20 Tomaree Street, Nelson Bay
Opened June 2007!!! Located in the town centre, the brand new Oaks Lure is only a short walk to the Port Stephens tourist destinations, Marina, shops and restaurants. A perfect position for holiday makers, you can leave your car parked the whole time and stroll to all the township has on offer!
There are dolphin and whale-watching cruises, deep-sea and big-game fishing cruises, yacht tours and a ferry across to Tea Gardens. Humpback whales pass by the coast between September and November headed for the Antarctic and can also be seen returning to the tropics between late May and July. Other migrants include right whales and minke whales.
Halifax Park and the Marina
Behind the visitors' centre is Halifax Park, an attractive patch of greenery that is especially appealing when lit up at night. Along the shore is a veritable city of boats docked in the harbour, as well as a marina, restaurants and other shops. If you look due west you will see the string of lights which indicates Soldiers Point stretching out almost to the northern shore of the port.
At the eastern end of Nelson Bay is an elevated piece of land known as Nelson Head which separates Little Nelson Beach to the west from Shoal Bay to the east: the latter being another popular spot for holidaymakers. On Nelson Head sits the Inner Lighthouse, dating from 1872 but still operating and classified by the National Trust.
Fly Point is a nautical term meaning safe anchorage with protection from winds. This was the site of the curing operations of the Chinese, their burial site, the area's first school, the original customs building and the location of an armed forces personnel and training base during World War II.
Little Nelson Beach
Little Nelson Beach has a car park, a large boat ramp, a wharf and a children's play area. This is a very pretty spot. In the clearing over the road from the picnic and play area are several Aboriginal canoe trees - trees which, in the distant past, had a large chunk of bark carved out and lifted off in the rough shape of a dugout. The cuts are still plainly visible and are surviving remnants of the land's occupation by the Worimi Aborigines prior to European settlement.
Gan Gan Lookout1.5 km south-west of the city centre along Stockton Rd is the turnoff to the right (signposted on your left) along Lily Hill Rd which will take you up to the Gan Gan Lookout car park. Follow the path around the Telstra buildings to the viewing platform. This is truly one of the highlights of the area. The panorama is breathtaking, especially at dusk. It is possible to look south to the opposite side of the peninsula, south-west down to the stacks of Newcastle and the cargo vessels in its harbour, west to the mountain boundary, north-west over Soldiers Point, spanning eastwards over Hawks Nest, the two gigantic headlands that loom over the Port's entrance, Nelson Head and Nelson Bay.
1.7 km further south along Nelson Bay Road is a roundabout. A right turn will take you along Salamander Way towards Salamander Bay. The entry to the Toboggan Run complex lies just 100 m along this road (to the right). This is an ideal outing for children. There is a winding 700-m downhill toboggan track with automatic up-hill tow, mini-golf, radio-controlled boats, video games, table games, canoe rides, plaster painting, Krazy Kars and indoor rock climbing.