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Port Stephens

Anna Bay, Boat Harbour, Fingal Bay, Nelson Bay, One Mile, Fisherman's Bay, Shoal Bay and Soldiers Point, New South Wales (NSW), Australia


Port Stephens is a large natural harbour located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) north-east of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. Port Stephens is a popular tourism destination with a strong focus on aquatic activities such as whale and dolphin watching, fishing and recreational boating.

Nelson Bay is a suburb of the Port Stephens Local Government Area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located on a bay of the same name on the southern shore of Port Stephens. It is a major tourism centre, particularly for dolphin and whale watching, surfing, diving, fishing and other recreational aquatic activities. The eastern boundaries of Nelson Bay lie within the Tomaree National Park while the southeastern section is almost entirely within the park. Nelson Head Light, an unusual lighthouse built in 1875, is positioned on the northeast corner.

Shoal Bay is the most eastern suburb of the Port Stephens. It is located on the southern shore of Port Stephens, adjacent to the bay of the same name at the entrance to the port. It includes part of Tomaree National Park within its boundaries and, like other suburbs around Port Stephens, is a popular tourist destination, especially in summer months.

One Mile is a suburb of the Port Stephens and it is semi-rural with a small urban settlement west of Gan Gan Road and a number of caravan parks to the east of Gan Gan Road. The parks are positioned to provide quick access to the suburb's two beaches. One Mile Beach, after which the area was named, is a family-friendly surf beach that is popular with tourists while Samurai Beach is clothing optional. Both beaches, like a large percentage of the locality, lie within the Tomaree National Park. The beaches form most of the coastline in Anna Bay which gave the adjacent suburb of Anna Bay its name. Although the suburb is formally called One Mile residents often refer to it as One Mile Beach. Even some road signs identify the area incorrectly as One Mile Beach.

Anna Bay is the name of a suburb, a town and a bay in the Port Stephens. It is adjacent to the north-eastern end of Stockton Beach and the town provides one of the major entry points to the beach here. Anna Bay was named after the bay of the same name which is now located in the adjacent suburb of One Mile. During World War II Stockton Beach was heavily fortified against a possible amphibious assault by Imperial Japanese forces and a line of tank traps was installed to prevent entry to the local area through the town. Many of the tank traps were removed after the war and now feature significantly around the car parking areas at the beach.

Fishermans Bay is a small suburb of the Port Stephens and it is located on the coast of the Tasman Sea adjacent to Anna Bay. A large part of the eastern portion of the suburb is occupied by Tomaree National Park and only a very small portion of the south western corner of the suburb is populated. The suburb is named after the adjacent bay.

Boat Harbour is a suburb of the Port Stephens. It lies adjacent to the bay after which it was named. From the eastern most end of Ocean Parade in highest part of the suburb, adjacent to the Tomaree National Park at Morna Point, there are striking views of the coastline. On a clear day it is possible to follow the coast southwards to the horizon, well beyond Newcastle. Boat Harbour is a sheltered, sandy bay. Kingsley Beach is just to the south and is popular with surfers.

Fingal Bay is the eastern-most suburb of the Port Stephens Local Government Area. The only population centre is the township of the same name, which itself is named after the adjacent, small, semi-circular bay. Except for the township, most of Fingal Bay is included in the Tomaree National Park, which includes forested areas, coastal scrubland, beaches and most of the Fingal headland. The suburb does not include the bay itself. The bay was originally known as 'False Bay', because it could be mistaken for the entrance to Port Stephens. The name 'Fingal Bay' appeared on an 1845 map prepared by Captain Phillip Parker King.

Fingal Bay is approximately 1.75 km (1.1 mi) across at its widest point and 1.3 km (0.8 mi) from the mouth to the beach. The northeastern head of the bay is the Fingal headland, which is connected to the mainland via Fingal Spit, a sand spit approximately 900 m (2,953 ft) long. Waters to the northeast of the spit are known as 'Fly Roads'. Crossing between the mainland and the headland along the spit is considered dangerous. According to a sign on the beach, people have died crossing the spit, which can be covered by breaking waves at times. The south-western head of the bay is Fingal Head, which is located southeast of the town. Between the two heads, the mouth is over 1 km (0.6 mi) wide. The bay includes a sandy beach approximately 1.9 km (1.2 mi) long.