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Things to do in
Anna Bay

Our most recommended things to do in Anna Bay

Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

1. Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

You have to experience sandboarding in Port Stephens. The thrill of sliding down the spectacular Stockton Sand Dunes is so much fun. From the meeting point at Birubi beach, you will board the custom-built off-road vehicle to start your adventure on the short, bouncy ride into the largest moving sand mass in the southern hemisphere. The dunes stretch 32 kilometers, the entire length of Stockton Beach, and can reach over 40 meters high, the same as a 10 storey building. The views alone are spectacular. Once you are in the dunes, the team will give you a rundown on sandboarding and how to use the handmade custom-designed boards for maximum safety and speed. Then you are off. Climb to the top of the dunes, jump on your board, then slide on down and repeat. Your ticket includes unlimited sandboarding so you can stay and play as long as you like. For most people that’s about 1 – 1.5 hours. When you're done just jump back aboard one of the 4WD buses, that leave every half an hour, and be taken back to the Birubi Beach starting point. It’s an amazing experience for everyone, no matter your age. The instructors are always on hand to help, answer any questions about sandboarding, Port Stephens or the dunes and to make sure you have maximum fun. Don’t forget to bring your camera along as you’ll have the chance to capture some amazing Port Stephens holiday snaps.

Port Stephens: Sandboarding & Sandsurfing with 4WD Transfer

2. Port Stephens: Sandboarding & Sandsurfing with 4WD Transfer

Embark on an epic adventure on the largest moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. Once at the meeting point, you will board a comfortable 4WD vehicle for a 10-minute drive across the expansive dunes to the private and secluded sandboarding area, far away from the hustle and bustle of civilisation. Here you will be greeted by a friendly instructor who will teach you the safe method of sandboarding for both the sit down and stand up styles. You can choose from a range of different boards, both with and without bindings - or, pair up with a buddy and ride tandem. The bowl-shaped dune features both smaller slopes and a monster slope - you choose the size of the hill based on your confidence level. Sandboarding is suitable for all ages and abilities. There is a shaded picnic area with tables and chairs provided at the dune, so feel free to bring your own food and drinks and enjoy a picnic whilst taking in the incredible panoramic views of beach, dunes, and forest. There are plenty of amazing photo opportunities within this unique landscape. Best of all, you can stay and play as long as you like. Most people will generally spend 1-2 hours. There is a shuttle to the dunes and back every 15 minutes, so when you are ready to head back just hop on the the next shuttle.

Anna Bay: Irukandji Entry and Shallow Water Shark Encounter

3. Anna Bay: Irukandji Entry and Shallow Water Shark Encounter

The shallows encounter offers you the opportunity to get close to sharks and rays in a natural lagoon-style habitat. Get to know the true nature of these animals in a safe and educational environment. When you arrive at Irukandji you will be greeted by staff members who will guide you through the whole process, from learning how to interact safely with the animals to providing you with all the equipment needed to enter the water and meet the animals. Choose from the option of wearing your own clothes in the water and just getting your feet and ankles wet, or renting a wetsuit for an extra $18 to wade deeper or sit down in our natural style lagoons. You can choose to go barefoot or cover up your toes with a pair of wear and keep souvenir socks. At the lagoons, you will be given a feeding stick and food for the sharks and rays, and then guided around to the different pools by a knowledgable fish keeper. Each of the pools is home to different species of fish with specific food and information provided at each one. You will get to reach in and interact with the animals as they swim around in their aquatic homes. Irukandji features 2 large, deep, natural-style lagoons housing a variety of different animals. In the Fingill lagoon, you’ll meet a whole bunch of friendly and curious rays who will glide over your feet and eagerly snatch the food from your sticks. Reach down to pet them and feel the different textures of their skin. Then over at the Tropical lagoon, meet a few more rays plus a variety of shark species including zebra sharks and brown-banded bamboo sharks. You can interact with them while listening to the keepers as they give educational talks about sharks, rays, and marine conservation. During our Big Shark Talk, our friendly fish keepers will invite you into the shallows as they bring up our large Tawny Nurse Sharks and Whitetip Reef Sharks. Afterwards, you can rinse off under a warm shower and towel down before heading in for a cruise around the gift shop for a large range of sustainable gifts, cute fluffy toys, snacks and cold drinks.

From Sydney: Port Stephens Dolphin Cruise & 4WD Sandboarding

4. From Sydney: Port Stephens Dolphin Cruise & 4WD Sandboarding

Enjoy the scenic drive from Sydney to Nelson Bay. Experience a dolphin watching cruise. Explore and sand board the famous Stockton Sand Dunes at Birubi Beach and visit one of Port Stephens’ wineries. Day Tour includes: Express Premium coach transfers from Sydney to Port Stephens and return Dolphin watching cruise 4WD and sand boarding See the Worlds Largest Coastal moving Sand Dunes at Anna Bay. Visit Port Stephens Winery Complimentary bottled water

Port Stephens: Koala Sanctuary General Admission Ticket

5. Port Stephens: Koala Sanctuary General Admission Ticket

Important Note: Construction of a $2M expansion to the Koala Hospital has commenced and will conclude in September / October 2024. There may be some disruptions caused by this construction that could impact your stay with us at the Sanctuary. We plan to, where ever possible, minimise construction impacts to avoid as much inconvenience caused. Spend a few hours or a whole day at Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary learning about Australia’s beloved koalas and the threats they face. Walk amongst the beautiful Australian bush and see koalas in their natural environment doing what they do best – sleeping and eating.  Sanctuary Story Walk is a meandering 250-meter pathway offering an immersive educational experience of the koala and its habitat. The koalas at the sanctuary have been brought there for treatment and rehabilitation after injury, with the aim of returning them to the wild if possible. At the Koala Hospital veterinarians care for koalas requiring treatment and general check-ups. The Sanctuary SKYwalk is a 225-meter-long pathway with viewing platforms raised 10 metres into the tree canopy. The unique tree top perspective is a great photo opportunity. You may even find yourself eye-to-eye with a cuddly koala – always remember, look but don’t touch, they are wild animals. Due to the natural setting of Port Stephen’s Koala Sanctuary you may spot echidnas shuffling around on the ground around the walkways. If you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of an adorable brush tail possum hanging out in a tree hollow as well. After you have experienced all the attractions Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary offers, finish with a visit to Fat Possum Kiosk. Grab a snack, coffee or treat and browse a variety of souvenirs and gifts. Proceeds go towards the continued conservation effort of koalas and their threatened habitat. Visiting Port Stephens Koala Sanctuary entails a round-trip walk of about 1km in length. All pathways and elevated viewing platforms are easily accessible and designed for all ages and abilities. Some limited bench seating is provided along the Sanctuary Story Walk.

Irukandji Entry Pass & Reef Shark Snorkel (12+)

6. Irukandji Entry Pass & Reef Shark Snorkel (12+)

The Reef Shark Snorkel (12yrs+) offers you the opportunity to get close to big sharks in the deep water of Irukandji's natural style tropical lagoon. When you arrive at Irukandji you will be greeted by staff members who will guide you through the whole process - from learning how to interact safely with the animals, to providing you with all the equipment needed to enter the water and meet the animals. Your experienced guide will run through important safety information before guiding you gently into the deep water and showing you how to float on the surface whilst gazing down into the world below. See sharks as they glide under, around and next to you. Reach out to pet them or snap incredible photos with your underwater camera. Stay immersed in this magical experience for 30 minutes while you follow the different animals around the lagoon. After snorkeling you can experience an encounter in the shallows of the lagoon where you will find yourself surrounded by sharks and rays of different sizes and species. Your guide will hand out food for them as they talk you through their different personalities, habits and needs. Marvel at their unique and affectionate natures and fall in love with each unique individual as they flap around your feet or swim into your lap, looking for attention. Outside of the water you're welcome to check out the different pools that house a variety of species of fish with specific food and information provided at each one. You will get to reach in and interact with the animals as they swim around in their aquatic homes. Every hour a knowledgeable guide will host an educational talk focusing on sharks, rays and marine conservation. They will help to dispel myths about these amazing creatures and offer you practical ways to help protect the oceans and its inhabitants. Afterwards you can rinse off under a warm shower and towel down before heading in for a cruise around gift shop for a large range of sustainable gifts, cute fluffy toys, snacks and cold drinks.

Irukandji Entry Pass & Reef Shark Encounter (12+)

7. Irukandji Entry Pass & Reef Shark Encounter (12+)

Have an up-close and personal time getting to know different species of fish and animals on this private experience. Enter the lagoon and interact with sharks and rays. The highlight of this experience is a 20-minute encounter with the biggest sharks in the aquarium, the tawny nurse and whitetip reef sharks. Afterward, enjoy a relaxing cruise around the tropical aquarium. When you first arrive, be greeted by staff members who will guide you through the experience, from learning how to interact safely with the animals to providing you with all the equipment needed to enter the water and meet the animals. You will be given a wetsuit and socks to wear in the water and shown how to safely enter the lagoon for your extra special encounter. Outside by the lagoon, you will be given a feeding stick and food for the sharks and rays, and then guided around to the different pools by a knowledgable fish keeper. Each of the pools is home to different species of fish with specific food and information provided at each one. You will get to reach in and interact with the animals as they swim around in their aquatic homes. Once you enter the lagoon you will find yourself surrounded by sharks and rays of different sizes and species. Your guide will hand out food for them as they talk you through their different personalities, habits, and needs. Marvel at their unique and affectionate natures and fall in love with each unique individual as they glide around your feet or swim into your lap, looking for attention. Then it will be time to meet the tawny nurse and whitetip reef sharks. Your experienced guide will take you into the lagoon and get you comfortable on the sandy shore while they summon the sharks to come and meet you. As they swim up into the shallows they'll be invited to glide past you and you can reach out and pet them. For 20 minutes you'll have these amazing creatures all to yourself while your guide feeds them and tells you all about their unique personalities and habits. Your whole encounter will leave you with a newfound appreciation for these gentle, elusive creatures and with a deep sense of stewardship for the ocean. Afterward, you can rinse off under a warm shower and towel down before heading in for a cruise around the tropical aquarium Watch the clownfish flounce busily around the local flora and the lionfish proudly cruise around their home. Check out the souvenir shop for a large range of sustainable gifts, cute fluffy toys, snacks, cold drinks, and hot coffee.

Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding Adventure

8. Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding Adventure

The Stockton Bight Sand Dunes need to be seen to be believed. Lucky for you, we can take you there! From our meeting location at the lower carpark of Birubi Beach, you will board one of our fully air-conditioned 4WD vehicles for a short but fun trip up into the high dunes. Stockton's Sand Dunes reach over 30 meters high giving you just enough thrill to want to slide again! When we reach our sand dunes, you will be greeted by our hill staff who will give you an introduction, safety instructions and a demonstration. They will give everyone a board while they supervise the action and make sure everyone is having fun and being safe! Our hill has beginner and intermediate hills so everyone can participate! Your ticket includes unlimited sandboarding time. When you feel you have had enough, you just let our staff know and we will send a 4WD vehicle to pick you up and take you back to our meeting point. This adventure is truly an amazing experience for everyone. Our team are always so excited to meet new people and help them make memories to remember! Come see us at Port Stephens 4WD Tours (The red buses), go with the pro's!

Irukandji Entry Pass & Stingray Snorkel (12+)

9. Irukandji Entry Pass & Stingray Snorkel (12+)

When you book a stingray snorkel you will have the opportunity to experience encounters with sharks and rays across two different lagoons and a bunch of smaller pools. Your ticket includes a shallow water encounter where you can feed and pet a variety of species of sharks and rays whilst wading on the sandy shores of the lagoons. You’ll be given food for the animals so they will come and find you and let you pet them. Then you’ll also get the extra special experience of swimming in the deep water of Fingill lagoon and gliding around with amazing rays. When you first arrive at Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters you will be led by a friendly team member to prepare you for your encounter. You’ll be suited up with a wetsuit and snorkel ready for your adventure. The guide will be there throughout your whole 30 minute snorkel to offer information, education and assistance during your activity. You’ll be immersed in the deep water while rays and stingrays up to 200kg will glide past you and under you. You’ll be mesmerised by their grace and serenity of their underwater world. After the snorkel you will be free to wander the aquarium and check out the animals in the different pools. There are a variety of sharks at the tropical lagoon that you can pet and feed, as well as the rays. Your whole encounter will leave you with a newfound appreciation for these gentle, elusive creatures and with a deep sense of stewardship for the ocean. Afterward, you can rinse off under a warm shower and towel down before heading in for a cruise around the tropical aquarium Watch the clownfish flounce busily around the local flora and the lionfish proudly cruise around their home. Check out the souvenir shop for a large range of sustainable gifts, cute fluffy toys, snacks, cold drinks, and hot coffee.

Irukandji Entry Pass & Zebra Shark Snorkel (6+)

10. Irukandji Entry Pass & Zebra Shark Snorkel (6+)

See the beautiful zebra sharks as they swim around their home in the tropical lagoon! You’ll also get to see giant shovel nose rays, brown banded bamboo sharks and even more as you cruise around the heated lagoon. Start your journey when you arrive at Irukandji to meet your guide and change into the wetsuits provided. They will get you suited up with snorkel gear and some wear and keep socks to keep your toes covered (you can even take the Irukandji souvenir socks home with you after), and then take you over to the lagoon to meet the animals. You’ll get to experience both a shallow water encounter where you can feed and interact with a variety of species of sharks and rays in two seperate lagoons, as well as a small group snorkel in the heated tropical lagoon. The snorkel runs for around 20 minutes and you’ll be guided the whole time by a knowledgeable and experienced zoo keeper. Swimming ability is necessary, however if you’re aged under 12yrs you’ll need to have a parent nearby to assist you if required. The supervising adult will need to either hire an $18 wetsuit and wade waist deep, or purchase the same Zebra Shark Snorkel pass. During the snorkel you’ll see an array of beautiful animals swimming around you and under you. It’s a beautiful experience not to be missed! Don’t forget to bring your underwater camera to capture some of the memories. After the snorkel you are free to spend as much time as you wish in the shallow water of the lagoons petting and feeding the sharks and rays. Wander around to the outdoor pools and meet more creatures such as eels, baby sharks and various species of fish. There are hot showers available to rinse off after your encounter and a great souvenir shop to browse through and maybe pick something to take home as a token of your special time at Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters.

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What people are saying about Anna Bay

Overall rating

4.7
(150 reviews)

Did this day trip by myself to celebrate my birthday and what a joy it was! Had so much fun with all the activities where I could take my time to enjoy every moment of it. Beautiful view at Nelson Bay for lunch and the cruise was nice too. Wished we got more time during the wine tasting, felt a bit rushed and thought there were more than 4 wines we could try but they were good regardless. Unfortunately I didn't get to see any dolphins but a fun trip nonetheless! Also huge thanks to our bus driver Gordon who made the journey so fun! Loved the fun facts he was telling us and his energy as a whole. And the snacks were so yummy too! Again, thank you for such a fun birthday :)

Had a great time with the family learning about the different creatures being cared for at the park, the tours were very educational and the guides helpful and friendly. Would recommend this outing, not too overwhelming.

Really enjoyable. Yan was great and we had a lovely day. Wine tasting was very rushed but it was a nice place - maybe consider cutting it out of the itinerary or extending the stop a bit more.

loved every single part of this trip, will definitely recommend to friends and family!

It was lots of fun - we only lasted just under an hour though as such a hot morning!