Situated only two and a half hours north of Sydney, Port Stephens is a spectacular region dominated by a huge natural harbour fringed by beautiful beaches.

The region boasts huge photographic potential with opportunities around every corner. From rugged coastal beaches to tranquil inlets and bays, spectacular viewpoints and expansive landscapes.

Tomaree National Park

Tomaree National Park and the Worimi Conservation Lands which include the amazing Stockton Sands cover a massive 98,000 hectares.

 67728 Tomaree National Park

The park is an excellent spot for whale watching and walking. Scenic walks, including the short Wreck Beach walk through coastal angophora forest and the longer Morna Point walk which is a great place to spot koalas in the wild.

The park has some amazing beaches, here are a couple of my favourites.

 31607 Zenith Beach Sunrise received a SILVER AWARD at the 2010 Canon AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards

The coastal beaches of Zenith and Box beach show off the more rugged side of my pictures of Port Stephens. Waves crashing against the jagged coastal rocks are a perfect way to illustrate the beauty of this coastline.

 66811 Box Beach Twilight – getting creative with a long time exposure.

The more artistic look I’ve created here is a result of a long exposure which has smoothed out the waves creating a completely different look and feel.

Mount Tamaree

For perfect pictures of Port Stephens head up to Mount Tomaree lookout. I believe this has to one of the most stunning viewpoints in the whole of Australia with views stretching from Stockton Sands in the south up to the Myall Lakes region in the north. The 120 metre ascent can be a tough climb, but all your efforts will be rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views of the area.

 31612 The views from Mount Tomaree are spectacular. The is a great place to start your visit and get some great pictures of Port Stephens.

This panoramic photograph takes in Shark Island at the left with Zenith and Box Beach holding the middle ground with Shoal Bay on the right. During periods of low tide it’s possible to walk over to Shark Island to visit and photograph Port Stephens lighthouse via a narrow exposed sand spit at Fingal Bay. Just remember, getting caught out by the tide could mean you’re in for a long day or night on the island!

Fort Tomaree

Whilst you’re visiting Mount Tomaree make sure you check out the historic gun emplacements, part of Fort Tomaree and built in 1941. It formed an important part of of Australia’s World War II east coast defence system.

 70372 Old Gun Emplacement

One Mile Beach

One Mile beach and Samurai beach at Anna Bay are a great place to stretch the legs. And if you feeling brave, the nudist beach at Samurai is a great place to let it all hang out.

 66814 A view of One Mile beach, keep walking and you’ll end up at Middle Rocks and then Samurai beach

Shoal Bay

The more sheltered harbour side of Port Stephens offers a totally different outlook. The tranquil shores and white sand of Shoal Bay show off the area as one of the region’s top tourist spots, images your likely to see in many of the tourist brochures serving the area. Here I’ve used the early morning light to grab a different perspective of Shoal Bay only seen by the odd photographer and early risers.

 67736 Shoal Bay and Heads
 71050 Shoal Bay

Nelson Bay

 66813 A lone fisherman at Fly Point Jetty, just a short drive from Nelson Bay

Nelson Bay is the largest town in the Port Stephens area. It's a great to place to stay and visit the region. Whale watching tours, sunset cruises and swim with dolphin adventures all leave from the Nelson Bay Marina. There are plenty of places to eat and shop and there are also some sheltered beaches perfect for families with young children.

 71439 Little Nelson Bay
 71447 d'Abora Marina

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