I wasn’t quite sure what to expect for a day trip to Port Stephens. It sounded like just another quaint habrour town – which it was. But the lunch break we had was tranquil and I loved having a day off, eating yummy food and watching the yachts and boats silently bob along the waves. But that was just to refresh our energies for what was to come.
On the Heels (or Fins) of Dolphins
We boarded the cruise ship that would take us out the the happy swimmers that were already waiting to welcome us into their homely waters. Watching them from the deck, the whole boat was alert and snapped away at the dolphins that were around. We saw a couple of them cheekily coming up and disappearing again. They were obviously teasing.
Getting there seemed to take quite long but after meeting the dolphins, it seemed to be over so quickly, too. On the way back those with their bathing outfits ready or not bothered by being splashed, could sit in the outside hammock and dip their feet in the water. Or just sunbathe on the deck. It was a very relaxed cruise with complimentary tea and coffee.
Extra Activities Galore
Keeping in line with the water theme, we headed for the beach at Birubi where I was surprised with an optional camel ride. Sure I would try that. One more thing I can tick off my bucketlist right there. The other two options (and if you are quick you can do all three) were sand boarding (it is no secret I am a disaster at this) and 4WDing to the dunes. I personally preferred animal transport.
And so there I was, face to face with a giant head that was nonchalantly munching something that was invisible, exuding a bad breath and gazing at me from underneath enormous eyelashes. Going up was quite another adventure but not as shocking as going down. I should have been prepared for this since I had seen it with friends and laughed so hard at their faces. I am sure I couldn’t keep mine straight (didn’t dare to watch the video yet).
Beach Walk Extraordinaire
So there I was on a camel’s back, shaking back and forth while we were crossing dunes on our way to the beach. For sure, this is by far not as elegant as on horseback but I had just as much fun. Plus, the camel didn’t stop to eat dandelions and refuse to walk like the horses I tried to ride did. It just refused to stand up in the first place. For 5 minutes. But I guess the peer pressure was too tough in the end and it got up.
However, it made a point of showing its displeasure by walking extra slow and making the camel behind me walk right next to me. It was presumably curious what was going on. I didn’t mind and had a great time with both camels and chatting away to the random person I shared the camel with. Departing with new-found camel riding skills, I made for the beach to watch surfers glide on the waves and dogs play in the water.
It might not seem much but I definitely did a lot and it was just a fun day out underneath the sun, among the waves and in the dunes. Meeting lots of animals and generally relaxing was a good contrast to my otherwise tight sightseeing schedules. So if you haven’t chased dolphins yet, surfed in the sand or road on a camel, this is your chance.
You can book yourown Port Stephens day trip here:
PO Box 2405, Strawberry Hills
Sydney, Australia 2012
Tel: +61 (0) 29318 0853