Port Stephens - National Parks
Tomaree National Park is 50 kilometres north of Newcastle, a beautiful backdrop to the towns and villages of Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay, Boat Harbour and Anna Bay. It encompasses coastal bushland, sand dunes, heathland, forests and over 20 kilometres of dramatic rocky coastline and stunning white sandy beaches. This is the only place in NSW you can see outcrops of the acid volcanic rock rhyodacite.
The park is the perfect location for a bush or beach holiday. Enjoy exploring the coastal bushland and forests, or walk out to the lighthouse and historic ruins on Fingal Island. Swim, snorkel or surf at one of the many beautiful beaches, try your hand at fishing or have a lazy picnic. The spectacular Tomaree Head Summit Walk gives you sweeping panoramic views up and down the coast. In summer you can see the resident bottlenose dolphins and their calves, and in winter and spring migrating whales cruise by.
Picnic, camping and accommodation facilities are available in several national parks local towns surrounding the marine park numerous access points throughout Port Stephens and the Great Lakes area. Explore our National Parks.
Port Stephens Lighthouse and Fingal Island “When you visit, be sure to check out the ruins of the old keepers’ cottages just north of the tower”
|Fishermans Bay Foreshore “We love a weekend ramble along the rockpools – you neverknow what you might see and the kids are always fascinated by the exotic creatures that live there.”||Fort Tomaree Walk “I never would have guessed that just down the road from Nelson Bay there’s a fascinating glimpse of military history right by the ocean.”|
|Worimi Conservation Lands “This land is part of an important cultural landscape with special significance for the Worimi people – Aboriginal cultural connections to these lands have always been strong and continue today.”||
Myall Lakes National Park “It was a great long weekend getaway. Camping was a hit with the kids and they loved getting out onto the water in a canoe.”
Tomaree Head Summit Walk "It was a nice little walk - and the view from the top was magic."
|World War II Gun Emplacements “We took a guided tour of Fort Tomaree; it was fascinating, I never knew that Nelson Bay was such a hub of military activity during the war.”||
Wreck Beach “I wanted to experience the beauty of Port Stephens’ beaches away from the crowds, so Wreck Beach was perfect for me.”
Yacaaba Headland “This walk really got my heart pumping. Once I saw the view, though, it was definitely worth it.”
Come on in, the water’s fine! One of Australia’s most extraordinary marine playgrounds – the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park is located within the Mid-North Coast. Whether you like to dive, snorkel, boat, fish, surf, swim or explore, you won’t believe the incredible holiday experiences that await you in this massive 98,000 ha marine park, which protects some of the state’s most precious marine creatures and their habitats.
Where the forest meets the sea and it’s all protected for you and your children for the future. One of the largest connected areas of protected lands on the NSW coast – the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park meets a string of national parks and reserves for 150km from south of Forster to Anna Bay, including offshore and inshore islands, Myall lakes and 40km up the Karuah estuary. A special place – reinforced by its special protection – it ensures people will be able to enjoy, recreate and experience the land and sea scape for many generations.
Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park extends from Cape Hawke Surf Life Saving Club near Forster south to Birubi Beach Life Saving Club at the northern end of Stockton Beach and includes offshore waters to the 3 nautical mile limit of state waters. It includes Port Stephens and the Karuah River, the Myall River, Myall and Smiths lakes and all their creeks and tributaries to the tidal limit.
The park provides for a wide variety of water-based recreational activities including fishing within permitted zones, whale watching, boating, swimming, snorkelling, diving and other water sports.
See the Marine Parks Authority for a zoning plan guide and more information.