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Things to do in
Hunter Region

Our most recommended things to do in Hunter Region

Port Stephens: Dolphin Watching Cruise

1. Port Stephens: Dolphin Watching Cruise

Take a cruise around magnificent Port Stephens Harbour on one of the biggest boats in the bay. Keep an eye out for the resident Bottlenose Dolphins as you head out beautiful Port Stephens Marine Park. Take in the sights of Tomaree and Yacaaba Headlands, Shoal Bay, Nelson Bay, and the Eastern Harbour as you sit back and relax on the deck area. If you feel like getting a bit wet, feel free to use our boomnet. Enjoy entertaining and informative commentary on board. If you feel like indulging in something a little different, there is a licensed bar on board that you can choose to purchase from. 

Port Stephens: Unlimited Sandboarding & 4WD Sand Dune Tour

2. 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: Dolphin Watch Cruise with Swimming & Slides

3. Port Stephens: Dolphin Watch Cruise with Swimming & Slides

Spend a magical 2 hours looking for dolphins off the coast of Nelson Bay and get some time to splash about in stunning blue water. Choose from a morning, afternoon departure and be entertained by the informative commentary as you go on search of beautiful resident dolphins on the Port Stephens harbour. Get stunning views of the Eastern harbor, including spectacular Tomaree and Yacaaba headlands. Relax on the deck with a drink and snacks purchased at the licensed bar. Laugh your way around the harbor as you make use of the large boom net and water slide.

Pokolbin: Hunter Valley Half-Day Tour with Cheese and Wine

4. Pokolbin: Hunter Valley Half-Day Tour with Cheese and Wine

Short on time in the Hunter Valley? Get on board for a morning tour of 3 boutique wineries on a half-day trip to try local wines and cheese. An ideal taste of what the Hunter Valley has to offer. Visit at least 3 unique wineries enjoying private tastings of their delicious wines. One of the wineries visited is Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen. Here you can indulge in their famous cheese and wine experience which matches 9 different kinds of cheese with 9 different wines. Keep your eyes on the horizon during your tour, the Hunter Valley is home to many Australian wildlife species, and there is a good chance to see kangaroos hopping amongst the vineyards. With fun and entertaining hosts who are passionate about wine, your half-day tour gives you a taste of the Hunter in a short amount of time.

Port Stephens: Sandboarding & Sandsurfing with 4WD Transfer

5. 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

6. 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: Hunter Valley Wine/Spirit Tasting Tour & Lunch

7. From Sydney: Hunter Valley Wine/Spirit Tasting Tour & Lunch

Discover the Hunter Valley on this tasting trip from Sydney, lunch included. Travel over Sydney Harbor Bridge through Sydney's leafy north shore, over the beautiful Hawkesbury River, and onto Australia's oldest wine production region, the Hunter Valley. The day starts at a locally owned winery and winner of Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year. Staff will guide you through the tastings of their wine and answer your questions. Head to another cellar for more wine tastings, followed by a 1-course restaurant lunch with a wide choice of meals including options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free diets. Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or craft beer with your meal and take in the beautiful views overlooking the vineyards. Three's also the option of buying a craft beer tasting paddle. After lunch, give your taste buds a jolt with a visit to a local distillery for tastings of locally produced spirits including vodka, gin, and schnapps. The third cellar door is next for final wine tastings and a chance to relax, buy a glass of wine, and take in the serenity. Throughout the day, you'll also get to enjoy tastings of cheese and chocolate to get the most from your flavorful day and to help support local businesses. Keep an eye out for wild kangaroos and get the chance to take photos. This tour is also carbon-neutral, with all vehicle emissions offset, so when you travel you can make a choice to take positive action to help address climate change.

From Sydney: Port Stephens Dolphin Cruise & 4WD Sandboarding

8. 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

From Sydney: Hunter Valley Wine, Gin, & Food Tastings Tour

9. From Sydney: Hunter Valley Wine, Gin, & Food Tastings Tour

Travel from Sydney and visit a combination of three boutique wineries and distilleries in Hunter Valley. Enjoy guided spirit wine tastings matched with cheese and chocolates and a delicious lunch. Begin your full-day tour with a convenient pickup from central Sydney and admire the picturesque surroundings as you drive in Hunter Valley, Australia’s first wine region. Go on guided tours inside some of the production houses, see behind the scenes, and learn how spirits and wine are made. During guided tastings, try chocolates and local cheeses to match the wines and keep your tastebuds exploring the flavor combinations. Get to know the local producers and discover the taste of a region famous for its beautiful wines, hand-crafted spirits, and refreshing beers and ciders. Take a break from all the sightseeing and take in the Valley’s charm with a relaxing lunch with a wine, craft beer, or cider.

Port Stephens: Birubi Beach 4WD Tour with Sandboarding

10. Port Stephens: Birubi Beach 4WD Tour with Sandboarding

After meeting your tour guide at the departure location, you’ll board a red, air-conditioned 4WD vehicle. Enjoy commentary provided throughout the tour onboard the vehicle. The first stop is 2 kilometers down Birubi Beach, where your tour guide will show you how to find and dig for pipis under the sand. Feel free to take photos, and you may even have a chance to see some RAAF fighter jets fly past at low level. After 20 minutes on the beach, you’ll head into the sand dunes to the sandboarding area. Your tour guide will show you how to sandboard correctly, assist with photos, and answer any questions you may have. Slide down the dunes for 45-50 minutes before returning to the departure location.

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What people are saying about Hunter Region

Overall rating

4.7
(816 reviews)

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.

Great trip and I was most impressed with the care taken to let the dolphins do what they wanted without influencing their actions.

Once in a lifetime and memorable experience! Rick really made the experience as well, very informative and fun! Highly recommended

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