Port Stephens & the Great Lakes; Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, Myall Lakes National Park, Pacific Palms & Booti Booti National Park
– Tomaree Peninsula – near deserted beaches, national parks and sand dunes.
– Worimi Conservation Lands – home to the longest moving sand dunes in the Southen hemisphere. Far western side there is the Sygna wreckage. Worimi people own the land but you are able to enter. Can go on 4WD tours from $25, hire quad bikes from $85, go sand boarding.
– Tomaree National Park – Tomaree Head Summit Walk that takes one hour there and back. Has wonderful views.
– Nelson Head Lighthouse – has a tea room. Would be nice to go and visit as I love tea and cake! It has lovely views of Port Stephens.
The Great Lakes
The Great Lakes can be easily missed but is worth the stop off. Great to add interest to the drive by leaving behind the highway for leafy roads.
– Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest are two towns that straddle the mouth of the Myall River.
– Travel across the Singing Bridge.
– Tea Gardens is peaceful and laid back. A great place to take time out to relax.
– Hawks Nest has great beaches. – Jimmy’s Beach, Bennett’s Beach. Great way to explore is by kayak. Lazy Paddles offer tours and kayak hire from $40.
– Myall Lakes National Park costs $7 to enter and is one of the most ‘extremly pretty’ areas on the east coast. It has lakes, rainforests and beaches on offer. Walk to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse for amazing views of the ocean and see seals and possibly humpback whales from the lookout point that is along the path nearby.
– Pacific Palms has some lovely surfing beaches. Bluesy Beach and Boomerang Beach. Great swimming beach is Elizabeth Beach.
– Booti Booti National Park has a seven mile beach and a big lake. Entry to the park costs $7 per vehicle but can be free if you enter via Lakes Way which passes straight through the heart of the place. Cape Hawk has a viewing platform only accessible by climbing 420 steps but apparently it is well worth the trek. There is also a cathedral that has no roof called Green Cathedral.