Port Stephens

Yesterday was a public holiday in NSW so we decided to take advantage of the long weekend and go away for a trip. On Friday evening we drove north for 2.5hours to get to Port Stephens. The drive took use through the Newcastle area and the big loading docks all lit up looked like some sort of mechanical Christmas trees.
We arrived at the Peppers Anchorage hotel around 9.30pm on Friday night.

On Saturday morning we woke to blue skies but it was a bit windy and cool. Directly opposite our hotel was a marina so we went for a walk along the marina rock wall.
Looking back at the hotel. Our room was in the building on the left, ground floor.

Little crabs on the rocks.

This bird spent half its time underwater. It would fly about a metre above the water, then dive, resurfacing 30 seconds later a few metres away.

The beach near the hotel

There were also plenty of pretty flowers along the beach

While in Port Stephens we went to a local markets in the park. And went to a bonsai tree exhibit at a local community call. The one thing I didn’t like about the bonsai exhibit is that they didn’t say how old each of the trees was.

Port Stephens is home to some dolphins so we decided to take a cruise to see if we could spot some.

The cruise was 1.5 hours long. I had brought along my trusty binoculars so kept a keen eye out for dolphins. But my eyesight wasn’t seen enough. However the captain of the boat spotted some about 50 minutes into the trip. They were swimming near the front of the boat. I saw them just long enough to say ‘hey those ARE dolphins’ and they disappeared. That was the extent of our sightings for the cruise.

The next day we went to Shoal Bay for a walk along the beach. We passed some pelicans who were waiting for someone to clean some fish so they could get the left overs.

We walked about 5 minutes down the beach to a semi-isolated location. I was taking photos of the area when Julia said ‘there’s a dolphin!’. I thought she was joking at first, but when I turned around there was a dolphin swimming on the top of the water. I tried to take a photo but I just wasn’t quick enough. All I got was the wave it made.

I returned the next morning at 7.00am to see if I could spot any other dolphins but none paid me a visit.
Shoal Bay

I really liked Port Stephens. Its not that far from Sydney to drive. The beaches are clean and the water is clear. A great place for a short break. If only the dolphins stuck around a bit longer.