Sydneysiders would probably (mostly!) agree that there’s much to love about summer in the city. And yet…there’s still something pretty sensational about dusting off that surfboard and boardies and getting your wheels out of the garage for a little getaway a few hours from home! Plus, being on (or off) the road after the year that’s just been, is guaranteed to blow away those cobwebs and get you and your vehicle back on track with a new sense of adventure.
For this year-end (or new year’s) holiday season road trip, I’ll be putting a new set of trusty Maxxis tyres to the test on a weekender to the NSW coastal destination, Nelson Bay. Would be awesome if you’d join us! My team’s just checking our vehicle and tyres are right to roll, and we’ll be on our way…
A few directions
From wherever you are in Sydney, find your way onto the M1 heading north, and you really can’t go wrong! Nelson Bay is about two and half hours away from the city, with the journey covering about 220km unless you’re taking detours to soak in the sights (of which there are many) along the way. Of course, it’s always best to avoid peak times and roadwork (there’s an App for that!) so you can really enjoy the ride.
The all-important question of vehicle and tyres
When you’re riding on Maxxis tyres, the journey to your destination is the best part of the adventure! I’m making this trip in a Ford Ranger with a new set of RAZR AT811s – and being all-terrains, they’ll have me all set for wherever I decide to explore. These new RAZRs (which by the way, have been getting the big thumbs up from avid Maxxis’ers around the country for their fabulous work both on and off the grid!) are just as perfect for the job if yours is a family SUV or 4×4. As we’ll be travelling this time on paved roads, a set of flagship Maxxis Victra Sport VS5s on your wagon or other passenger vehicle are also a great choice. They’re top performers and will give you a smooth and comfortable holiday ride!
What do when you get there
Let’s start with the seafood… If you’re up for some of the best seafood around, Nelson Bay is the real deal! Take a walk along the marina and you won’t be able to go past the fresh fish and chips – visit the fish market for oysters, prawns, lobsters and more straight out the ocean (you may want to bring your esky for this one!)
Go snorkelling at Fly Point… A protected sanctuary (between Nelson Bay and Little Beach) – this is an unspoilt spot. Get those flippers and snorkel on for some fabulous marine life viewing right up close to the shore.
Nelson Head Lighthouse…Complete with its picture-perfect views, explore the history of the lighthouse and its little museum. There’s also a coffee shop on site (with its menu including “must try” scones, cakes and brekky staples!)
Little Beach Reserve… Beach, playground and grassy area all come together – perfect for a family day of swimming, walking, BBQing and watching the pelicans.
Tomaree Head Summit walk … Offering some of the best views of Port Stephens and miles around, this two-hour walk is magnificent — and it’s free. Bring your binoculars, camera, good walking shoes, water and picnic lunch.
Swim with the dolphins…The area around Nelson Bay is renowned as serious dolphin country, with literally hundreds of dolphins along with whales and other ocean life living in the waters of the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park. While you may well get to spot them from the shore, if you’ve always wanted to see dolphins close up in action (or better still, swim with them), you can book in for a memory of a lifetime wild dolphin swim departing from the d’Albora marina.
A sand dunes experience… Sand dunes are a feature of the landscape not far from Nelson Bay. If you’re the adventurous type (as I know many Maxxis’ers are), local operators offer a number of paid activities to make the most of them including sandboarding and quad biking — even saddle up for a horse ride at the base of the dunes.
Tomaree Markets …Browse the Tomaree Markets in the Neil Carroll Park. Held every two weeks (on the second and fourth Sundays each month) you’ll find art, crafts and other local produce to enjoy.
Before you go
This trip is all about enjoying summer – watersports, beach sunsets and just generally taking it easy. So, pack the kids, your surfboard, sunscreen, umbrella, beach chairs, and anything else to make your time at the beach, unforgettable – plus of course, that all-important hand sanitiser!! If you’re planning a weekend or a few days stay, there are a wide range of Airbnb’s, motels, serviced apartments and other accommodation options to be had in and around the area including the Halifax family-friendly holiday park. As always, check for availability ahead of time with Nelson Bay and its surrounds being one very popular destination!
That’s it from me, the Maxxis Man, for this month’s trip. Have loads of fun and remember to give those Maxxis tyres a once over (including checking their pressures) while they are still cool before you head off. Bon voyage!