Nelson Bay is a major holiday playground and the main resort area of Port Stephens.
The population of Nelson Bay is 5,396 of which 50.4% are females and 49.6% are males. The Indigenous population is 307 (5.7%) and the median age is 37.
Nelson Bay and the surrounding suburbs of Anna Bay, Shoal Bay and Salamander Bay are in the Port Stephens local government area. It is located on the southern shore of Port Stephens about 60km by road north-east of Newcastle and 207 km north of Sydney.
Nelson Bay abounds with bushwalks and National Parks and is the permanent home of 160 bottlenose dolphins, and port-in-passing for over 3000 migrating humpback whales.
The closest airport to Nelson Bay is Newcastle Airport which is a 50 minute drive. Regional Express Airlines (REX) offers daily return flights to Sydney. Virgin Australia and Jetstar offers return flights to Brisbane and Melbourne and Air Pelican offers flights to Ballina and Canberra.
Alternatively Nelson Bay is approximately a two and half hour to Sydney along the M1 Motorway.
The major sources of employment in Nelson Bay are:
- Accommodation and Food Services
- Health Care and Social Assistance
- Retail Trade
- Public Administration and Safety
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Nelson Bay – Tomaree Community Hospital is a small regional public hospital with an emergency department and provides quality care for the people of Nelson Bay and surrounding areas
The closest major hospital is John Hunter Hospital which is a 55 minute drive from Nelson Bay and 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.
The surgical teams performed 20,346 operations, more than 4000 babies were born, the Emergency Department saw more than 75,000 patients, 79,300 patients were admitted and 140,000 patients visited our ambulatory care services.
Calvery Mater Hospital is 48 minute 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
Nelson Bay is supported by NSW ambulance service.
There are six general practice facilities in Nelson Bay and its surrounding suburbs (Anna Bay, Shoal Bay & Salamander Bay).
Nelson Bay Medical Centre has a two bedroom fully furnished unit that may be available for rent.
Within the Nelson Bay area there are four public and two private primary schools, one public and one private secondary school and one tertiary education college.
Anna Bay public primary school
Shoal Bay public primary school
Soldiers Point public primary school
Tomaree public primary school
St Michael’s primary school
St Phillip’s Christian School (Preschool – year 12)
Tomaree High School
For young families the Nelson Bay region offers a wide range of options suitable for children from 6 weeks to school age, for occasional care, long day care, family day care and pre-school. For more information on childcare options, click here
Salamander Bay Shopping Centre is a nine minute drive from Nelson Bay and has more than 60 specialist retail stores with most of the well-known national chains including Coles, Aldi and Woolworths supermarkets, Kmart, Lowes and Target. There are also fashion stores, surf wear, jewellers, communications and electronics, homewares and gifts, footwear, optical, pharmacies, and cafes, eateries and restaurants.
There are many places of worship within the Nelson Bay area, including Anglican, Baptist, Baylife Church, Beachside Christian Fellowship, Catholic, Christian Outreach Centres, Christian Reformed Churches of Australia and Uniting Church
In Newcastle, which is a 55 minute drive from Nelson Bay, there is a Hare Krishna Centre.
Swim with Dolphins
Sand Dune Safaris
Sahara Trails Horse Riding
Horizons Golf Course
Port Stephens Aquatic Centre
Nelson Bay Skate Park
Port Stephens Camel Rides
Port Stephens Water Sports
Port to Port Mountain Race (May)
Port Stephens Triathlon Festival (May)
Blue Water Country and Blues Music Festival (June)
Love Seafood Festival, Nelson Bay (August)
Clans on the Coast Festival (September)
Whale Watching (May – September)
Osborne’s Christmas Family Carnival (December)
With an extensive bay, golden unspoilt beaches and picturesque inlets, the Nelson Bay area is home to over 150 bottlenose dolphins making it the dolphin watching capital of Australia.
For the water sport enthusiast, Nelson Bay has much to offer. As well as swimming, snorkelling and surfing, try parasailing, or jet-skiing in or go scuba diving and explore the sea caves, sponge gardens and shipwrecks at Fly Point Marine Park. You can also try kayaking, sailing and jet skiing, or cast a line for some on-shore or deep sea fishing.
Take in panoramic views stretching from Port Stephens to Hawks Nest and Norah Head at the Gan Gan Hill Lookout or spend time exploring the rocky outcrops of Tomaree National Parkalong, or the short Tomaree Head Summit walk takes around 45 minutes to complete and offers incredible views of Port Stephens and the north coast.
Located only 10 minutes from the centre of Nelson Bay is the Worimi Conservation Lands, which forms the largest sand dune system in Australia, covering an area of 4,200 hectares and there are plenty of ways to enjoy the sand dunes. Get your heart racing with a thrilling ride on the back of a quad bike as part of a guided quad biking tour or explore the dunes at your own pace by purchasing a beach vehicle permit and steering your way through the desert in a 4WD. Sandboarding across the dunes is also a fantastic way to get acquainted with the unique terrain.
Within the Nelson Bay area there are a multitude of classic pub fares to the flavours of Asia and beyond, serving up a diverse variety of dining experiences to suit all tastes.