A thunder storm was about to break and bolt lightning was playing around the western end of the beach as I took this panorama. I was hoping to catch some lightning using a long exposure, but in the end gave up when it started raining. The cloud formation over the beach was dramatic though, obliterating Newcastle.
Stockton Beach at Anna Bay - Port Stephens visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Stockton Beach at Anna Bay' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from New South Wales.
Stockton Beach is massive, stretching 32km from Newcastle all the way down the Tomaree Peninsula to Anna Bay in Port Stephens. The beach is backed by 1km deep sand dunes that become forested. This forms the largest sand mass in the whole of New South Wales, and easily seen on the satellite view of Port Stephens on this Google map. The beach faces southeast, with sand dunes up to 30m high that move about 1m per year. Stockton Beach is very close to One Mile Beach and the One Mile Beach Holiday Park.
There are no end of things to do on Stockton Beach. Popular activites include horse riding, and exploring the beach in 4x4 vehicles and quadbikes (permits required). The dunes are large enough for sand boarding and surfing. Surfing is also popular in the waters. Other activities include fishing, sailing, body surfing and walking.
Stockton Beach is very rich in numerous sorts of wildlife that have adapted to use various parts of the shore front. Along the coastline, the rip tides form moving sand bars and gullies that provide shelter for shoals of bream, whiting, tailor and jewfish, and a target for shore fishermen.
Towards the western end is the largest shipwreck in the Eastern Australian Seaboard. This is the Synga, resting and rusting just offshore after running aground here during a storm in 1974. Always visible, this hulk is slowly being eroded by the wind and waves but remains a local landmark. The Sygna is not the only wreck on Stockton Beach, others, like the Uralla and Oimara, have also perished in these waters.
Port Stephens is about 200km north of Sydney. Take the 1 Pacific Highway to just north of Newcastle and then the 122 onto Tomaree Peninsula following signs for Nelson Bay on the Nelson Bay Road. Various access points for Stockton Beach head south from this road.