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THE DOLPHIN CAPITAL OF AUSTRALIA
Port Stephens may have fantastic, pristine beaches and fantastic national parks, but it’s really the dolphins that inhabit the bays off the coast that people really enjoy. Port Stephens is known as the Dolphin Capital of Australia (though it’s more of a region rather than just a single town), and for good reason! Over 150 bottlenose dolphins live in the port as semi-permanent residents. Of course, there’s more to do in Port Stephens than just dolphin watch. Whale watching is just as popular during the migration periods. Whatever you decide to do in Port Stephens, it’s definitely important to involve the clear waters in some shape or form.
DOLPHINS AND WHALES
Port Stephens is one of the best places in all of Australia to see whales and dolphins in action. From Nelson Bay, the main town in the area around Port Stephens, tourists come in droves to catch a glimpse of these fantastic creatures. Dolphins make their home in the waters of the region since the bay and its ecosystem are naturally balanced to the dolphin’s benefit. Whales, however, only stick around from May until November. These two creatures, especially the humpback whales, are often sought-after by whale-watchers, desperate to get the perfect glimpse.
It is quite a sight to see whales and dolphins in action, but there are a few key things to remember when doing so. Remember to take a good pair of binoculars with you, or at least buy a pair of cheap ones before you head out. Look for the “blow” of the whale, the cloud of spray or mist that appears when air is exhaled through its blowhole. This is the first sign of a whale, so as soon as you see that, grab your camera. Finally, don’t forget to eat a good breakfast, keep warm, bring sunblock, and your motion sickness pills if you’re sensitive to rough movements, because once you’re in the water, you can’t go back!
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
DOLPHIN WATCHING TOUR
Dolphin watching tours are a great way to get up close and personal with our fun friends from the sea. Or you might take it a step further and take NSW only Dolphin Swim. Swimmer and Watcher options are available. And while each experience is different, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll meet at least one friendly dolphin on your trip.
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SOMEWHERE TO STAY
If you’re stopping in Port Stephens just for the day, staying in Sydney is certainly not unheard of, but if you want to stay a few days in Port Stephens, consider staying in accommodations closer by. Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers located in Port Stephens offers a rather unique experience, offering accommodations in cabins as well as space for camping and Kombi vans.
If you're interested in learning more about Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers, find them by selecting “Port Stephens” in the “Beds” tab of our widget located to the left of this page.