Average Drive Time: 1hr
An hour north of Newcastle is Fingal Bay – or as we like to refer to it as the Jervis Bay of north of Sydney. Surrounded by the Tomaree National Park, Fingal Bay is a slice of paradise beautiful all year round. The long sweeping white sandy beach, and turquois blue waters and surrounding National Parks make it a great destination for anyone. Whether you like lounging on the beach, kayaking, surfing, or hiking there is no way you’ll have a bad time here. If you have the time pack lunch for the day and make your way to Fingal Bay in your Newcastle car rental.
PS East Coast Renters Easy Tip – if you time things right and visit Fingal Bay at low tide you are able to walk across the Fingal Spit making your way to Fingal Island.
After spending the day taking in Fingal Bay and all its beauty chances are you will have worked up an appetite. Not far down the road on your way back is Nelson Bay. Now there’s a little more going on here, but the vibe is still very laid back with more than enough restaurants to choose from and you can enjoy an excellent meal before. One of our local favourites is the Little Beach Boat House – set right on the water it’s the best way to cap off an adventure filled day.
Average Drive time: 1hr 52minutes
A little further up the coast is a very quaint coastal village by the name of Seal Rocks. If you’re looking to enjoy a nice scenic drive it doesn’t get much nicer than this. Once you’re off the highway you head inland for nearly 30 minutes alongside the Myall Lake National Park until you reach Seal Rocks, something about this place feels special. It’s definitely one of those got-to-go see it places in Australia. The surfing is excellent, and rumour has it the snorkelling is great too – who knows, you may even come across a seal or two. If the water isn’t you’re thing head up to the Sugarloaf Point Light House or even enjoy a coastal walk at the Treachery Headland. Most importantly, relax and have some fun!
Average Drive Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Arguably one of the more popular destinations would be the Worimi National Park – home to some of Australia’s largest sand dunes. The vast sweeping dunes cover kilometres of coastline and quite honestly almost feel out of place by the surreal feeling you get when visiting. Not far from the dunes are great ways to spend the afternoon, with heaps of tours quad tours, camel rides, horse riding, and sandboarding (the best) you are bound to have a good time.
Joining a tour at the dunes is must if you’re looking to get the most out of your time there. With prices starting as low as $35 AUD per person you’ll be out in the heat of it with nothing but sand and ocean in sight.
Average Drive Time: 50minutes
The Port Stephens Koala Hospital is integral to maintaining the health and population of the local koalas. The sanctuary is located on 8 hectares of natural habitat allowing the koalas to roam freely, rehabilitating their injuries until they are ready to be introduced back into the wild. Unique to Port Stephens is the Newcastle Airport SKYwalk with an elevated pathway and viewing platform that provides guests with a unique viewing perspective from the tops of the gum trees. Voted by Trip Advisor as the traveller’s choice for 2022 the Koala sanctuary is the perfect day trip – close to the city, educational, and a uniquely immersive experience amongst Australia’s favourite local species.
Average Travel Time: 40 Minutes
Newcastle neighbour’s one of Australia’s iconic wine regions, the Hunter Valley. Known for producing a variety of wines, the region is famously known for its Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon just to name a few. The famous tourist region has done an excellent job at providing experiences for wine connoisseurs as well as those just along for the ride. From daily wine tours, hot air balloon rides, breweries, world class restaurants, gardens, and day spas. There is one place that packages all the great things about the Hunter Valley Wine region into one boasting location. The winner of the 2021 NSW Tourism Awards, The Hunter Valley Gardens are a great place to enjoy the afternoon or even the whole day depending on your itinerary. Reconnect with the natural surroundings with walks through the 12 onsite gardens, enjoy Hunter Valley dining and wines from one of 8 restaurants and bistros, and shop from the local boutique shops.
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