Tag Archives: Coffs Harbour

North Coast holiday : Port Stephens

On second last day of our holiday, we drove to Nelson Bay from Coffs harbour. Unfortunately, the drive took a while as there was a traffic jam so reached Port Stephens only after 6pm.

Port Stephens lies within the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park and is situated about 160 kilometres (99 mi) north-east of Sydney. It’s known for its nature and abundance of aquatic marine life and land activities on its uncrowded sandy beaches, sheltered bays and unspoilt national parks.

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Our accommodation at the heart of port Stephens being Nelson Bay offers gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping as well as being the Dolphin Capital which is well known as one of the best places in the world to see dolphins “in the wild”.

As everything was nearby, we decided to go for a walk after dinner. We ended up eating in an Asian joint and then went for a walk around the bay. There were so many people even at that time of the evening and there were kids everywhere.

After dinner, we came back to the hotel and rested well for our adventure next day. The first thing we did next morning after breakfast was to go for a hike in Tomaree head National Park.

Tomaree Head in Shoal Bay Port Stephens is a small mountain headland that guards the south entrance to Port Stephens Nelson Bay.

At the start of the trail at the east end of Shoal Bay Road there is a picture of the trial. The place is great to walk and there were lots of people going there for their morning walk.

It was once again a beautiful day so we were ready to start our adventures. The trial was well maintained and it was curvy so the walking is not too steep. We kept walking for few minutes until we reached the picnic area.

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Much of the lower sections of the trail were stair-free ramps so it was easy. But instead of taking the well paved path, we decided to take a rough natural trail. We kept on walking until we reached to the end of the hill and there were nowhere to go. So we have to come back the same way for another 10 minutes until we found the trial that led upstairs. The top half or so of the walk is metal walkways and stair cases making the hike easier.

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By the time we reached the first look out all of us were tired but were rewarded with a great view of Zenith Beach, Wreck Beach and Box Beach.

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We rested on the top for a while and everyone was busy on our mobile phone. I love this photo as it is what modern day socialising looks like 🙂

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After a while we descended and went back to the car to our next stop, sand dunes. Only in Australia, have I seen a landscape which has 32 kilometre long beach and mobile sand dunes which climb up to 40 metres high next to it. Located only 10 minutes from the centre of Nelson Bay, it is the largest sand dune system in Australia.

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Originally we planned to either do some camel ride or horse ride there but we changed our plan and went on our own to the sand dunes. We parked the car and started walking towards the sand.

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After few minutes’ walk it felt like we were in a different part of the world surrounded by all that sand.

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We couldn’t see anyone but the four of us but there were lots of footsteps of people on the sand. It was just amazing to be there and felt great.

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We took some really nice shots. after a while we all felt very hot so decided to return to the car. As the car was in the sun for a while as well, we had to open the windows for a while before we could get inside and drive.

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Everyone was hungry by then so we decided to stop over for the lunch.

As we were far from Nelson Bay we decided to look for food in Anna Bay. Mostly there were just fish and chips places but luckily we went to Anna Bay Traven. It looked like a pub where there were lots of men drinking but inside they had a big backyard for people to sit down and eat. We ordered prawn and chilli pasta; prawn pizza and fried calamari and all of them were very tasty. All the ingredients felt so fresh that we were glad we stumbled on that place.

After lunch we went to the beach and swam for a while.

Here again the beaches were just beautiful with sallow ends so you can go quite far into the sea and still the water comes up only to your waist. And as the wave came; it was great to chase it.

After a while, it was time for us to return to Sydney.

Back in the car and we drove back to Sydney. We all had a great holiday and I am glad AS enjoyed the visit as well. The Port Stephens region, with its breathtaking natural beauty, was the perfect ending to our memorable holiday experience.

Take care everyone, till the next post

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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North Coast holiday : Coffs Harbour

From Forster, we went to our next stop, Coffs Harbour.

Coffs Harbour is a coastal city located on the north coast of New South Wales about 540 km (340 mi) north of Sydney, and 390 km (240 mi) south of Brisbane. It is a popular sea change destination attracting people to relocate from big cities to smaller towns on the coast.

As we had only one day there, we had our breakfast and went straight to one of the most iconic places in Coffs harbour, the Big Banana, one of the first of Australia’s Big Things (it celebrated its 40th birthday in 2005), with the World’s Largest Banana celebrating the region’s best known export. Coffs Harbour is the hub for a thriving banana industry.

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The big banana was not as big as I expected but we took some photos in front of it and went to the next stop,  camel riding along the beach.

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Unluckily the ride was at least an hour away so we decided to ditch the plan and went on a hike instead to the beautiful Muttonbird Island.

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Muttonbird Island is a great spot for watching birds up close; it’s one of the only easily-accessible places in NSW where the migratory wedge-tailed shearwater nests. It is also an important Aboriginal place, harbouring stories of the Dreaming and a wealth of traditional resources. The island, which is effectively one big hill, is connected to the land via a breakwall alongside the International Marina.

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As we started our walk I could see that the trail seemed too long but as we ascend, I loved the place. All I could see was the green island and blue water. The sun was shining and the day was perfect to spend on the beach.

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A 500m paved walkway runs across the island to the other side. The path was well maintained so it was an easy hike and we saw many people around the island. Finally when we reached the top of the island, we were greeted by a council worker who was there to explain to us about the island and the birds there.

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Home to thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters, also known as muttonbirds, the island is a protected Nature Reserve. Shearwaters are named for their ability to cut or shear the water with their wings as they skim across the surface. Early settlers called them muttonbirds for their fatty mutton-like flesh.

The muttonbirds spends the Australian winter in South-East Asia and travels thousands of kilometres each year to return to the same burrow on Muttonbird Island in August. The island’s plant cover hides the thousands of burrows and people are urged to stay on the track so as not to damage any of the burrows.

A pair of birds takes turns incubating a single egg and also sharing in the raising of their chick. They forage for food during the day and return to the burrow just after dusk. The muttonbirds leave the island for their annual migration in late April.

There are interpretive signs at the start of the walkway at the bottom of the island and along the path, explaining the lifecycle and habits of the wedge-tailed shearwaters.

The lady was really nice and it was an educational trip.

From top of the island, we could see an incredible 360-degree view across the ocean, beaches, harbour and marina, the city and the mountains. At the end of the walkway is a viewing platform, providing uninterrupted views of the waves crashing onto the rocks and of the Solitary Island Marina Park, which starts here.

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On the platform, there were interpretive signs about humpback whales. Muttonbird Island is one of the best spots on Coffs Coast for whale watching but unfortunately we didn’t see any that day.

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After an hour or so on the top, we decided to descend. As we were walking back to the car park, in the harbour, we saw a lot of of fishes which can be view from the top of the breakwater as the water is so clear.

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Finally we hopped into the car and went for lunch which was to McDonalds that day. Then we just explored the other parts of the Coffs Harbour until it was time for us to move to our next stop, Port Stephens.

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Take care everyone, till the next post

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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North Coast holiday: Forster

Last week on Thursday we had Anzac Day holiday so we took the Friday off and made our own long weekend and packed our bags to go to the North Coast of Sydney with two of our friends.

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On Thursday we stayed at Forster, from there we went to Coffs Harbour and then on to Port Stephens for Saturday. It was a fun weekend and it was perfect weatherwise too. I came back 5 shades darker but I am not complaining.

It was really amazing how much I packed for the holiday as I didn’t know how the weather was going to be. I had both summer and winter clothes in my suitcase. On top of that we had swimsuits, hats, sun screen, towels, etc.

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The drive up to Forster was pretty uneventful.

Forster is a large coastal town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, in the Great Lakes Council LGA, about 308 km north-north-east of Sydney. It was our first time in Forster so we were very excited. The night we got there, we didn’t do much. Just went to a restaurant had our dinner.

Our hotel was close to the city but still by 8pm there was no one walking on the street.

The next morning, it was a sunny day so after breakfast we went for a drive. First stop was Forster city centre to hire bicycles so we could go around the town. It was a great idea as we had heaps of fun going to all the fabulous beaches around Forster starting with Main Beach.

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While we were crossing the bridge that links Forster to another town call Tuncurry, at the middle of way, the water was so crystal clear that we could see fish from the top of the bridge. We stopped there for a while to take a few photos.

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From there we rode on the beaches until it was time for us to return the bicycles. Then we decided to go to the One Mile beach. That is one of the famous beaches in the North Coast of Sydney.

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Luckily we got lost on the way there and discovered new places from where we could see the Nine Mile Beach as well as crystal clear blue water. We walked to many different look outs and captured really great photos.

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It was so surreal that I was seeing this amazing view so close to Sydney which I had seen only in tropical places.

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And finally we landed on one end of the One Mile Beach which had a very high sand slope from where the beach looked amazing. We had so much fun taking crazy photos with the whole beach as the background. We had our fun in the sun and decided to go to lunch.

 We all were very hungry so the burgers and wraps we ordered at Hogs Breath Café tasted so good.

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After lunch we continued to explore the area and ended on Tuncurry Rockpool which is at the end of Rockpool Rd adjacent the southern breakwater in Forster. The area looked really busy as it has showers, toilets, a kiosk, picnic facilities and ocean baths at its eastern edge. We kept on walking the path and saw lots of people fishing. We spend some time sitting on the rocks and enjoying the view.

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From there we decided to go to the Nine Mile Beach and swim before it started getting cold. This is one of the most awesome beaches I have been to. The water was warm and it was shallow at the end so we had a ball chasing waves. We also saw some dolphin frolicking in the wave some distance away. As we were in the water enjoying ourselves, the tide was getting higher and it was getting colder so we decided to call it a day and went back to the car.

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It was a great day in Forster and we were really happy with everything.

We ended our night with pizza and jacket potatoes for dinner.

Next stop is Coffs Harbour, till then take care

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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Holiday in Picture

I am currently on holiday on north coast of Sydney. The place is just beautiful so  sharing some photos.

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Till next post, take care.

M from nepaliaustralia

XOXO

You may also like :

*Sculpture by the sea *Easter Long weekend trip

*Snowy Mountains: Australia