For those visiting Port Stephens in the hopes of chasing down fantastic views, look no further than Gan Gan Lookout. Accessible for wheelchairs and cars, it also offers an alternative to Tomaree Mountain for those who lack the mobility for a more strenuous hike. The lookout is based on Lily Hill Road – off the busier Nelson Bay Road. The drive takes you up a winding hill with wooded bush either side, before a small roundabout where you take a left turn. From here it is minutes to the top of the hill where there is parking available. Alternatively, if you would prefer a walk, you can easily park around the base of Lily Hill Road – I found a place on Galoola Drive and walked along the path before beginning the 10-minute climb. The road gets its name from the native Gymea Lilies that flower around the area. They can grow to 5 metres and are an intensely striking colour.
The first viewpoint is by the carpark and Bay FM radio station. It offers binoculars to look out for whales in migration season for a small fee – so make sure you have some spare change if this interests you! Following the path along to the left, a short walk around the radio station takes you to the main viewpoint. This boasts panoramic views of Port Stephens and the gorgeous coastline with local flora and bush in the forefront. Information boards highlight key features and landmarks which are great to take in whilst sitting down to catch your breath and take in the view. This is an activity that can be adapted for a range of fitness levels and ages and one that I would highly recommend to best spend an hour in the area.