Forget towel sharing and head north to Port Stephens to snag a beach for yourself. Henry suggests Wreck Beach in Tomaree National Park for your weekend dose of isolation.


  • Idyllic beaches
  • Dreamy seascapes
  • 2 hours from Sydney


Henry Brydon wreck beach port stephens tent

Blissful Wreck Beach Escape

Port Stephens is a 2.5-hour drive up the Pacific Highway from Sydney and is a popular escape for Sydney escape artists and central coasters.

We realised this when we pulled into the area’s main beach, Nelson Bay. Jeez, it was busy.

The idea of towel-sharing with a stranger didn’t excite us hugely, so we continued around the headland to Shoal Bay, which was more like what we were after.

With its long curving aspect and steep pointed headlands, it felt a little like Copacabana Beach here, minus the g-strings.

The faint screams of children in the distance were still just a bit too much though. After all, perfection is what we were searching for.

We hopped back into the car and drove slightly further south through Tomaree National Park to an empty and gorgeous Wreck Beach.

Read more: Plan Port Stephens for Your Next Adventure Weekender

Paradise Found Near Port Stephens

As the sun entered the latter stages of its kaleidoscopic descent, we took a moment to appreciate where we were and just how incredibly lucky we are to have these magnificent escapes on our doorstep.

The following day we continued south for a morning of hiking and exploring the wonders of Fingal Bay, before returning to our base in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

A day of towel-sharing at Bondi Beach on the Bank Holiday Monday awaited us…

Essential Gear

  • Beach towel
  • Camping gear
  • Sunscreen

How To Get There

From Sydney, take the M1 northbound until you reach Newcastle, then turn off onto the B63 towards Tomaree National Park. The drive should take you around 2.5 hours.


  • Swimming
  • Sun baking
  • Hiking
  • Camping

Skill Level