Shoal Bay, NSW
16.0 km (4 hrs )
I was fortunate to be able to spend one weekend with my brother and parents at Shoal Bay in April 2019. This beautiful location is surrounded by the Tomaree National Park, featuring a number of pristine beaches, a coastal mountain range, and an island to explore that at the time I visited, was accessible at low tide. I completed two hikes during my stay at Shoal Bay - a hike to the top of Tomaree Mountain on Saturday, and a visit to Fingal Island on Sunday. Each of the hikes took me about 2 hours to complete.
For the hike to Tomaree Mountain, I began at Wreck Beach, then followed the Coastal Walk to Zenith Beach before ascending 160 m to the summit. While there were a lot of stairs to climb, the views from the top are stunning and well worth the effort.
The hike to Fingal Island was not so difficult, although it did involve a fairly long walk across the sand of Fingal Spit. Fingal Spit was exposed at low tide when I visited, and enabled access to the island and the historic Port Stephens lighthouse. The spit has since been eroded in a storm and the island is no longer accessible on foot. It may be years before this route is once again safe to use.