Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing'' is playing in the bus we rode,
This little girl laying her head on dad's lap,
while questioning everything she saw on the side of the road,
She reminded me of my younger self,
When my dad used to take me fishing,
or a simple motorbike ride to buy lunch,
But living far from home brought back the precious time,
that again I can't wait to spend,
In the beginning of October, exactly the first till third of October, Nicklaus and I traveled up north to Port Stephens, a bay area surrounded by beautiful beaches and lookouts.
OUTFIT : Off Shoulder Black Dress - Zara / Black Messenger Bag - Roxy / Sandals - Rubi Shoes / Sunnies - Proof Eye Wear
We spent 5 hours on the road from Sydney to our hotel at Shoal Bay. That was a quite long journey for the two of us and we decided to take a short nap. Then we had lunch at the local HSP shop. We started the exploration at Mount Tomaree, which is located 10 minutes walk from our hotel.
To get to the summit of Tomaree head, we spent approximately 25mins hiking to the top. The wind that afternoon was massive. As we reached to top, I felt like I was almost blown away by the wind and my legs were shaking. I had a phobia of height, to be honest. But the view paid it off.
Then we caught the setting sun just right before we went down..
And sunset in front of our resort to end the first day...
I was supposed to wake up early on the second day. I booked the parasailing at Nelson Bay for 9AM and to get there we had to catch the early bus. The bad news is the bus comes every 2 hours and missing the bus that you meant to catch means missing the water activity.... and we woke up late. We tried our best to get the receptionist to call a taxi for us but it took them forever to get here. Then Nicklaus told me to let it go and we ended up having breakfast at the hotel's cafe.
OUTFIT : Sheer White Shirt - Romwe.com / Black Leather Short - Glassons / Sunnies - Proof Eyewear / Sandals - Rubi Shoes / Black Messenger Bag - Roxy
We caught the next bus to Gan Gan Hill Lookout at Nelson Bay. It took an hour from the bus stop to the uphill. But from this lookout you can see the beautiful land surrounded by the water. The weather that day was sick, it was really (really) hot! We only got one bottle of water and we both agree that we needed cold sweet chillers as we went down to the city centre, we headed to Gloria Jean's for a cup of TimTam and Oreo Chillers.
Next on the road, we took a taxi max to Stockton Sand Dunes.
Stockton Sand Dunes is located 30 minutes drive away from Nelson Bay town centre. It is a place where you can ride a camel, do 4WD activities and sand-boarding. There is also a beach down the coastline called "Birubi Beach" and a restaurant.
I have booked the sand-boarding ticket online a week before going to Port Stephens, you can check it out here. It was a fun activity where you climb all the way to the top and slide down the sand with provided board. Before you go up, the instructor will explain what to do and what not to do.
After couple slides, we headed down to the restaurant and decided to cool ourselves down. Nick offered me a Golden Gaytime, an stick ice cream which surprisingly tasted AMAZING! I don't know where have I been all this time in Sydney to have never tried it. The minute I took my first bite, it was like love at the first bite. Until today I am producing this article, I have Golden Gaytime stocked in my freezer. I am not kidding. (Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Streets, you know just in case you think I am faking the goodness)
Before we left Stockton Sand Dunes, we went down to the beach and I swear it was the highlight of a tiring and hot day. The water washed off my feet as I walked to the stone on the beach (filled with mostly seaweed), I sat down at this tiny space to simply inhale all the good vibes. For a moment, it was nothing but an appreciation of the surrounding and how enchanting the mother-nature is.
Nicklaus and I ended the day with a dinner at the resort's bar, which surprisingly has special on that night : $14 for a bbq platter, 1/4 pork ribs, 1/4 beef ribs, 2 pcs chicken wings and some french fries. They offered different specials every night, except Thursday (if I was not mistaken).
We did not do much on the last day, except we packed up, tidy up the room and made sure it we leave it flawless. We checked-out and went straight to the bus stop with all of our carriage. Nick waited at the bus-stop while I made some minutes to the beach and captured the last moments in front of the resort (Shoal Bay Beach).
OUTFIT : Shirt, Black Short - Glassons, Hat - Unbranded, Shoes - Converse
How we get there :
- Public Transport
We hopped on a Newcastle service train from Strathfield Station early in the morning (7 AM) and we stopped at Hamilton Station (approx 3 hours train ride). From Hamilton Station, we caught the bus to Port Stephens for another 2 hours.
Make sure you have your OPAL card ready. You can get it at 711 stores.
|View from our room (Shoal Bay Beach)|
The booking was made through Wotif.com.
We stayed at Ramada Resort Hotel at Shoal Bay. It is located right in front of Shoal Bay Beach and the bus stop was just right at their doorstep.The check-in was easy. I was required to leave $100 from my card as deposit money (which was returned a week after). The receptionist was very polite, friendly and helpful.
Our room was located at the second level, and yes, we had the ocean view room which was mind-blowing. The room itself was spacious for the two of us. It contains a bedroom, bathroom with bath-tub, mini kitchen (with fridge, microwaves, stoves, dishwasher, cooking equipment), comfortable couch, TV, and dining table). You can cook within the room but you are required to wash the equipment afterward and daily housekeeping is NOT available, which means whenever you need a new towel and new toiletries, you have to reach the front desk.
Despite the daily housekeeping, I have to admit that this was one of the best hotel I've ever stayed at so far.
I hope my short journey to Port Stephen can help your venture :) Feel free to leave comments and ask questions guys! I also attached my vlog to Port Stephens below! With love, LN x
Where to venture next?