8/02/2015 Normally we don’t ring ahead to check on the availability of a site as there’s usually plenty available. But being now on the NSW north coast which is much more popular than inland areas, and now relying on powered sites, we thought it prudent to call ahead. We wanted to organise a site at a caravan park at Port Stephens, an hour north of Newcastle, where we’d reintroduce ourselves to the South Pacific Ocean. To further complicate matters, it was a Friday and the dark clouds of the weekend beach crowds were building up on the horizon. The first park we called was booked out. The second one had only one site left, with an attached ensuite, available for a three-day package price. Sounded good to us! Booked in for the three days. Lots of time to smell the roses. After arriving at Shoal Bay Holiday Park and setting up the van, we strolled down to the beach. As we exited the sandy path through the vegetation at the top of the beach, the view presented to us was just stunning. I’m not sure what word would best describe the colour of the blue of the water – azure, would probably come closest. The water was crystal clear, the rocky shoals on the sandy bottom dappled the water with myriad shades of blue and the two mountainous heads astride the narrow inlet from the ocean stood guard like rocky sentinels as a backdrop to the bay. Six or so yachts rocked calmly at their moorings not far offshore, and to top it off nicely, as we walked down onto the beach, a dolphin was swimming slowly by just metres offshore in front of us. How idyllic was that…
Each morning and afternoon we were visited by the local rabbits, who were fairly tame and some were quiet enough to hand feed.
On one of our day trips to explore the area we visited Anna Bay and then onto Stockton Sand Dunes where the sand on Stockton Beach varies from hard to soft packed and changes daily with the changing winds and weather. The dunes are the largest continuous mobile sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere.
The three days were spent looking around the area at the many nearby beaches, and swimming and lying on our beach. We both agreed that it would be quite easy to live at Shoal Bay.