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Activities for the kids, space to breathe for the adults and days out to bring you all together come in abundance in Port Stephens. When you’re not relaxing by the pool or watching the kids race around on Go-Karts, you’ll have nature at your doorstep with half a dozen famous New South Wales beaches to visit, as well as two national parks.
The accommodation has to be spot on, too – self-contained and fully equipped to cater to the family schedule, spacious and relaxing for that essential downtime and of course, situated dreamily in the midst of the great Australian bush. We’ve put together an exciting list of family-aimed resorts, cool camping cabins, treehouse adventures and calm beach retreats to ease some of the family holiday planning anxiety.
6 Family-friendly Port Stephens Accommodations
Ingenia Holidays | Soldiers Point
When it comes to taking your own little army away for a well-deserved holiday, look no further than Ingenia Holidays Soldiers Point. Choose between a range of self-catered, forest-hidden bungalow cabins with sunlit kitchens and brightly coloured living rooms, or select your own plugged-in spot between towering palm trees and camp beneath the rustling fronds. The site is less than a kilometre from the marina, so dining options of daily local catches or kid-approved hot chips are just a short stroll away.
Back on base, watch the troops race each other in go-karts or on the bike track, let them loose on the playground or cause a splash at the on-site water park, all whilst you recline in the peace of tropical gardens and a resort-style swimming pool. This family holiday spot keeps the kids entertained at no extra fuss for the adults – mission accomplished.Check availability
Middle Rock Holiday Resort | Port Stephens
On the borders of Tomaree National Park sits the Middle Rock Holiday Resort, with family villas, townhouses and spa cabins to suit both premium and budget holiday-makers. There’s accommodation to suit everyone at Middle Rock – whether you’re after a private bungalow with beamed ceilings and an integrated spa bath, or a three-bed, open plan space with bunk beds and an entertainment system to keep the family occupied. Camping is also available, with designated BBQ areas and an outdoor kitchen to really get into the Great Outdoors.
Middle Rock is right in the (you guessed it) middle of everything. A 10-minute walk will take you to Samurai Beach or Port Stephens Surf School, whilst the panoramas of Gan Gan Lookout and mountain-shaded beaches of Salamander Bay are both 10 minutes away by car. If you don’t want to stray too far, the resort has two generous, landscaped swimming pools complete with water slides. The on-site playground and volleyball park should help to tire the kids out before they join the adults at Rockpools, the on-site café and bar, for family-pleasing staples like beef nachos and BBQ chicken pizza.Check availability
Halifax Holiday Park | Shoal Bay
For a quieter family retreat, Halifax Holiday Park presents self-contained cabins on the shores of Shoal Bay Beach. With tranquil views of the ocean, this spot is designed to maximise quality time with your nearest and dearest but is still only a five-minute walk from the more lively Nelson Bay should the kids want to pick up the pace.
White-washed cabins lend an air of sophistication with neutral tones and fresh, modern tiles, and all are flooded with natural light. Step out onto your private balcony and make alfresco cooking a family event, or mosey down to the beach for a nighttime paddle and BBQ. During the day, guests can go fishing, cycle around the headland or make the most of the renowned snorkelling spots surrounding the park. A stay at Halifax could be a great opportunity to get the kids into nature.Check availability
Martys at Little Beach | Nelson Bay
Set between Shoal Bay and Little Beach, a stay at Martys at Little Beach means cushy, modern hotel rooms and private apartments dressed in a simple palette for a spacious feel. Parents after a dash of luxury should book into the Deluxe two-bed, two-storey Spa room for a corner spa bath. Rooms are nestled around a central outdoor pool and garden complex, plus there’s a playground for the children and a tree-lined path that will lead you to sandcastle fun on the beach in minutes.
For an elevated look at your home-away-from-home, Mount Tomaree is 10 minutes away and offers sky-sweeping views of truffle-shaped hills and sparkling turquoise seas. Marty can even organise unforgettable activities like camel treks across Port Stephens’ famous sand dunes, boat and jet-ski rentals or quad bike excursions for a jam-packed team day out. Acclaimed as the resort with the best value for money in the area, Martys might just leave you with a little extra in your pocket for an awe-inspiring dolphin sightseeing tour off Nelson Bay.Check availability
Wanderers Retreat | One Mile
Nestled in the rainforest but a stone’s throw from powdery white-sand beaches are the 15 rustic hideaways that makeup Wanderers Retreat. Timber clad cottages blend seamlessly with the outdoors but are made comfortable with homely furnishings, warm lighting and luxe rain showers. Some units have outdoor spa baths to sink into under the stars; others have treehouse rooms for the kids; all have their own decking or balcony for immersing in the wooded surroundings.
Watch your kids swing around in the bush, making use of the tennis courts, play area, outdoor pool and nearby golf course for an activity-packed holiday in the fresh air. Dining can be an alfresco affair, with a shared garden and picnic area for meeting other wanderers. Families seeking seclusion and quiet come here for the cottages’ removed location from central Port Stephens, but they’re still within easy access of two national parks, a surf school, the local shopping district and a healthy selection of beaches.Check availability
Port Stephens Treescape | One Mile
For comfort with a twist, escape into the shade of Tomaree National Park at Port Stephens Treescape. Natural habitat-dwelling koalas may have treetops to doze in, but your self-contained cabin will be appointed more comfortably – favourite features include spa baths and private verandas with sun loungers. Rustic furnishings like soft plaid-print sofas meet contemporary appliances, providing cosy spaces for relaxing with the family amongst the forest greenery.
A 10-minute stroll through native bush buzzing with wildlife will lead to Stockton beach, where you can swim, snorkel or chase an adrenaline rush with water sports. Back at the resort, pad barefoot down a faux beach slope into the hotel’s sunken lagoon pool set in manicured gardens. Let the kids burn off any extra energy with some competitive rounds on the on-site tennis court. When temperatures cool off as dusk sets in, ease into the bubbling warmth of the outdoor man-made rock pool Jacuzzi. The communal kitchen and barbecue area make meals social occasions balanced with back-to-nature vibes.Check availability