Port Stephens

Port Stephens, ‘Dolphin Capital of Australia’, is home to around 150 bottlenose dolphins, and there are several tour operators in Nelson Bay that offer dolphin-watch trips. These playful aquatic mammals often ride the bow wave just a couple of metres from the vessel.


Between May and June, humpback whales cruise past the town on their northern migration, returning south between September and November and these huge animals are often encountered on the dolphin cruises.

Whether it’s for diving, fishing, boating, snorkelling or sandcastle building, this huge bay has everything you need for year-round aquatic action.

Port Stephens is a large natural harbour located about 160 kilometres north-east of Sydney. It lies wholly within the Port Stephens Local Government Area although its northern shoreline forms the boundary between the Port Stephens and Great Lakes. More than 26,000 people live within 3 km of its 113 km long shoreline.

On 1 December 2005 the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park was established. The park includes all of Port Stephens, the Karuah and Myall rivers and all their creeks and tributaries under tidal influence. It was established to protect the wide variety of sea life that inhabit the port and nearby coastal areas of the Tasman Sea from just south of Forster to the northern end of Stockton Beach.