Things To Do

Keep the whole family entertained when visiting Port Stephens

Heading to the sunny seaside of Port Stephens these summer holidays? The tourist mecca is bursting with things to do for the whole family.

To make your planning just that little bit easier, we've created a guide to all the best things to do in Port Stephens with kids. Happy holidaying!

1. Bike riding

Whether you BYO bikes or hire bikes in Nelson Bay, there's plenty of cycling to be done in Port Stephens. Try the Bartlett Cycleway that connects Bagnalls Beach to Little Beach or the Fingal Cycleway for leisurely paths that are great for kids.

2. Camel rides

Experience the dunes on a quirky camel ride with Oakfield Ranch Camel Rides. Operating seven days a week over the school holidays, the 20-minute guided tour takes you (and your camel) along the soft, silky sands of Birubi Beach. Try a sunset ride for spectacular views!

3. Dolphin and whale watching

It’s a rite of passage for any young family to go dolphin and whale watching when visiting Port Stephens. Whether you want to get amongst the fun on a boom net, stay dry and watch from the deck or land, or get on board a private charter, Port Stephens offers it all. Swim with wild dolphins with Dolphin Swim Australia, or experience everything Port Stephens’ waterways have to offer onboard a cruise with Aquamarine Adventures, Moonshadow TQC Cruises, or Imagine Cruises.

4. Fighter World

Does your child love all things aeroplanes? Take them to Fighter World in Williamtown. Watch RAAF aircraft taking off, look into the cockpits of famous aircraft, and even try a flight simulator.

5. Fishing

Head out for a good ol' fashioned fish at one of the plentiful spots in Port Stephens. It's essentially free, if you have the gear, and who knows, you might even end up with dinner. Some good spots for kids include Soldiers Point Jetty and Little Beach Jetty.

6. Head to the beach

Whether you like to stick with the crowds or head somewhere a little more secluded, the Bay has a beach for you. Little Beach Reserve, Dutchman's Bay, and Shoal Bay offer up calm waters ideal for some stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, or just frollicking about in the water. Many of the beaches that make up the bay have reserves nearby with playgrounds and BBQ facilities too, which are great for a day out with the kids.

7. Horse riding

Explore Port Stephens on horseback with Sahara Trails. Offering a range of trails to suit all riding abilities, Sahara Trails has routes that are great for the whole family.

8. Irukandji Shark & Ray Centre

The iconic Irukandji Shark & Ray Centre reopened several years ago with a new centre in Anna Bay. Stay dry looking at the tropical indoor aquarium, nursery, or even wading into the shallow beaches. Keen to get wet? Experience a guided tour with a shark encounter, go snorkelling, or take part in a big shark feeding.

activities to do in port stephens nsw

9. Jump off the jetty

On a hot summer's day it can be absolutely packed and you'll need to wait your turn, but if you're spending some time at the bay it's one thing you need to tick off the list. Located smack in the middle of Shoal Bay, the jetty is where locals and tourists converge to jump and flip into the water. It's free and a whole lot of fun.  

10. Oakvale Wildlife Park

Set on 25 acres, Oakvale Wildlife Park is home to an endless menagerie of Australian native, domestic farm, and exotic animals including koalas, kangaroos, Tasmanian devils, goats, sheep, rabbits, alligators, ostriches, and many more! Make sure you grab a bag of feed and hand it out some furry friends.

11. Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary

Escape the beaches and get back to nature at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary. Wander through the story walk, peek in at the hospital window, walk through the trees on the SKYwalk, or even stay the night in one of their glamping tents. However you explore the sanctuary, you'll get to glimpse extremely cute koalas who have been rescued and rehabilitated.

activities to do in port stephens nsw

12. Sandboarding

Jump on a Port Stephens sandboarding tour and tackle some of the largest sand dunes. Join 4WD Tours R Us, Sand Dune Safaris, or Port Stephens 4WD Tours and experience the dunes from new heights!

13. Spirited Play Cafe

Located over in Taylor's Beach, this hidden gem is a perfect spot for the kids to have some fun and burn some energy. The indoor play centre features a separate baby and toddler play area and a 'big' kids play zone as well as a chill-out zone for the kids and comfortable lounge and dining spaces for the adults. 

14. SPLASH Waterpark Nelson Bay

Only open for a few weeks at a time, SPLASH Waterpark is a massive inflatable waterpark on the water at Nelson Bay. It's great for kids aged six and older, but adults, why not unleash your inner child and join in too?

15. Toboggan Hill Park

Let the kids burn some energy at this adventure-filled activity park. The main attraction is the 1km toboggan track with 11 downhill twists and turns, with other attractions including a maze, tractor ride, and an indoor activity zone.

16. Tomaree Head Summit walk

Stretch those legs and get walking up one of the most popular natural attractions in the area – Mount Tomaree. Located at the end of Shoal Bay Road, you will find the gateway to the Tomaree Head Summit walk. A spectacular walking trail ideal for those wanting to sweat it out just a little and experience Port Stephens from above.

activities to do in port stephens nsw

17. Zone Out Arcade

Try your hand at arcade games galore at Zone Out Arcade in Nelson Bay. There's so many games the kids will love, plus a pirate ride to add some extra thrills!