I have arrived home from my 10 day photography road trip from Brisbane to Sydney, very exhausted but excited about what I saw and captured. I didn’t realise how much driving was going to be involved or how far Sydney was. And of course, I have to explore the whole area of whatever place I am at so I didn’t do a whole lot of relaxing.

After visiting our parents and spending the night on the Far North NSW coast we headed off, bright eyed and bushy tailed early Good Friday morning. Our first stop was the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour for the token selfie! Then it was onto Urunga which my husband wanted to show me as it was where he spent his childhood holidays. We had a picnic by the water and I have to say its a great little beachside town. I can see why he had so much fun as a kid here and I would love to go back and stay there for a weekend again soon.

 

Beautiful beachside town of Urunga
Beautiful beachside town of Urunga

 

After leaving Urunga we had a quick look around Nambucca Heads, then onto Port Maquarie for a pit stop. After that we kept going until we hit Port Stephens which we were staying at for the next two nights. It was about 7pm and dark by the time we arrived so I didn’t really see much on the drive in.

The next morning, we were up at 5am for the first dawn shoot of the trip. I had researched the area a little bit on the way down and we headed to Zenith Beach near Shoal Bay. The waves were huge that morning which contributed to the white water that you can see in the picture.

 

Dawn at Zenith Beach, Port Stephens
Dawn at Zenith Beach, Port Stephens

 

After sunrise we headed back the hotel for breakfast and a shower then we were off exploring Port Stephens which is described as an open youthful tide dominated drowned valley estuary! Ok! Otherwise it is known as a large natural harbour located in the Hunter region of New South Wales, Australia!

After lunch we headed off to Anna Bay to check out the huge sand dunes at Stockton Beach. They cover 4,200 hectares and are up to 40 metres high. We found a little back road to get onto the sand dunes because the line of tourist cars trying to get into the normal entrance was ridiculous. Basically we had a whole section of the sand dunes to ourselves and had a great time exploring them.

 

Massive sand Dunes at Stockton Beach, Port Stephens
Massive sand Dunes at Stockton Beach, Port Stephens

 

After running a muck on the sand dunes it was getting close to sunset, I had noticed that the tides were really low so the idea of doing some beautiful rocks on the beach wasn’t going to happen so we went to plan B and photographed the marina near Corlette instead. If there is anything I have learned as a landscape photographer, its to always have a plan B because sometimes the thing you thought was going to be amazing just doesn’t come together.

 

Sunset at the Marina at Corlette
Sunset at the Marina at Corlette

 

After the sunset we got Hokkien Noodles for dinner from Mod Thai and Japanese in Shoal Bay which was delicious and called it an early night so that we could catch first light again in the morning. You can read Part 2 of our Brisbane to Sydney Road Trip here!

Have you been to Port Stephens and what was your experience of it? Is there anything that I missed and need to go back and photograph? I would love to know, so leave a comment below!

 

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