Nelson Bay is the main town for Port Stephens and it would be hard to find anywhere better equipped for aquatic pursuits, plus a great array of accommodation and dining options. On the town's doorstep within the sheltered arms of the bay there are safe, calm beaches that are ideal for small children, while the coastal beaches just a five-minute drive away are washed by booming waves.
The diving and snorkelling here is exceptional. Just east of Nelson Bay, the tiny promontory of Fly Point is an aquatic reserve with prolific marine life. Divers have another superb site just off the coast at Broughton Island, with such outstanding features as the 'Looking Glass', a split that runs through the middle of the island, crowded with marine life.
To the south of Nelson Bay, Stockton Beach has the country's largest coastal dune system known as the Worimi Conservation Lands. Be sure to also visit the Nelson Head Heritage Lighthouse and Reserve.