Travel and Accommodation

Shoal Bay is in Port Stephens, about 60km north-east of Newcastle, NSW. The scenic blue water wonderland of Port Stephens is a popular tourist area with a range of activities  on and off the water.

The area is famous for its dolphin and whale watching cruises, while koalas and other wildlife can be found on the many natural bushwalks surrounding the town. Those seeking a physical challenge may like to tackle the two-hour Tomaree Headland Summit Walk featuring historical World War II gun emplacements and stunning panoramas of the surrounding waterways.

Further south, Newcastle is one of Australia's oldest and most interesting cities. Containing a quirky blend of new and old architecture, a rich indigenous history, a working harbour (currently the largest coal exporter in the world) and fabulous beaches; Newcastle is known as unique and eclectic.

The land and waters of Newcastle and the Hunter are acknowledged as the country of the Awabakal and Worimi peoples, whose culture is celebrated in community events, place naming, signage and artworks.

Getting to Shoal Bay


Newcastle Airport has direct flights to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. There are indirect flights between Newcastle and Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Darwin. The airport is located approximately 35 minutes from Shoal Bay and 30 minutes the Newcastle CBD. Airport transfers can be arranged at the airport or through your preferred accommodation provider. See Newcastle Airport for more information.

From Sydney by car

Shoal Bay is in Port Stephens, about a one hour drive north of Newcastle. Newcastle itself is approximately two hours north of Sydney and is accessible from the M1 Motorway (formally F3), Pacific Highway, New England Highway and Golden Highway. From Newcastle West head north on Stewart Avenue for 2.5km, then turn right into Tourle Street. Follow the signs to Nelson Bay for about 56km. At the roundabout just before Nelson Bay turn right and follow Dowling Street to Shoal Bay Road and continue to Ramada Resort near the intersection with Tomaree Road.

From Sydney by train

Return services run daily from Sydney to Hamilton (Newcastle) every hour. Travel time is approximately three hours. For timetables and fare information visit Transport Info or call 131 500.

From Hamilton, Port Stephens Coaches offers regular services to Shoal Bay with its 130 and 131 routes. Port Stephens Coaches uses Opal cards. You can plan your trip here.