance of the town centre. The grassy area surrounding this quiet beach ensures a relaxing environment and kids will love the playground, considered the best in Port Stephens.

When to Visit Nelson Bay

The waters around Nelson Bay get too cold for swimmers at the end of March and whale season begins in May, creating two distinct waves of travellers. However, even in the heart of winter, Nelson Bay remains an attractive option for those wishing to hike, cycle or take part in scenic walks. To truly experience everything that Nelson Bay has to offer, there’s always the option of a second visit!

Cancel Clear Filters Apply Filters
More Filters

Price Per Night

AU$ AU$

Bedrooms

Bathrooms

Booking Options

Property Type

Location Type

Even More Filters

Features

Managed By

Clear Filters
Use filters to narrow your search results!
Viewed 7 times in the last 48 hours
avg/night
Apartment #8377511
Viewed 5 times in the last 48 hours
avg/night
House #8377621
avg/night
Apartment #8377622
avg/night
House #8386297
Viewed 7 times in the last 48 hours
avg/night
House #8409395
Viewed 5 times in the last 48 hours
avg/night
Apartment #8462897
Viewed 9 times in the last 48 hours
avg/night
House #8462968
Viewed 8 times in the last 48 hours
avg/night
Apartment #8377620
avg/night
Apartment #8476907
Viewed 5 times in the last 48 hours
avg/night
Apartment #8476908
avg/night
Apartment #8476909
avg/night
Apartment #8476910
Wonderful! 4.9/5
(127 reviews)
avg/night
House #9054813
127
Wonderful! 4.8/5
(54 reviews)
avg/night
House #9061744
54
Wonderful! 4.9/5
(28 reviews)
avg/night
Hotel #9163187
28
avg/night
House #9206944
5
Wonderful! 4.9/5
(27 reviews)
avg/night
Hotel #9163251
27
avg/night
House #9215189
2
Wonderful! 4.8/5
(21 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9174771
21
Exceptional! 5/5
(31 reviews)
avg/night
House #9070424
31
Excellent! 4.6/5
(16 reviews)
avg/night
House #9060837
16
Excellent! 4.7/5
(9 reviews)
avg/night
Townhome #9168310
9
Excellent! 4.7/5
(32 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9016347
32
Excellent! 4.7/5
(27 reviews)
avg/night
House #9004690
27
Wonderful! 4.9/5
(54 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9080230
54
Excellent! 4.6/5
(18 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9009196
18
Wonderful! 4.8/5
(19 reviews)
avg/night
House #9081590
19
Very Good! 4.1/5
(19 reviews)
avg/night
Estate #9025944
19
Excellent! 4.7/5
(41 reviews)
avg/night
Townhome #9119385
41
Excellent! 4.7/5
(32 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9110626
32
avg/night
House #9221490
1
Good! 3.7/5
(21 reviews)
avg/night
House #9082763
21
Wonderful! 4.8/5
(29 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9014734
29
Wonderful! 4.8/5
(9 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9034524
9
Wonderful! 4.9/5
(29 reviews)
avg/night
House #9074064
29
avg/night
Apartment #9194499
2
Excellent! 4.6/5
(5 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9070514
5
Good! 3.7/5
(11 reviews)
avg/night
House #9032964
11
avg/night
Estate #9073547
4
Wonderful! 4.9/5
(40 reviews)
avg/night
House #9021485
40
avg/night
Estate #9076630
1
avg/night
Apartment #9179646
Excellent! 4.3/5
(7 reviews)
avg/night
House #9152387
7
avg/night
Townhome #9011879
4
avg/night
House #9221843
Excellent! 4.7/5
(7 reviews)
avg/night
House #9135650
7
avg/night
Townhome #9183104
Wonderful! 4.8/5
(19 reviews)
avg/night
Apartment #9106752
19
avg/night
House #9226228
avg/night
Hotel #9170157
 

Recent Reviews

Amazing property

5 of 5
This property is amazing. We had a family of 10 stay over Christmas and loved it. Close to Dutchies beach and close to Nelson Bay. Perfect!
  • Review Submitted: Jan 11, 2018
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2017

Nelson Bay B&B Jewel

5 of 5
Martine and Yves' L'Olivette is an exquisite B&B 3 minutes from Nelson Bay Centre. This is an oasis of calm, with it's Olive trees and St Remy decor. Their French breakfast (including freshly baked rolls, brioche, etc) is not to be missed. Martine and Yves are wonderfully welcoming and hospitable
  • Review Submitted: Jan 09, 2018
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2017