Port Stephens

"College is the longest vacation you will ever take"

Whats up everyone,

Last weekend a group of 53 CAPA students went on a trip to Nelson Bay in the area of Port Stephens. It is about three hours away from Sydney. Our tour guide set up this trip and we left Friday evening and this time we all got to ride on the nice charter bus. We had activities planned for all day Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday we woke up at 830 and boarded the bus to feed sharks and stingrays. Upon pulling up to this place I instantly thought of Gatorland in Florida. It was basically a hole in the wall place that gave you the chance to interact with extreme animals in a way no other place can. We put on our “sexy” suits, which were basically fly fishing suits. I was expecting when we came here to be submerged under water and feed them, but that wasn’t the case.

They had sticks for us to put our “food” on then we proceeded to get into the water. There were four pools that we could get into to feed the sharks and stingrays. I only ended up getting in two of the pools, as this was where most people were. I took my underwater camera and got some good videos off all the sharks and rays. My favorite was they had a stingray that was about 6 foot wide and was by far the biggest stingray I had seen much less got to stand in the water with. While the experience was neat, I was expecting more. Worst part was all 53 of us were going to smell like fish the rest of the day.

We left the shark feeding and headed to the most popular attraction at Port Stephens. We showed up to the beach, which had what seemed like endless amounts of sand dunes. We split into three groups and boarded a 4x4 bus that led us further into the dunes to go dune boarding.

Once we arrived they didn’t say anything other than grab a board and climb the hill. So a group of guys and I grabbed a board and got to the top of the hill as fast as we could. Once we got to the top we sat down on the boards and slid down the dune.

While this was a thrill we decided a thrill with some more risk. We started going down the dune standing up on the board (which they suggested not to do.) Needless to say this was more fun despite the bad falls a few of us had. We now smelt like fish and were covered in sand for the rest of the day.

The next thing we did was grab some lunch and then we boarded a boat for a dolphin watching cruise. I have been on a few dolphin cruises before when I was younger and loved them. Dolphins are one of my favorite animals. However, once you actually swim with dolphins, seeing them from afar is nothing. The views from the boat were amazing and we even got on a net that had a slide on the back of the boat while it was going.

After the dolphin cruise we went back to the room and showered off the sand and stench from the shark tank. We left for a brewery for wine and beer tasting (Yes the drinking age in Australia is 18) We tried a few beers and wines and had dinner. After dinner we boarded the bus and headed back to the apartment to relax and sleep for the next days activities.

Sunday was a day full of wine tasting. We went to 4 wineries in the Hunter Valley Vineyard area which is one of the most popular vineyards in the country. All the wines tasted the same to me. The only difference was drinking red and drinking white. Other than that they all tasted about the same. 

The wineries were neat but 4 was too boring. We were ready to leave as we had a rugby game to catch. On our way back to Sydney we were driving on the road and passed kangaroos in the wild which was awesome!

I am off to Melbourne this weekend and will have an update soon!

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