For those who don't know Port Stephens is the regular haunt of Kylie's brother Sean and his girlfriend Annabelle.Not only do they visit PS at least once or twice a year, they also stay in the same spot, which is the Melaleuca Backpackers in Anna Bay.We thought we had to check out the area and the backpackers.
The owners of the backpackers were extremely friendly and helpful.They were able to accommodate our camper trailer so we didn't have to go into a dorm room or tent the only issue was we would not be able to access any power.This turned out not to be an issue as we were able to put all our food in the fridge in the communal kitchen, which also had all the crockery, cutlery and cooking appliances you could need.This ended up being a good thing as we were able to cook a few things that might have been a bit more difficult with the camper.
Cooking in the kitchen also gave us the opportunity to meet a few people, mostly Europeans, travelling around Australia, although there were a few Aussies a couple of nights.One backpacker we got to know well was Nina (a photographer on holidays from Norway).
We purchased beach passes for the Sorento and the motorbike and we spent 3 days driving along Stockton beach and through all the sand dunes. We set up camp on the beach, where we were able to watch a small amount of traffic go by - 4WDs, horses, harness horses, tour operators in 4WD buses.David had a ball playing in the sand with his motorbike and after our 3 day pass expired he purchased another one for his motorbike.
We walked up the Tomaree heads, which offer a great view back over PS and the ocean.It was hardwork getting up there, especially for the unfit Kylie.The spider webs in the trees as we walked up were numerous and large.You wouldn't want to be the first person to do the walk in the morning.
That afternoon , after a swim on One Mile beach (across from the backpackers), we treated ourselves to an evening at the pub for dinner and to watch the A-League final and cricket.We ventured to the Anna Bay Hotel which had a good set up with outdoor areas.We sat inside to watch all the sport with a lot of happy Newcastle Jets supporters.We must say our dinner there, barrumundi, was pretty ordinary and a bit disappointing when a meal out is such a treat!
The library in PS had good free internet so we updated our website - mind you we have fallen behind again by the time you are reading this!
Our last afternoon in PS we spent at One Mile Beach.The next morning we cleaned the car and motorbike of all the sand, packed up the camper and hit the road north via the RAAF base in Williamtown, where we watched a couple of jets land before moving on. These jets had been flying low over our head all week but were impossible to capture in a photograph - by the time you got the camera to your eye there were gone.
Overall, PS is a really great spot - we know why Sean and Annabelle keep going back.Nelson Bay would be a great spot if you had a bit of money to spend.Anna Bay is a lot quieter.All the beaches are lovely and there is accommodation galore.I think we might even go back one day.