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Roadtrip Australia: Van-Tastic NSW - KIRSTY AND CARLY Kirsty and Carly embark on the ultimate Aussie roadtrip as they motor around New South Wales with Van-Tastic Adventures for six action-packed, free-wheeling weeks of adventure.


AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 18 October 2009 | Views [2832]

Port Stephens 

After a great time in Port Macquarie, we set off to Port Stephens, which despite our initial beliefs, is not actually a town, but an area.  We arrived just after sunset at Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers, which is an amazing place to stay!  The hostel is on 6 acres of gorgeous bushland, across the road from the beach, and they have designated sites for kombis and campers that also include full use of the common room and all of their facilities.  More about them in our next blog though – we did so much in Port Stephens that it’s going to take two blogs to cover it all!

Horse Riding

Jeanette from Melaleuca arranged all of our activities for us, the first being a horse ride through the bush and along a lagoon with Sahara Trails.  Carly’s horse was called Meg, and mine was Kaz, and they were both great to ride.  It was a nice peaceful walk in beautiful surroundings, and we also got to trot a few times.

Whale Watching

The next day, we headed out on a whale watching cruise with Imagine Cruises and had a great time!  We’re beginning to think we’re whale whisperers, because we came within metres of whales again!  It was our third whale watch of the trip, but our first on a bigger sailboat, so we made the most of sitting in the net out the front and doing ‘Titanic’ impersonations.  On the way back in, we also had boat surfing competitions, to see who could stay on their feet the longest.  Overall, it was a very cool trip, and Didg did the best & funniest safety induction we’ve ever heard.

Trivia Night

After the whale watching cruise, we relaxed back at Melaleuca for a while, before heading to trivia night at Anna Bay Tavern, the local pub.  Our team was made up of Teri from Chicago, Elizabeth from the Netherlands, Carly and myself, and despite arriving 7 questions in, we managed to finish in equal second place.  There were a few tricky questions, including ‘What state of the USA starts with B?’ which had Teri puzzled for ages, but thankfully her home country knowledge came through and we put down the correct answer.*  Our prize was a $10 bottleshop gift voucher, and we then headed back to Melaleuca, where we introduced the French to cheap Australian cask wine.  They were actually very impressed!

Ray and Shark Centre

Port Stephens also involved a visit to the Australian Ray and Shark Centre, where we donned wetsuits and got in the tank with rays and sharks, including an enormous stingray that weighs over 300kg!  It was strange to be in a tank surrounded by so many ‘dangerous’ creatures, but they were all really placid, and let us feed them as they swam around us.  It was a pretty cool experience.

There’s still a lot of our time in Port Stephens to cover, so be sure to come back for our next blog!  In the meantime, make sure you check out our latest videos here: http://vantastic.worldnomads.com/index.php/about-vantastic-adventures/stage-1-active-nsw

*And for those of you interested in the US state starting with B, there isn’t one!



Tags: australian ray and shark centre, imagine cruises, melaleuca, nsw, port stephens, roadtrip australia, sahara trails, van-tastic

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