The view from the top of Tomaree Peak
Tomaree Summit, Port Stephens in Australia.
N.S.W. National Parks
This is the view from Tomaree peak, some people call it a mountain, but after hiking around the Himalayas in Nepal, I can not call this little peak of 161m a mountain. So, to me it’s a peak.
Facts on Tomaree Peak
Tomaree Peak is one of two peaks at the mouth of the majestic harbour of Port Stephens, in Australia. It is part of Tomaree National Park and is a tourist attraction of Shoal Bay. Tomaree Peak has a historical place in the area, as it was use as radar station and look out during WW11. There are relics of the war throughout and along the tracks on the peak.
The Hiking Experience
Climbing the peak can be a real challenge in some parts. Although it is a short walk up to the summit about 1-1/12 hrs return, it is steep and does have many steps. It certainly tests your fitness level. Though the real hiking experience for me, is exploring the whole peak, from side to side, front to back and top to bottom. Exploring the whole peak will take about 3 hrs.
The Fisherman’s Track
Following on the fisherman’s track around the front of the peak is a lovely bushy walk, this section takes about 1 hr return. This track can be slightly dangerous at times, as it is along the cliff face of the peak. Hiking around here includes climbing under fallen trees, up and over rocks and branches. So you will need to have a good back and knees.
The views along this part of the track are just stunning. First, there are the three beaches; Zenith, Wreck and Box. The ‘Spit” flows after Box and leads out to Fingal Island and the Lighthouse. As you climb further around the front of the peak, the views continue with a few islands and then Yaccaba Peak, the other Peak guarding the entrance to the harbour. Once you get to the end of the track, which is under the look outs and face of the peak, you can rest on the huge rocks, and watched the sea life such as whales and dolphins and birds.
I have seen whales from this point, dolphins, a fever of stingray. Just magical.
The view North from Tomaree Summit, shows Yaccaba Peak.
Yaccaba Peak, Port Stephens, Australia.
Steps and track
After returning to to the path the hike then goes around until you reach the steep metal steps. Once you start your incline, you will be tested physically. This part of the walk is challenging but reaching the top will be so rewarding. Along the way, you’ll seen stunning views of Shoal Bay, the harbour and along the tops of other hills, and the 3 beaches.
From the summit, you’ll appreciate unparalleled views of unspoiled Port Stephens and its coastline. Many people say it’s one of the best coastal views they have ever seen. The views look back over Shoal bay, the harbour that stretches for miles and miles, and the inner lighthouse. Then looking westward along the coastline you can see 3 little spectacular beaches hidden among the rocky outcrops. These beaches then lead onto a little strip of sand that is called the SPIT. On clear days you see to Newcastle and at times Sydney.
The Spit is a very dangerous piece of sand to cross as it is susceptible to the tides and weather conditions. At high tide this SPIT gets completely covered with water and people have been known to get swept off the sand and die, 15 people have died on the spit.
Zenith, Wreck, Box and Spit
Looking beyond the spit you can see as far as Newcastle and on a clear day you can see Sydney, which is probably about 150Kms via the water. From the summit you can also see the many hilly peaks and National Park and each one of these peaks has it’s own treasure of views.
View South over Tomaree National Park
When looking directly south from the top look out you will see Cabbage Tree and Boondelbah islands – which are the settling destinations for the Gould’s Petrel, a rare bird that is vulnerable to extinction.
Then looking North you will see the other Peak called Yaccaba, and Tea Gardens and Hawkes Nest.
Once you climb back down and reach the path, turn right. Along this path you see relics of the war and some of those spectacular sights from another perspective. This path will take you to the Gun Emplacements and then back down through the back of the Lodge. The Lodge is now a home for disabled people. During the war it was the base for the troops from the US and Australian Army.
To the Point
Once you have reached the car park turn right onto the public path and walk around out to the point. Here is more relics of the War such as torpedo tracks. The views along here just as special.
That is what I call a fantastic few hours of hiking with incredible views and experiences and it is definitely a work out. So, if your in this area make sure you put on your boots, pack a day pack, get a GPS or compass, let someone know where your going and get out there and explore, you will not regret it.
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