Robin Esrock’s Top 5 Port Stephens Bucket List


1.  Quad Bike with Sand Dune Adventures

The largest coastal dunes in the southern hemisphere make a magnificent playground for quad bikes.  Throw in the opportunity to go sandboarding and learn about indigenous culture, and this excursion is truly one-of-a-kind.  Owned and operated by the Worimi people on their private land, race through incredible dunes with stunning views of the Tasman Sea.


2.  Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters

Husband and wife team Ryan and Lia are passionate about dispelling harmful myths that make us afraid of the ocean’s most important creatures.  Slip on a wetsuit and climb into the tanks as you get up close and personal with various stingrays and sharks, learning about the vital part they place in the marine eco-system.   Feeding massive smooth rays, cuddling a Port Jackson shark, and being in the water with huge 3-metre tawny nurse sharks, this family friendly activity is both exhilarating and educational. 


3.  Toboggan Hill Park

A short walk from the Oaks Pacific Blue Resort is a fun park for the whole family, featuring dry ice-skating, jumping castles, mini golf, a climbing wall and various rides. The highlight is a one-kilometre-long toboggan track, winding downhill through eleven turns. An automatic uphill tow takes you 300-metres up the hill before the ride, which is controlled with a simple, kid-friendly brake mechanism,   I put my kids between my legs and we all indulged in the need for speed!


4.  TreeTop Rollercoaster

This adventure park along the Central Coast has the world’s longest and fastest rollercoaster zipline.   Unlike a traditional zipline, which quickly gets you between two points in a line, the Treetop Crazy Rider is a flying fox that swoops you around trees and through forest, picking up speed as you dip, spin and spiral down the hill. Safely attached to an innovative steep pipe system, it’s a unique four-minute ride of a lifetime. 



5.  Loop around the Pool

The Oaks Pacific Blue has the largest pool in the country.  It’s more like a lagoon, and your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to swim around the entire thing.   We couldn’t, mostly because we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to slip into one of the Jacuzzis, or chat to someone walking over the bridges.  Pop your kids on a floatie, take your time, and enjoy a leisurely circuit.


Renowned travel writer, TV host and bestselling author Robin Esrock is the author of the upcoming books - The Great Australian Bucket List, and Esrocking Australia with the Kids.  Follow him @robinesrock, @Ausbucketlist or