The Hotel: The Retreat Port Stephens
Set within four acres of well-maintained gardens and bushland, just minutes’ walk from the beach, The Retreat Port Stephens is a unique property which backs directly onto the largest living sand dune system in the Southern Hemisphere. Guests can reach Anna Bay’s shops and attractions in just a couple of minutes’ drive while also benefitting from the secluded and peaceful setting of the bush.
Groupies stay in a self-contained cabin or a bungalow, each featuring a fully equipped kitchen with a living area with a TV and DVD player, and a patio. When not out and about, guests can explore the on-site facilities, play a game of table tennis, walk over the dunes to the beach, or enjoy a campfire and barbecue in the evening. The little ones can have some fun in the on-site children’s playground.
- Bed size/type: One queen bed
- Standard occupancy: Four people
- Maximum occupancy: Five people
- Extra guest: $45 per night, payable to the property directly
- The cabin features a fully equipped kitchen, outdoor seating, air conditioning, TV and DVD, and a private bathroom
The Area: Anna Bay and Port Stephens, NSW
Though it is home to famous sights like Australia’s largest shipwreck and the expansive sand dunes from the Mad Max movie, Port Stephens is still one of New South Wales’ best-kept secrets. The small coastal region boasts photo-worthy scenery thanks to its sandy landscape and pristine beaches, which offer many ideal vantage points for spotting migrating humpback whales during the winter and spring months. A family-friendly destination like no other, the Port Stephens region is awash with cute cafés, water and land-based activities and a dose of fresh seaside air.
Located on the northern side of the port is Hawks Nest, a slow-paced village flanked by expansive lakes, rivers, bushland and East Coast shoreline. Hit up the region’s famous sand dunes for hours of fun, whether it is a hike, 4WD adventure or simply sliding down the sandy slopes. Then hit the beach, river or lake for myriad water sports or a simple splash around.