Our next day was planned very very carefully.
We planned to go to Port Stephens by driving but then we found out that the area was served by public transportation under Port Stephens Coach. There are 6 bus services that cover different routes of Port Stephens.
Port Stephens is large natural harbour with total area of 134 square kilometer. It is located 160km north east of Sydney and 30km from Newcastle. Port Stephens comprises of many smaller bays/beaches such as Anna Bay, Fingal Bay, Shoal Bay, Nelson Bay, Salamander Point, Soldier Point, Taylors Beach and Tanilba Bay.
We chose Anna Bay and Nelson Bay for that day.
We took 130 Bus from the bus stop opposite Newcastle Station at 08:10 a.m. and reached Anna Bay Shops at 09:20 a.m.. We were quite confused because no notice or bus timetable was pasted on the bus stop at Newcastle but we just had our faith.
|That box there was where we alighted at Anna Bay|
|We still needed to walk|
|Anna Bay Shops|
The place where we alighted was just a small cluster of shop. Our destination was actually the sand dune. So we still needed to walk a good 15-20 minute walk to reach Anna Bay car park near Birubi Beach. There we found a row of sand boarding tour counters.
Stockton Beach Sand Dune is famous for the 30-40m high dune. There are some kind of tours offered for this area, with the most famous one is sand boarding. Other tours include 4WD ride and camel riding.
Of course we chose sand boarding. After purchasing the ticket at one of the counter, the visitors will be transported by the vehicle to the sand boarding area and be let playing as long as possible. The guide at the sand dune will explain the correct method of sand boarding before letting the visitors play around. Once finished, the vehicle will transport them back to Birubi Beach again.
We bought our tickets online for AUD 28 (~SGD 31) and just registered at the counter. It was good we took the earlier slot of 10:15 a.m. it was not so crowded yet and it was quite cloudy. We finished around 11:30 a.m. after a few rounds of ups and downs. The sun started to shine too brightly by then.
|Approaching Birubi Beach|
|Crest Cafe, always full, probably because it's the only cafe there|
|Anna Bay Car Park, at the back of Birubi Beach|
|Our vehicle, full of sand inside|
|We were dropped in the middle of a desert|
|The sand dune and the cloudy sky|
That's my first sand boarding experience and I felt truly blessed to have a chance to do it. It felt like roller coaster going down with me fully in control. I could slow it down by gripping the sand tighter and introducing more friction. I learned not to slow down too much and too sudden because it would just cause the momentum to throw me away from the board. Probably that's what I should do for life too. When life is in its full speed, I should just enjoy the thrill and reach my destination panting but happy.
Our next destination was Nelson Bay but there was no bus stop at Anna Bay. We walked towards Fitzroy Road through Worimi National Park, waited for 12:15 p.m. bus at the bus stop and took the bus to Nelson Bay. We reached Nelson Bay at 12:45 p.m.
|Our view while waiting for the bus|
|Nelson Bay Bus Stop opposite of Woolworths|
This area is the major tourism attraction in Port Stephens. Neighbouring with Tomaree National Park, Nelson Bay offers a lot of activities for the visitors such as surfing, kayaking, whale and dolphin watching, snorkeling and diving, or simply just enjoy the vibes there.
There are quite a number of interesting cafes and restaurants here. After walking around a few times, we decided to have our lunch at Baroque Cafe. I loved my salmon and my partner loved his penne pasta. We had a great time.
|The bar and kitchen|
After having our tummies happy, we walked to the shore. This area of Nelson Bay is called d'Albora Marinas Nelson Bay. It's the centre of the water activities here. I intended to do some kayaking but it was too hot. Besides, the time did not permit. We should take the bus from the bus stop outside Woolworths Nelson Bay at 4:10 p.m. for our journey back home. It took us about 5 hours to get back to Sydney.
We just walked around and enjoyed the scenery. The water here is so turquoise and clear with many fishes spotted. We also saw pelican and many other sea birds.
|Nelson Bay Foreshore|
|Many people were dipping|
|Can you see the turquoise colour water?|
|The place is where people purchase their vouchers for activities|
|All the private yacth|
|I hope someday I can have at least one of those|
|Fish feeding area|
|Spot the pelican|
|At the edge of the pier, facing Little Nelson Bay|
We walked back to the town and spent our time waiting for the bus timing at a cafe called Essence on Donald. It is a local cafe selling coffee and homemade cakes and pastries. The coffee was so-so but I love the cake that we ordered. It was blueberry-coconut cake.
|Coffee time :)|
Before taking the bus back home, we took one more stop: Red Neds Pie Bar. It is a speciality store that sells only pies and many many many types of pies. We asked the lady what the best seller was and we bought it. That's the best pie I have eaten here. The filling is not too thick and more soupy, it's fragrant and tastes just right. The pie crust is slightly moist and tasty too. Again, that's the best pie I have ever eaten here so far.
|The pretty lady behind the register|
|They offer franchising too!|
|Best of the best!|
Love is in the air,