Stockton Bight Sand Dunes (on our trip to Port Stephens)

Port Stephens – Boy’s Trip

Just before this Easter weekend Dani and his old dad managed to sneak away for a boy’s trip to Port Stephens. It was only a two day ‘reccy’ as I am sure we will all go again in the near future.

Port Stephens is one of those easily accessible holiday places for Sydneysiders. It is about as far north of Sydney as Jervis Bay is to the south. That’s just under 3 hours by car once you factor in the time it takes to get out of the city from where we live (real pain!). Part of the purpose of the trip was just to check out the Port Stephens area. But also it was to do an unofficial comparison between Port Stephens and Jervis Bay.

(Jervis Bay is my favourite location in case you didn’t already know. Search this blog site for the various posts on Jervis Bay.)

Stockton Bight Sand Dunes

The incredible sight of the Stockton Bight sand dunes is something we will have to return to again. The beautiful sandscape is always changing so even the small piece of it that we saw and walked on will not be the same next time. These are the largest moving coastal dunes in the Southern Hemisphere – or so they say. Who decides these things? Anyway they are huge. Next time I intend to do the (only) 4 wheel drive route which covers about 22km of the total 32km long dunes. The Stockton Bight Sand Dunes, in the Worimi Conservation Lands. They run from the Port Stephens resort of Anna Bay to just north of Newcastle (the 2nd biggest city in NSW, and 8th in Australia)  They really are awesome dunes with some parts reaching heights of over 30 metres.

At Anna Bay there is an area where tour operators offer up their little activities. these range from sand boarding to minibus trips onto the dunes and even camel rides.

The camel rides cost $35 per person and the main queues were for a chance of riding the ‘ship of the desert’. A little steep if you ask me as the trips only lasted for about 20 minutes and did not even venture onto the dunes. They went the opposite way in fact.  Onto the beach where the camels paddled in the broken waves. Then turned around and returned to pick up the next lot of punters. Fine if you have never ridden on a camel I guess but otherwise not for me. Both Dani and myself wanted to climb to the top of some of the dunes.

Camel ride returns from the beach
Camel rides are $35 per person!

Dune Landscape

We made our way inland. Just inland from the tour extravaganza there was a little stretch of brush land, even with some wet areas no doubt thanks to the excess rains we have had lately.. But then it was all huge sand dunes. This was the northern end but it was clear that the dunes stretched way south further than the eye could see.

The last of the scrub. Then it was all sand…

There’s a boy in all that sand. Somewhere…
A bit of zoom… there he is
Dani being an 8 year old boy (messing around) LOL
Further inland the dunes are bordered by forest

We returned by entering the beach at the point where 4 wheel drive cars are allowed in and out of the dunes. Then we just walked back along the immense beach to the far north end of the beach to Anna Bay.

The beach is enormous and runs for 32km
Camel train. But the most popular rides do not even take in the dunes.

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