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Don’t you just love long weekends? I do! We chose to spend our long weekend a little closer to home in the beautiful waterside town of Port Stephens,  Australia. Although it rained for 2 of the 4 days that we were here, we found that there was so much to do! Here are some of my favourite things to do in Port Stephens:

1. Horse-back riding in the Stockton Sand Dunes

Horse Back riding by Stockton Beach

The Stockton Sand Dunes is the largest sand mass in the Southern Hemisphere and has been used for a many desert based movies such as Sahara! I can definitely see why. When we first arrived, I was amazed at how large this place was. The sand was this beautiful golden colour and it seemed to go on for miles. I even felt like I was in the Sahara desert after spotting a few people riding camels – on tour ofcourse!

Stocktons Sand Dunes on camel back

The horse ride itself was pretty cruisy. We went by the easy route so it was more relaxing than exciting but that’s because my tour group was full of beginners and the ride is tailored to each group. I really enjoyed riding along the beach during high tide as the waves neared closer and closer to my horse’s hooves. I was also mildly entertained by my horse who wanted to break away from the group (we were supposed to walk one by one) in order to stop and eat bits of grass, thus causing all other horses to follow in train. The tour leader had to yell out to me “Keep your horse in train!” a few times, as if he thought I could tell the stubborn fellow what to do. I always seem to get the crazy horses during such activities! The horse paused in time to take this photo…

Stockton Sand Dunes by horse back

This activity would suite all age ranges, unless you like being Xtreme! For which… you would then do my next favourite activity…

2. Quad-bike riding in the Stockton Sand Dunes

Quad biking in Stockton Sand Dunes

Ready, set, go!

Admittedly, the boys did this tour but quad-biking is one of my favourite activities… and what is more exciting than quad-biking in the sand dunes?! They thought that they had lucked out because on the day of the tour, the rain and wind decided to work full throttle. But that was part of the excitement. So the boys started their quad biking adventure against the elements and had an amazing time! Quad-biking in the rain is perfect because…

(1) the sand is hard enough to create an easy path for you to manoeuvre your quad-bike… and…

Quad Biking in the wind and rain!

(2) it’s fun! You feel like you’re on an eXtreme adventure!

3. Dinner by Nelson’s Bay

Nelson’s Bay

Nothing beats a delicious meal while you enjoy a magnificant view of the harbour! You can also book dolphin or whale watching tours here, but since the weather was rainy and cold, we opted to enjoy a nice seafood dinner inside!

I personally enjoyed Port Stephens because I had great friends around. We ate, laughed, and enjoyed each other’s company. My lungs also felt like they were breathing in clean, fresh air and the views were priceless. I’d definitely visit again… maybe not to shop (as they have limited choices), but definitely to take some time off and chill out.

The view from our balcony in Nelson’s Bay

Where is your favourite place to go away on a long weekend? Comments below or follow me on twitter! If you want to hear more about my adventures, please subscribe to this blog. There’s so many more travel stories to be told!