Nelson Bay - Shoal Bay - Salamander Bay - GP Synergy
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Nelson Bay – Shoal Bay – Salamander Bay

Home / Town Profiles / Nelson Bay – Shoal Bay – Salamander Bay

Hunter, Manning & Central Coast

Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay are major holiday destinations located on beautiful Port Stephens.

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Location

The townships of Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay are approximately 210 km (2 hrs 40 mins drive) north from Sydney. They are 60 km (60 min drive) from Newcastle.

The towns are surrounded by waterways and national parks. The area is a permanent home to 160 bottlenose dolphins, and port-in-passing for over 3000 migrating humpback whales.

How to get there

The closest airport to Nelson Bay/Shoal Bay/Salamander Bay is Newcastle Airport in Williamstown, approximately 35 kms (30 min drive) away. The airport is serviced by Jetstar, Virgin Australia, QantasLink, FlyPelican and Regional Express, offering flights to destinations including Canberra, Ballina/Byron Bay, Dubbo, Taree, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney, and Auckland (NZ).

There is also a North West XPT Train service (TrainLink) which travels from Sydney to Newcastle. Port Stephens Coaches travel from Newcastle to Nelson Bay.

Population

Nelson Bay is home to 14,000 people, the median age of residents is 50 years. The smaller town of Shoal Bay is home to nearly 2,000 people, the median age of residents is 58 years. While Salamander Bay is home to nearly 5,000 people, the median age of residents is 52 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up nearly 3% of the population of all three towns.

Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay are in the Hunter, New England, & Central Coast Primary Health Network. This fact sheet provides an overview of community health for the region.

Healthcare facilities

Nelson Bay – Tomaree Community Hospital is a small regional public hospital with an emergency department. The closest major hospital is John Hunter Hospital, a 55 min drive from Nelson Bay. It is the major tertiary referral, teaching hospital and referral centre for the Hunter New England Local Health District. Services provided at John Hunter Hospital, include primary and tertiary trauma services, a retrieval service for critically ill, maternity and gynaecology services, medical and interventional services, surgical services, and critical care.  Allied health services provided include social work, physiotherapy, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, speech pathology and pharmacy.

Calvery Mater Hospital is 50 min drive from Nelson Bay and is a large metropolitan hospital with an emergency department. The hospital has a wide range of district hospital activities including general medical and surgical care, cancer services, general and internal medicine, surgery, palliative care, melanoma unit, breast screening, support workers, pastoral care.

There is an Ambulance Service of NSW station at Nelson Bay.

Accredited GP practices

  • Bay Doctors and Skin Cancer Clinic
  • Nelson Plaza Clinic
  • Providence Medical Shoal Bay

Doctor accommodation

There may be accommodation available for registrars training in Nelson Bay, please contact your Rural Support Officer for details.

  • Industry

The major industry sectors employing residents of Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay include: defence, cafes and restaurants, accommodation, aged care residential services, supermarket and grocery stores, and other social assistance services.
  • Education

Within the Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay area there are four public and two private primary schools, one public and one private secondary school and one tertiary education college.
  • Childcare

For young families the Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay area offers a wide range of options suitable for children from six weeks to school age, for occasional care, long day care, family day care and pre-school.
  • Shopping

Nelson Bay has a good range of shopping, including  Coles, Aldi and Woolworths supermarkets, and national retailers including Kmart, Lowes and Target. There are also boutique stores, bakeries, newsagencies, cafes and restaurants.
  • Places of worship

In Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay there are places of worship for a range of Christian denominations including Anglican, Baptist, Baylife Church, Beachside Christian Fellowship, Catholic, Christian Outreach Centres, Christian Reformed Churches of Australia and Uniting Church. The nearest mosque is in Newcastle 60 min drive from Nelson Bay.
  • Points of interest

In Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay enjoy the views and explore the beautiful pristine beaches. Water-based activities include swimming, snorkelling, surfing, parasailing, jet-skiing and scuba diving, kayaking, sailing, on-shore or deep-sea fishing.  There are a range of arts and cultural events, food and wine festivals, and art festivals.  The Port Stephens events calendar lists local events.
  • Sporting activities

Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay is home to many sporting clubs including rugby, netball, surfing, swimming, athletics, oztag, golf, touch football, AFL and cricket. Contact details for many clubs can be can be found at Port Stephens Council.
  • Community groups and activities

A listing of community and service groups in the Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay area is available from Port Stephens Council Community Directory.
  • Social media groups

There are many social media pages and groups dedicated to life and sport in Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay. A good place to start is the Facebook pages Port Stephens Tourism, Nelson Bay and Port Stephens Buy Swap Sell, Port Stephens - Community Group and Port Stephens Council.