Nelson Bay // an impromptu road trip

One thing I always notice about going to Port Stephens is how sweet the beaches are.

I don't mean that literally (they are, in fact, rather salty), but I do mean that they are -- well, pretty damn amazing.

Beaches have always been a part of my childhood, and in the last year I've lost count of the number of times I've rocked up at the beach. I mean, seriously, with a beach less than ten minutes drive from your Uni (and the horrendous four hour breaks in-between lessons that I'm graced with), it just makes sense.

Beaches near Sydney are great. Well, beaches are always great (subjective). Australia's graced with some of the nicest looking beaches in the world, and I can't say I disagree.

But if there's one thing that makes me love Nelson Bay beaches (and that region in general; Anna Bay, Port Stephens, Fingal Bay, Shoal Bay, etc.) it's how less people there are.

Not only do you get to enjoy the entire beach by yourself (and friends), it also means it's pretty much untouched on the most part. By that I mean there's a lack of litter, rubbish, and most of all, pretty awesome stuff to find (sorry, I'm in a colloquial-speaking mood today).

Just like the image above, there's a seemingly endless supply of beautiful shells just lying on the sand. I felt a little bit of guilt stepping all over them and hearing them crinkle and crack under my hot-pink thongs (flip-flops). "You'd be lucky to even find one at Bondi or Coogee".

I really couldn't believe how many there were; it was a gorgeous sight (we even managed to find clam shells!). And let's not forget to mention the assortment of the weird and wonderful.

Some polyp thing? Or some aquatic plant of some sort. Photocreds VA.
Be free my friend. Photocreds VA.
I suppose you could argue that part of the experience of a beach is being surrounded by a mass of people, but I think there's something quite serene about having a beach to yourself. Everything seems a little bit more relaxing and carefree. Or maybe it's just placebo.

Although I've long insisted that I love Little Beach (and I do! It will forever hold a little piece of my heart, metaphorically speaking), I'll also admit that I've started to really take a liking for Anna Bay.

Anna Bay stretches for ages, far into the horizon, and that means plenty of space, and it's perfect for beach sports. Cricket, frisbee, volleyball -- it all works well with this beach. It's one of the flattest beaches I've ever seen and there's just so much space. I've already visited it a double-digit number of times in my life, but each time I see it I still mutter 'Wow.'

The sand is also some of the finest and most beautiful sand I've ever laid my feet on. It squeaks when you walk, and literally feels like silk (Literally.)

There's also virtually no one on the beach (especially on a weekday, when it's not school holidays). You're free to do whatever you want.

Walking on it is amazing -- you can even run on it (if anyone's ever tried running on loose sand you'll understand it's a real crawl along struggle street) and let's not forget the fact that you can find pipis! Yes! (Though, it's illegal to take them from the beach because their population numbers are dwindling).

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. That's all I can really say.

Needless to say, on this road-trip we spent a lot of time there. And I've managed to just realise that I didn't even explain what this whole trip was about -- I just jumped straight into a beach tangent, whoops.

Well, long story short, I headed off on quite a spontaneous road-trip up North to the Nelson Bay area a few days back. It was such a nice, short, and simple get-away from everything, and a lot of catching up. It wasn't exactly a holiday, per se, because to me, heading up to Port Stephens is really just another casual trip. I mean, when you visit a place so often it becomes almost just like home.

There's one spot I always visit, and that's the wharf located just near the Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre.

Photocreds VA.
Every time I visit this place it conjures up one specific memory.

Back in 2012 (three years ago!) I took a photo at this very wharf. It was one of my best photographs and I loved it so much. I genuinely put my heart and soul into this photo and I remember I never felt so happy about a single photograph before. For once I had taken a photo that I felt was finally good enough. I'd had my camera for about eight months at that time, and I finally felt worthy enough (for my own standards).

That was a defining moment because I proved to myself that "I can be as good as them." and by 'them' I meant the photographers that I admired so much.

But that's for another time.

We rocked up at all the classic spots; Holbert's Oyster Farm (would recommend!), The Entrance (for the Pelican feeding show, 3:30pm daily!), and also watched the fish-feeding (11am just next to the  Port Stephens Visitor Information Centre).

I will admit that the Pelican show was something I'd watched countless times so it did lose a bit of its shine, but the pelicans are still hilarious birds. All you have to do is watch them for a while and almost guaranteed they'll contort into a laugh-inducing position or (more likely) hit someone across the head with their big wings.
(By accident, mind you. First hand experience can confirm this.)

Port Stephens (or Nelson Bay), is a place I've visited so many times. It used to be a very exciting once off thing, but recent visits in the past years have reduced the excitement levels. But that doest mean I enjoy it any less. 

Yes, perhaps I'm less hyped up. There's always a certain number of times you can do something until you start to 'get sick of it', or it loses its shine.

Just like a book that gets re-read many times, the pages start to fray.
But that doesn't mean the book is less well-written. It doesn't mean you like it less. 

Rather, it's a testimony showing everyone how much you do love that book.

So in spite of the multiple visits, there's one thing that has not changed and that is the fact that it has not gotten any less beautiful

Till next time, yo.


  1. I love Anna Bay as well (I watched the sunset there it was BEAUTIFUL) and the Port Stephens area is just stunning!

    1. It's soooo gorgeous! And the sand dunes as well (sand-dune surfing is incredible!)



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Hello! I'm a student from Australia. I like photography, am aspiring to be a Doctor, have fallen in love with many things that life has to offer, and hope to see more of it. I've been blogging for a while and over the years what it means to me has changed. Currently still trying to figure that out, but here I am in a weird hybridisation of photography, film, blogging, and the confusion of a young adult, you'll find me here writing about my experiences and life. Or whatever tickles my fancy. Whether that's entertaining or not is yours to decide. Stay hydrated, kids.