The collection of bays surrounding Newcastle attracts hordes of tourists over the holidays, but if you visit outside the high season, you’ll find a family-friendly coastal playground. Port Stephens has 26 beaches to explore where you can surf, snorkel, horse ride and swim with the dolphins. At Woremi National Park thrill seekers can surf the Stockton Sand Dunes on a quad bike or sand board. At 50 metres high, they’re the largest coastal sand dunes in Australia. You’ll also find the off-the-grid Tin City that appeared in the post-apocalyptic film Mad Max, if it hasn’t been swallowed by the sands.