When it comes to a great getaway with the kids, look no further than Port Stephens. Just a few hours north of Sydney, this area boasts world-class beaches and plenty of child-friendly fun.
DO Moonshadow Cruises (+61 2 4984 9388) offer day trips to Broughton Island, where you can snorkel through crystal-clear waters and spot local dolphins. At sunset, ride camelback along Anna Bay (Oakfield Ranch, +61 429 664 172) or get up close and personal with the koalas at Tilligerry Habitat Reserve (2E King Albert Avenue, +61 2 4984 5677). Kids will love sand boarding on the Stockton sand dunes and learning to surf at One Mile Beach.
EAT AND DRINK A quintessential Australian experience is fish and chips by the sea – and Port Stephens is dishing up some of the freshest seafood around. Locals flock to Bub’s Famous Fish & Chips (1 Teramby Road, +61 2 4984 3917), which you’ll find tucked into the Fisherman’s Co-Op at Nelsons Bay. The Blue Water platter is the most popular on the menu and comes loaded with fresh and cooked seafood.
STAY Nestled in a melaleuca rainforest just 500 metres from the beach, The Oasis at One Mile Beach (5 Koala Place, +61 2 4982 2801) boasts nine self-contained bungalows. Family options have a queen bedroom downstairs and open-plan loft upstairs, which can sleep up to six people.
GET THERE Port Stephens Coaches (1800 045 949 in Australia) depart daily from Central Station.