Port Stephens is known for its gorgeous coastline and scenery. Having explored the area and walking trails there was one walk at the top of my list – Tomaree Mountain. Reaching the top, you were promised unreal views over One Mile Beach and I had major Instagram envy from all the tourists who had seen what I had not. Parking at the base is free which is always a plus, and close to Zenith Beach which is great for surfing and only a 2-minute cut through the bush. The climb starts deceivingly gently, trailing up into a wooded section. The path itself is clearly set out and at 11am was busy with other walkers, so I felt very safe doing it alone. The walk to the top took me a little over 20 minutes, although I was rushing after a couple of walkers heading down told us you could see whales! In the last third of the climb, the path changes into metal steps which are a lot steeper and more difficult. I’d recommend bringing a lot of water (something I forgot) especially if you do this in summer. There are options to sit at signposted picnic areas on the route so families with younger children could definitely stagger the climb to cater for smaller legs!
Once at the top the views were more than as promised. You could see whales just off the coast and the beaches and coastline looked so tropical and picturesque – even in the height of winter. There are loads of benches and multiple viewpoints; I wasn’t fighting to take pictures despite the fact I visited at midday. I cannot recommend this walk more and it’s one I hope to do again. The following week I even saw a Facebook post showing an aerial picture of a great white shark off the coast from halfway up the mountain! If you keep your eyes peeled there are endless opportunities to spot wildlife from these trails.