Saturday, June 13, 2015

Port Stephens Pt 2 - Sharks and Sand Dunes

Bryce and Chy-Anne in the water petting rays and sharks

On Sunday morning, we awoke to a moment of pride. The women's world cup (of soccer) is being played in Canada right now - and our girls were playing China ON THE TELLY IN AUSTRALIA!

It was a great feeling to cheer on our country and hear our national anthem again - it was interesting seeing the looks on Liam's and Bryce's faces when it began! Advance Australia Fair has become their new anthem.

We headed into Nelson Bay to check out more of the area. Chy-Anne and I both had massages booked in the morning - so while Chy-Anne was enjoying some relaxation and treatment - I took the boys around Soldier Point to play on the playgrounds and continue our search for the elusive koala.

Koala road signs were everywhere

A short walk through the bush - but no sign of koalas

This is the view that Chy-Anne and I had most of the weekend 
searching the tops of trees for grey balls hidden at the top.

We had lunch reservations at the Inner Light Tea Rooms - we were told it was the best cafe view in Port Stephens...they were right!

Funny Faces beside the whale bone

After lunch, we drove to the Australian Shark and Ray Centre. It offered us a chance to get in the water and feed sharks and rays, while learning more about these interesting creatures.

Learning how to (and how NOT to) pet the sharks and rays

We were given small pieces of prawns, squid and fish to clip to the end of their "feeding sticks"

Chy-Anne had a great time feeding them!


Nemo in the anemone

Liam started from outside the large tank full of sharks and rays - 
but he made his way in after a little while.

Big ray on Chy-Anne's foot

"Sarah the Eagle Ray" really liked Liam's treats

The sharks and rays would nibble on our wetsuits and rub up against us (like cats) looking for the next snack. There were squeals of excitement from all of us!

The next tank had a gigantic ray in it. 
Petting it was like touching a really slimy moving mushroom - so cool! 
Over 300 kg I think they said this ray was. 

Mom and Bryce had a great spot for this one!

Liam's photography skills are improving, too!

The final tank was filled with huge nurse sharks. We had a glove on to pet these ones! Mr. Fluffy was one of their names.

After pushing our limits at the Australian Shark and Ray Center, we drove to the Tilligerry Creek area to have another go at spotting a wild koala! Beautiful walk on the boardwalk along the creek during sunset....still no koalas!

The next day, the whole family headed over to One Mile Beach for a morning cuppa and a breakfast bite. We soaked in some more sunrise rays on a beautiful beach!

We finally found our koala in the wild....

Wait, no...that's just a Brycer!

The long drive home was upon us - but I had heard about the Sygna shipwreck just outside of Port Stephens in the Worimi Conservation Lands. I convinced Chy it would just be a short walk to the wreck through the sand turned out to be considerably longer than that (just over 6 km return)

We took off our shoes to walk barefoot on the sand

The wreck was still quite far away - we decided to settle for this view and took a photo (it is just left of the center in this shot)

The boys found shell treasure (and other coral and bits)

There were some quad bikes tours of the dune going on nearby

After our tour through the Worimi Sand Dune, we packed back into the car and made our way back home to Nowra (only 5 more hours to go!)

An amazing long weekend in Port Stephens for sure!


  1. Spot the Aussie. They have petted any shark. No way! Haven't you seen JAWS!!!!????

  2. We have seen Jaws, Maree! That's what made this such an exciting experience! No worries, everyone came out of the water with the same fingers and toes they went in with:) Thanks for your comment!