You probably can’t speak like an Aussie in one day but spend some time in the beautiful Port Stephens area and you can at least feel like one. Eating pies with sauce and chillin’ with some Roos. Sounds awesome mate!
If you happen to be in Sydney and have no fear of driving on the correct side of the road, then you need to head north to experience Newcastle. And an entertaining day could be spent in Port Stephens, just a little further up the coast.
Here you will have the chance to tuck in to some of the best and most outrageous pies on offer and also spend some quality time with a bunch of friendly, and usually hungry, ‘roos.
Port Stephens is worth a visit even without the Aussie icons adding to the package. Wild dolphins are regular visitors to the bays and whale watching is extremely popular in season. The beaches and bays are fantastic for swimming and a favourite among locals as family barbecue spots. Add a growing number of quality restaurants and accommodation and you find so many things to do in Port Stephens that it really deserves a few days away from the noise and crush of Sydney.
Anyway, back to the meat pies. If you have never experienced any of our real meat pies then I implore you to hook in to one when you are Downunder. Ask a local for a recommendation on where to find the best pie and I guarantee they will point you in the right direction with no hesitation.
When it comes to Port Stephens, or Nelson Bay in particular, the go to bakery is the famous Red Ned’s pie shop. The range of traditional and gourmet pies on offer here is sure to please with the only problem being how to decide which one…. or two!
Like this tasty monster Red Ned’s pie, chunky yearling steak with onion, potato, ham and cheese melt.
Or maybe a fancy sausage roll is more to your taste, which happened to be the case with our last visitor from the USA. After her first taste at Red Ned’s Tiana was always on the lookout for more sausage rolls, which are a mystery mixture of sausage meats and other wonderful ingredients rolled inside buttery, flaky pastry, for those who didn’t know.
Twenty minutes back down the road is a small animal reserve called Oakvale Farm where you will find a number of farm animals and some special Aussie natives. We have made it a habit to take our international guests here and a good time is had by all.
One of the highlights of the visit are always wandering among free roaming kangaroos, remember to buy a bag of ‘roo food on entry to the park, and you have to chance to hand field the little guys.
Make friends with another Aussie icon. The koala, not Dana!
The second memorable moment will be when you get to pet or hold a koala, and if you are really lucky it may even be awake! They tend to spend the majority of the day sleeping and then wake for a quick bite to eat before nodding off again.
Sydney certainly has its charms, but do yourself a favour and head north to my neck of the woods. It’s more laid back and you will get to experience being an Aussie for a day, well, a pretend Aussie anyway, it takes years to master the art of being easy going.