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Is this NSW’s prettiest seaside escape?

There’s an instant holiday feel when you drive into Port Stephens, north of Sydney.

It’s all lush parkland, beach shacks, icing sugar-like shores and turquoise waters. And on a fingertip of this pretty peninsula in northern NSW, you’ll find The Anchorage Hotel & Spa, a Hamptons-style retreat in the neighbourhood of Corlette.

Perched above a marina, the white mansion-style property with its waterfront mooring sits behind a landscaped garden, while inside it’s all crisp white and blues – a perfect reflection of its outside hues.

The Hamptons-inspired design of The Anchorage, Port Stephens
The Hamptons-inspired design of The Anchorage, Port Stephens

Checking in at Port Stephens

A sparkling glass of wine on arrival sets the scene at this indulgent idyll.

Check in to your room, suite or loft, all of which have breezy seaside vibes, filled with natural light.

It’s all panelled headboards and oversized chairs with pops of blue to match that pretty marina that sits right outside. Choose the master suite with 180-degree views of the sparkling waters of Port Stephens from every window, a deep free-standing bathtub and furnished balcony. Or a loft, where you can sit on your second-level balcony where you have a bird’s eye view of that picturesque bay.

While away your days

Spa Lucca makes it easy to treat yourself to one of a myriad of treatments from signature massages to bespoke treatments – all using sustainable, ethically produced Australian products. Think Sodashi, Mukti and La Gaia.

Choose Crystalus for an indulgent body massage using native Australian essence and crystal therapy; or Pearl, a balancing back massage and luxe facial with an Akoya pearl mask.

Afterwards, soak in the whirlpool or sit in the steam room or tranquil relaxation lounge.

Then, slip away to the adults-only pool, or take your book and lay in a cabana by the second pool, with poolside bar, because who doesn’t want to sip cocktails poolside while on holiday?

For those who crave sand between their toes, there is also direct access to Corlette Beach – and you might just be the only one there.

Relax poolside at The Anchorage Port Stephens
Relax poolside at The Anchorage Port Stephens

When it’s time to dine

The award-winning Galley Kitchen is the go-to for a la carte dining. Think slow-braised beef brisket with smoked carrot puree and asparagus, or Puy lentil and coconut curry with tomato, chilli, spinach and basmati rice. Finish with mango semifreddo, passionfruit gel and pink pepper meringue, or banoffee tart with banana crème, caramel and coconut ice cream.

The Wild Herring is the ultimate fine-dining seaside experience where you’ll savour olive oil poached salmon with celeriac, vanilla and star anise; Moreton Bay bug ravioli with asparagus, corn and amaretto beurre blanc and peppered duck breast with blackberry sauce, spinach and gaufrettes.

But make your first stop Moby’s Bar for a pre- or post-dinner drink – it’s home to the world’s finest whiskies and cocktail classics like negroni and long island iced tea.  Don’t miss The Captain’s Stash: scotch, orange bitters, sweet popcorn syrup and peated whisky.

Expect exceptional food at The Anchorage, Port Stephens
Expect exceptional food at The Anchorage, Port Stephens

Seaside vibe in Port Stephens

When you can tear yourself away from the hotel, wade in the waters of one of the 26 beaches in the region.

Learn to surf, stand-up paddleboard, hire a kayak, or just take a stroll – make it at sunset when you’ll be treated to a sky streaked in pink above the sparkling blue sea.

If you’re here between May and November, keep an eye out for the humpback whales, thousands migrate through the marine park which bottlenose dolphins call home year-round.

Or head into the hinterland and take a hike to the top of Mount Tomaree – a short walk that will reward you with spectacular views.

If you’re looking for something more challenging, there are more than 20 kilometres of rocky coastline to wander. It’s here you’ll also find charming towns and bucolic countryside brimming with fresh, local produce.

Stop at the Medowie Macadamia Nut Farm for dark and white chocolate-coated macadamias, and B Farm by Murray’s, a pioneer in Australian craft beer where you can enjoy a classic British high tea alongside house-distilled cocktails.

Afterwards, head back to the hotel where you can call up room service, sit on your balcony and simply soak up those views.

The Anchorage, Port Stephens
Bathe in the natural light of the spacious suites

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