Port Stephens is an hour north of Newcastle and its main town Nelson Bay is known as the ‘dolphin capital of Australia’. Embracing the south of the harbor, Tomaree Peninsula has deserted beaches, national parks and sand dunes. On its tip sits Nelson Bay. On the south side of the peninsula is Sumarai Beach where clothing is optional and One Mile Beach with gently sloping sand and incredibly blue water.
Things to do
With its good surf beaches, laid back vibe, historical architecture, hip bars, many dining options and thriving art scene, Newcastle is worth a day of your time.
The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine growing region and it is choc-full of wineries – more than 150 to be precise. Nestled in the fertile valleys 2 ½ hours north of Sydney and two hours inland from Port Stephens, you can enjoy attitude-free wine tasting. Stop in at the Hunter Valley tourist information centre in Maitland and grab some winery maps for a self-guided tour. If you don’t fancy driving, tours are available in vehicles, horse drawn carriages, and on bikes. Time Out put together a top ten wineries list and CNN did a top seven. A personal favorite is Wyndham Estate.
Wyndham Estate Winery, Hunter Valley.
While the wine in the Hunter Valley is a draw card in itself, the region has even more to offer. It is a foodie’s heaven with food and wine schools, world class restaurants, cheese makers, olive oils, smoked fish, and a range of local produce. The region is perfect for hot air ballooning. There are day spas, activities for the kids, antiques, gardens and historic villages.
Hunter Valley wine tours
Gold Coast to Sydney: an overview
Part 1: Brisbane - Gold Coast
Part 2: Gold Coast - Byron Bay | 200 km
Part 3: Byron Bay - Dorrigo National Park | 373 km
Part 4: Dorrigo National Park - Myall Lakes | 362 km
Part 5: Myall Lakes - Hunter Valley | 208 km
Part 6: Hunter Valley - Sydney | 165 km or 388 km
The Gold Coast to Sydney drive is just one of Australia's iconic road trips. For a complete list of road trips, see our Australia Road Trip guide.
18 Main Terrace,
South Australia 5033 Phone: 1800 216 223
344 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach, Queensland 4802 Phone: 1800 216 223
20 Noble Avenue,
Northgate, Queensland 4013
Phone: 1800 216 223
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Queensland 4870 Phone: 1800 216 223
2/11 Northview St, Mermaid Waters QLD 4218 Phone: 1800 216 223
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Victoria 3058 Phone: 1800 216 223
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Sydney, NSW 2229 Phone: 1800 216 223
14 Langton Street,
Queensland 4814 Phone: 1800 216 223