There is no doubt when it comes to saying ”weekend escapes’, Port Stephens extends far beyond a beach town. With Fly Pelican, exploring the city is within reach – eateries covering cuisines from all edges, an abundance of picturesque locations and a natures playground from the mountains to the ocean.
Fly Pelican airlines offer flights to Newcastle all year round, with competitive fares, from as little as $109* (*Pelican Flyer). If you’re interested in a package deal that includes return airfares and two-nights accommodation, see Pristine Port Stephens.
If you are planning ahead, you can even opt-in and tailor your holiday vacation with Pelican Travel Services. Adding car rental, additional nights, tour activities – such as whale watching, sand duning and other optional extras is a simple process to create and book your short getaway.
Newcastle is a short flight from Sydney and is approximately 45minutes. With daily flights, it cuts down the driving time by about 1h 30mins. From then, the coastal city of Port Stephens is an hour’s drive north of Newcastle. If you are looking for a car to rent, you can arrange your Thrifty Car Rental in advance and pick up when you arrive at Newcastle airport.
FlyPelican operates a fleet of BAE Jetstream 32 aircrafts, seating 19 passengers in an economy style layout. As it is a quick flight, they do not offer any luxuries like a lounge or in-flight meals, but the quality of their service surpasses them and guaranteed affordable airfares.
With that in mind, I opted for the Pristine Port Stephens weekend escape and checked-in to Ramada Resort Shoal Bay in New South Wales Port Stephens coastline. I almost considered extending my stay.
The two-bedroom water view Barrington at the Ramada Resort Shoal Bay caters for two couples or even a family retreat – with full kitchen facilities, open lounge and dining area to the water views of Shoal Bay from its private balcony.
Fly Pelican two nights experience:
Grab some lunch at Sandyfoot Café within the Shoal Bay Country Club. A casual alfresco café with premium views of Shoal Bay. Satisfy your breakfast cravings all day (recommend the Belgium Waffles & Sandyfoot Bruschetta) or lazy afternoon drink in the sun. The Jamaican Jerk Burger and Tiger Prawn Linguini were the top choices for lunch and we needed our energy for the summit walk.
Sometimes the only way to see any city is to be on a vantage point. You could take a self-guided walk or a guided tour along Tomaree Head Summit Walk. Breathtaking lookout views over Port Stephens and nature reserves like Cabbage Tree Island. Humpback whales migrate past here in winter and spring. About a 1km walk one way, 161m above the entrance – not a difficult walk but enough to make me gasp.
Winter sunsets are one of the life’s greatest simple pleasures and we opted to reward ourselves with a sundowner cocktail at The Point Restaurant in Soliders Point Marina. Dining here is a must here, from their Holberts oysters, Cajun prawns, Master stock duck leg to the seafood mix grill.
Breakfast in Port Stephens is pretty amazing, here the emphasis is on healthy living and open spaces. This morning the Little Nel Café is a favourite amongst the locals. For the caffeine lovers, barista made suspension espresso (you’ll thank me later), for the foodies – well! You have to wait for your table (always a good sing, right?) but here are my top picks. Coconut & Blueberry Chia Parfait, Acai Plate (the coconut cloud!) and the pancakes.
It’s time to go nature exploring and across the road is d’Albora Marinas Nelson Bay. Here is where you will find charter boats/cruises to go where you’ll find plenty of activities. Such as scuba diving, deep sea fishing charters, dolphin and whale watching.
I would recommend giving Moonshadow-TQC Cruises a call and combining your water adventures. The Dolphin discovery Cruise – Moonshadow V + Sandboarding. Its’ a 1.5 hours of searching for dolphins – just note these are wild animals and they don’t jump on command. Pending on your package, buffet lunch is available and expect to have windswept hair.
Following the cruise, we had a bit of time for a seafood lunch at Bay Harbour Café. Here the fish is sustainable (I mean they are caught fresh), attentive staff and locally brewed beer definitely hits the top-notch places for fish & chips and a bucket of prawns.
Onwards to Stockton Sand Dunes, where the dunes are stretched 32 kms wide. Thanks to Port Stephens 4WD, we got to ride the waves with no wipeouts.
Few a few hours to spare, we decided to take a break at the resort before heading for dinner at the Little Beach Boathouse. Whilst we’re always seeking out for the best beer garden or rooftop, Nelson Bay deliver prime waterfront dining options. This place shares the love of the best produce and seafood available.
On the last morning before flying back to Sydney, there was one place we had to visit for breakfast, Crest Birubi Beach. Hidden away at Anna Bay, overlooking pristine white sand and endless blue ocean. For some, we aim for a breakfast that combines all the good bite with a side of healthy. For me its all about the house specials, the eggs benedict and kombucha (if you’re into that).
Fly Pelican Pristine Port Stephens Package:
- Return airfare, 2 nights accommodation in a 1 bedroom side waterview (upgrades are available) at Ramada Resort Shoal Bay.
- Tailor your stay with optional adventure extras.
- Prices start from $359* pp/twin share ex Sydney/Dubbo/Ballina/Coffs Harbour
- *t&c’s apply, subject to availability, midweek stays.
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