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Port Stephens: other things to see and do

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Wild About Whales
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Things to do
Tomaree Head Summit walk, Tomaree National Park. Photo: H.Lund/OEH

It's true; whale watching is one of the many great experiences available in the national parks of the Port Stephens region. But there is so much more on offer in the area, especially at this time of year, to make your coastal adventure one to remember.

The national parks in the Port Stephens region including Tomaree National Park, Myall Lakes National Park and Worimi National Park, provide some great things to see and do during the whale watching season. Here’s a quick wrap up of some other activities on offer in Port Stephens' national parks:

Tomaree National Park

This park provides a magnificent backdrop to the coastal towns and villages of Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay, Boat Harbour and Anna Bay. There are many scenic walks on offer, including the short Wreck Beach walk through coastal angophora forest, and the Fort Tomaree walk which brings you face to face with local military heritage. On all the coast bushwalks keep an eye out for koalas sleeping in the trees.

A hike to the Tomaree Head summit is a must, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views over Port Stephens, the coast and Broughton Island, Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah Islands nature reserves. Picnic with the family by the sea at Fishermans Bay Foreshore, and head up to the Point Stephens Lighthouse to check out the ruins of the old keepers' cottages. The lighthouse stands tall on the Fingal Headland with a view over the rocks of Fingal Bay.

Myall Lakes National Park

This park is on the north coast not far from Newcastle, and features one of the state's largest coastal lake systems with opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, boating and fishing. Enjoy barbecues, picnics and walking with more than 40kms of beaches on offer.

Check out the Grands, a 75 metre high flooded gum that is one of the tallest trees in the state - you can find it in the Grandis picnic area north east of Bulahdelah. Head to Dark Point Aboriginal Place in the southern area of the park, which is an aboriginal site of significance used as a gathering place for the Worimi people for over 4,000 years. Or take the trip up to the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse perched on the dramatic headland east of Seal Rocks village.

You can check out the Lighthouse Keeper's quarters and outbuildings that were built in the 1800s and have been refurbished as holiday accommodation for visitors. If a rainforest walk takes your fancy, don't miss the Mungo Rainforest Walk, where the lush coastal rainforest environment features ancient trees and an array of colourful birds.

Worimi National Park

This land is part of an important cultural landscape with a special significance for the Worimi people, and the park, together with the Worimi State Conservation Area and Worimi Regional Park, are part of the Worimi Conservation Lands. There’s loads on offer in this area - beach driving, aboriginal and historic sites to see and the famous Stockton Dunes, the largest sand dunes in the southern hemisphere which you can explore on foot, Quad Bike, 4WD, horse or even camel. For more information on 4WD access to the Worimi Conservation Lands and Stockton Beach, please visit the Worimi Conservation Lands website.

For these and many other things to see and do in the National Parks of the Port Stephens region visit www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au.

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Montague Island Head Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage. Photo: Justin Gilligan

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