Kels and I were pumped to move on from Newcastle and onto Port Stephens. We had visited this part of the country on our first Aussie Road Trip three years ago and really enjoyed it! We remembered nice beaches and tackling massive sand dunes on quad bikes. This time round, we stuck to the beaches since beaches are free and quad bike tours are not (but I do recommend them, we had a blast).
We decided to splurge and pay for a powered campsite at Port Stephens Treescape ($41 AUD, unpowered was $33 AUD) – we were due for a shower and we were running out of underwear and needed to charge our camera batteries. We rolled in and enjoyed the luxury of hanging our underwear out in the sun and having dinner outside (rather than at a roadside rest stop).
On October 24, 2017 we woke up to gorgeous weather and the beach calling us. We drove Jean-Claude to Fingal Bay, a beach on the far end of town. It was perfect since it was a bit of a ways down from the super touristy part of town (which is quite touristy so trust me, just keep on driving). There wasn’t very many people; however, we could see the hordes of them down the beach. Being in a bay, it was also pretty calm – no big crashing waves. I reckon it’s the best beach in the area.
We were total beach bums for over four hours; literally just rotating between laying in the sun and cooling off in the crystal clear waters. Exactly what we wanted/needed after 88 days on a farm.
We decided to beach hop and check out One Mile Beach next. I didn’t like this beach near as much as Fingal; it had larger waves (there were people surfing) and the water was much cooler. We hung out there until our stomachs started to growl, then headed back to the campsite for dinner (oatmeal because we were lazy and because we make our own rules). We sat in the van, away from the mozzies and played board games until dark.
The next morning we woke up with the sun. We packed up the van, took advantage of the showers and headed to Tomaree Head National Park. We had done this hike 3 years ago and had seen dolphins in the waters below – so we were super keen for the chance to see them again. We started the hike by 8:30am and it was already hot and humid out. We got to the top and didn’t see any dolphins – so we headed back down in hopes of a swim. We changed into our swimsuits and took the sandy path through the bush to Zennith Beach.
It is an absolutely gorgeous beach, there were big cliffs on either side of the beach. It looked very wild and untouched; unfortunately, the waves were a little wild for us as well – so we passed on the swim.
Tummies grumbling, we drove to Fingal Bay. We made sandwiches and wandered down to the beach to eat them. As hungry as we were, the heat won – so as soon as our towels were down we raced into the water to cool off. After some splashing around, we headed back to the beach – sandwiches calling our names.
After the food, we hopped back into the ocean and splashed around for another hour or so – until the clouds began to roll in. We figured that was a good sign for us to hop back in Jean-Claude and hit the road heading North!