Tweet Manookatoo Adventures: Perfect Port Stephens

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Perfect Port Stephens

Perfect Port Stephens
There is no better way to describe this waterway on the New South Wales coast than "perfect". We have so many memories of past trips to this area that we were keen to revisit, so we gave ourselves plenty of time to explore. Here are just a few of our highlights:
We all love prawns at Jimmy's Beach!

Jimmy's Beach
To us, Jimmy's Beach is synonomous with prawns. We usually visit the Nelson Bay fishing co-op for half a kilo at our first opportunity, grab a couple of rolls or a loaf of fresh bread from the local bakery, and zoom over, dropping anchor close to shore. Jimmy's Beach was our first stop when we entered Port Stephens this time, anchoring offshore and taking the brig ashore for a walk along the beautiful stretch of sand towards the entrance, with prawns for lunch after our walk. When the first mate's parents were visiting, we had another lovely prawn lunch there, with a large pod of dolphins swimming nearby.
Fame Cove
Beautiful Fame Cove
On previous trips to Port Stepehens, our visits to Fame Cove have just been for lunch, but this time, with our floating "house" we could take full advantage of the courtesy moorings and stay the night. This is a popular place with many boaties but at this time of year, on our three visits, each time we have been lucky enough to snag a spare mooring, lazing the afternoon away and enjoying the peace and serenity with nothing but bushland surrounding us.
Shoal Bay
The captain powered up Tomaree
Two things we love about Shoal Bay are the Fishermans Club and the Tomaree Head walk - for quite different reasons!! Both were places we have walked to in the past, when we stayed at the first mate's parents' apartment at Little Beach, and we were keen to revisit this time. The captain took great pleasure in the Tomaree walk - 1 km straight up to the top - while the first mate slogged along and appreciated reaching the top and admiring the view.
A walk back to Manookatoo via Little Beach topped off the experience. When the weather was windy we took another walk to Shoal Bay and had lunch on the terrace at the Fishermans Club, enjoying the views to sea and an extravagant seafood lunch.
Lemon Tree Passage
Finally got the bikes out!
A quiet patch of water that few people visit but a lovely location - with a waterside koala walk, a great takeaway shop and a reasonable Bowls Club, it is easy to stay there. We left Manookatoo at Lemon Tree Passage Marina while we visited the Gold Coast for the captain to attend the boat show and for both of us to catch up with friends - it is an inexpensive Marina with easy access to Newcastle Airport. We also spent a night tied up at the main wharf, taking the bikes and riding through the bush to Tanilba Bay on the Tilligery Peninsula and walking along the foreshore and through the koala sanctuary.
Nelson Bay
The perennial favourite, Nelson Bay, has so much to offer. We stayed a night at D'Albora Marina then discovered free short term berthing at the ferry jetty nearby - the perfect place to park while the first mate's parents were visiting! From here, everything is accessible, either on foot, by bus or ferry, or in Manookatoo!
The "old" generator impeller and teeth
And the "new" impeller - teeth attached
We returned when it was too windy for staying on a mooring overnight, enjoying the local amenities and making the most of the chandlery for the Captain to show his skills as the "Chief Engineer" and carry out repairs to the generator.

We loved our time in Port Stephens - our stay was extended a little by strong winds and high swells, but there are worse places to spend extra time so we were happy to wait for the right weather "window" before setting our next course north this morning.......

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