Spring – that time of the year when the weather starts to warm up, flowers bloom and Aussies minds turn to outdoor activities and beaches.
I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take a drive up the east coast of NSW from Sydney to the bohemian mecca of Byron Bay, and enjoy the spring weather.
So, I checked the calendar, found a free week and with a bit if shuffling, organised a Subaru Outback; the perfect car to explore the coastal beach villages and dirt tracks leading to secluded spots.
One little thing I neglected to check was the weather. I didn’t need to, because after all it is spring right?
Sydney to Port Stephens
Apparently, that was a slight mistake because the morning I headed off it was raining. A little inconvenient I thought, but as it turned out, it got much worse. I packed the gear into the boot of the Subaru Outback and found that it was big enough to take everything and still pull the cargo cover over. I headed off Monday afternoon before the daily exodus up the M1 (still call it the F3) towards Port Stephens.
It was surprisingly cold, so on went the seat heaters and hooked up the Apple CarPlay to my favourite tunes. Traffic was light and I was looking forward to a few days R&R. Apart from that annoying on- and off-again rain (thankfully, we had auto wipers) it was an uneventful trip and we arrived at the Anchorage Resort at Corlette, Port Stephens.
Staying in Port Stephens
The Anchorage is a great place to base yourself as it’s tucked away from the main hustle and bustle of the Nelson Bay area and is right on the waterfront. Think of it as a little bit of the Hamptons on the water. It’s a little pricey, but for a night or two, the indulgence is worth it.
The rooms are open and have either a garden view or overlook the marina. It’s an incredibly relaxed atmosphere with the dining area and sitting areas also overlooking the marina.
If you get up early enough you can see the sunrise over the water and listen to the Currawongs burbling their hearts out while you go for a relaxing walk along the boardwalk. Luckily the weather had cleared up enough to venture about.
We have explored the Port Stephens area numerous times before in a Subaru XV and other cars, so have chosen to do a few different things this time.
Five different things to do in the Port Stephens area:
- Lunch at the Inner Lighthouse Tea Rooms – the views are stunning.
- Indulge in local culinary treats from places such as Moffats Oyster Barn or craft beers at Murrays Brewery.
- Explore the street art of both Anna Bay and Nelson Bay from the famed local artist.
- Restore the balance of mind and body with an authentic Thai Massage at Dragon Massage in the village of Anna Bay.
- Take a walk along Stockton Beach at sunset.
We headed off after a busy morning towards our next stop, an Airbnb just outside of Coffs Harbour after exploring a few diversions along the way.
Stay tuned for part two of our ‘Drive into Spring’ series where we explore from Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour.
Subaru’s social movement, #OneLittleMoment, aims to bring Australians closer, to reconnect and enjoy the magic of living in the moment. It encourages Australians to recognise, and share, the joy of their everyday moments.
Our #OneLittleMoment from Part One of our trip is this spectacular sunset on the beach. The sun sets daily, but often it’s the busiest time of my day and it passes by without notice. On holidays however, with a golden sunset and a beautiful beach right in front of me, I took the time to take a stroll, breathe in the salty air and admire nature’s beauty