Tomaree National Park

National Park in Port Stephens

This wonderfully wild expanse offers beautiful hiking in an area that can feel far more remote than it actually is. The park harbours angophora forests and several threatened species, including the spotted-tailed quoll and powerful owl, and you can spot outcrops of the rare volcanic rock rhyodacite. In spring, the Morna Point trail (5.5km return, 2½ hours) is strewn with wildflowers.

At the eastern end of Shoal Bay there’s a short walk to the surf at unpatrolled Zenith Beach (2km return, 30 minutes), or you can tackle the Tomaree Head Summit Walk (2.2km, 1½ hours return) and be rewarded with stunning ocean views. For picnics and snorkelling try Fishermans Bay, which has rock pools.