Things to do in
Port Stephens

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Our most recommended things to do in Port Stephens

Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

1. Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

You have to experience sandboarding in Port Stephens. The thrill of sliding down the spectacular Stockton Sand Dunes is so much fun. From the meeting point at Birubi beach, you will board the custom-built off-road vehicle to start your adventure on the short, bouncy ride into the largest moving sand mass in the southern hemisphere. The dunes stretch 32 kilometers, the entire length of Stockton Beach, and can reach over 40 meters high, the same as a 10 storey building. The views alone are spectacular. Once you are in the dunes, the team will give you a rundown on sandboarding and how to use the handmade custom-designed boards for maximum safety and speed. Then you are off. Climb to the top of the dunes, jump on your board, then slide on down and repeat. Your ticket includes unlimited sandboarding so you can stay and play as long as you like. For most people that’s about 1 – 1.5 hours. When you're done just jump back aboard one of the 4WD buses, that leave every half an hour, and be taken back to the Birubi Beach starting point. It’s an amazing experience for everyone, no matter your age. The instructors are always on hand to help, answer any questions about sandboarding, Port Stephens or the dunes and to make sure you have maximum fun. Don’t forget to bring your camera along as you’ll have the chance to capture some amazing Port Stephens holiday snaps.

Port Stephens: Worimi Sand Dune Quad Bike Adventure

2. Port Stephens: Worimi Sand Dune Quad Bike Adventure

This tour provides 1 Guide per 5 people so most groups have two guides, one out the front leading you around and one as a tail end to make sure no one gets left behind. This means you get a fantastic experience with highly informative guide throughout! Ride over the maintained tracks through coastal grasslands to get to the dunes. Be led by your guide as you travel over more and more challenging sand dunes with the only local tour provider that has access to the highest sand dunes on Stockton Beach. The large sand dunes can be from 12 - 30 meters high. The tours are tailored to meet the needs and experience of the customers. Sand boarding can be added to the 2-hour quad bike tour. No licence is required. 

Port Stephens: 4WD Birubi Beach Tour with Dune Sandboarding

3. Port Stephens: 4WD Birubi Beach Tour with Dune Sandboarding

After meeting your tour guide at the departure location, you’ll board a red, air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. Enjoy commentary provided throughout the tour onboard the vehicle. The first stop is 2 kilometers down Birubi Beach, where your tour guide will show you how to find and dig for pipis under the sand. Feel free to take photos, and you may even have a chance to see some RAAF fighter jets fly past at low level. After 20 minutes on the beach, you’ll head into the sand dunes to the sandboarding area. Your tour guide will show you how to sandboard correctly, assist with photos, and answer any questions you may have. Slide down the dunes for 45-50 minutes before returning to the departure location.

Port Stephens: Snorkel With Wild Dolphins

4. Port Stephens: Snorkel With Wild Dolphins

Your dolphin adventure begins at d'Albora Marina, Nelson Bay at 6:15 AM. Once you've checked in and been fitted with your wetsuit, mask and snorkel, the vessel leaves the dock and travels out through the heads of Nelson Bay. Whilst traveling out to the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, you'll be trained in the swim protocols and given a snorkel briefing (if swimmer option selected). Once the dolphins have been located and their behavior monitored and found to be favorable for a swim, the the first group of swimmers enters a net at the bow of the vessel, all the while attached with a safety lanyard to the catamaran. The vessel will stop while your group (and your divemaster) enter the water - it will then begin to move slowly forward. The dolphins will swim back and forth between the bows of the vessel, quite often within a meter of the swimmers and seemingly fascinated by the strange creatures being towed in the water behind them! You'll be so close to the dolphins, it will be just like being a part of the pod! You can of course also just observe the dolphins from the boat without entering the water.

Port Stephens: Stockton Sand Dunes 4WD Tag-Along Tour

5. Port Stephens: Stockton Sand Dunes 4WD Tag-Along Tour

Join a 4WD tour around the Tomaree National Park and Stockton Sand Dunes. Learn how to safely drive your vehicle in the sandy terrains and follow behind experienced guides to discover hidden places in Port Stephens that are loved by locals. Visit Tomoree National Park and see a spectacular collection of nature’s finest work. See unique natural settings filled with wildflowers and look over to the ocean to spot whales passing close to shore in the winter months. Also, keep your eye out for a Koala high in the trees. Experience driving across pristine beaches, Samurai, Little Rockys, Birubi, and the famous Stockton Sand Dunes. Here, sandboard down on some of its best dunes while enjoying the 360-degree views from the very top of the dunes.

Port Stephens: Interactive Aquarium plus Little Ray Cuddle

6. Port Stephens: Interactive Aquarium plus Little Ray Cuddle

The Little Ray Cuddle is a unique and gentle activity perfect for all ages and great for families looking for an extra special animal encounter. Your ticket includes both the shallow water encounter where you can feed and pet sharks and rays, and a 20 minute intimate encounter with the rays and stingrays in Fingill Lagoon. When you arrive at Irukandji you will be greeted by a friendly team who will equip you with wetsuits and wear and keep souvenir socks to wear into the water. They will run through some specific instructions about interacting with the animals before guiding you into the lagoon. Together you will sit quietly and wait as the keeper summons the rays to glide over your laps for a very special cuddle. You can pet them as they hover around you and enjoy getting to know their individual personalities. After your encounter is done you are free to wander the aquarium and interact with the animals from the shallow waters of the lagoons. You can head over to the tropical lagoon to meet a variety of shark species that live there and listen to the educational talks from the keepers as they share their wealth of knowledge with you. Your whole encounter will leave you with a newfound appreciation for these gentle, elusive creatures and with a deep sense of stewardship for the ocean. Afterward, rinse off under a warm shower before checking out the rest of the aquarium. Don't forget to check out the souvenir shop for a large range of sustainable gifts, cute fluffy toys, snacks, cold drinks, and hot coffee.

Other Sightseeing Options in Port Stephens

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What people are saying about Port Stephens

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 98 reviews

Such beautiful scenery. All 5 of our kids loved it-ages from 3-14 years old! Our guide was so great, the pippis were so interesting and he even got the 3 year old down the big dune on his own. It was one of the most memorable experiences for our kids and the highlight of the holiday in my opinion

Amazing time spent on sand dune, there are a few professionals following you so it will be a great experience for first time quad bikers. They are really nice and helpful as well!

We enjoyed tackling each slope, starting from smallest to longest. We thought we did pretty well for two 50 plus year old codgers.

Knowledgeable and friendly staff - great for kids. Thought we would stay there only 14-30mins and we didn’t leave for 3 hours

It was amazing. We got to interact with all the animals. Well worth a visit