The Port Stephens we know today, is a powerhouse of natural beauty and eco-adventures. It also ranks among one of the top things to do in Sydney. But this laidback, yet fun locale, was originally inhabited by the Worimi Aboriginal people for thousands of years. These people were said to have a special connection with the landscape, plants and animals, especially dolphins!
Around 120 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins live permanently in the waters of Port Stephens. Dolphin watching is the key activity that makes Port Stephens one of the most popular destinations for day tours from Sydney. Dolphins have always been known to have found a comfortable home and playground in the waters of Port Stephens and are much-loved residents of the area.
It’s no wonder that folklore says that the Worimi people are intrinsically connected to dolphins, or guparr, as they are referred to in the Gathang dialect. Traditionally, elders would speak to dolphins about food resources and looking after each other. It is said that some Aboriginal elders still feel that innate connection and continue to speak with dolphins today.
The rocky coastal headlands and long sandy beaches of Port Stephens are an ideal vantage point for watching dolphins from the shore. Or you could join the modern-day adventure cruises that take you to the heart of the action where you can see these playful creatures frolicking in the water, going about their daily lives! The ecological balance in the bay is perfect for dolphins so you are almost guaranteed to see these friendly creatures, and even swim with them, if you’re brave enough!
Don’t forget your cameras to catch brilliant close-up shots and lively videos of your favourite marine creatures in action. It is not often that you can get so close to pods of the rare bottlenose dolphins leaping and bounding in the clear waters. These adorable creatures can catch you off guard as they dart out of the water or pop out their silvery grey heads and snouts – so keep your cameras handy. Some dolphin-watching boats also have hydrophones that allow you to listen to dolphin chatter underwater!
Besides dolphin watching in Port Stephens, quad biking, bushwalking, cycling, kayaking, parasailing, sand boarding are all popular activities. Port Stephens is quite two-faced that way, giving you more bang for the buck! Though known for its high-end resorts and weekend retreats, Port Stephens definitely reveals its thrilling side to tourists looking for a more comprehensive experience. You’ll soon discover that sightseeing day tour operators from Sydney have mastered the art of seasoning your tour experience with ample adventures and thrills to give your trip that ‘unforgettable’ tag!
So, step out of your hectic city tourist schedule and visit this irresistible ‘blue water paradise’, far from the shackles of urban hubs!