Zenith Beach

Tomaree National Park

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Overview

Zenith Beach in Tomaree National Park is framed by rugged and rocky headlands at the base of Tomaree Head. It's a special place for conservation as it's part of the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park.

Pretty Zenith Beach lies between Tomaree Head and Stephens Peak near Shoal Bay.

To escape to this pristine spot, head to Zenith Beach upper or lower car parks at the end of Shoal Bay Road. You'll need to arrive early in summer as this can be a busy place. You can also catch the Route 130 bus here. Once you arrive, follow the signage for a short 5 minute walk through the dunes to the beach.

If you're hiking Tomaree Coastal Walk or Shoal Bay to Fingal Bay walking track this will be one of the first highlights along your way.

Part of the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park, Zenith Beach is a coastal sanctuary zone. It's a great place to see birdlife and dolphins and it's prohibited to collect shells, marine life or fish here. 

If you decide to go for a swim, take care because Zenith Beach is unpatrolled. Zenith Beach is also a popular wedding venue. To make enquiries, please contact the local NPWS park office.

 

Nearby

  • Walkers leaving Zenith Beach with Tomaree Head Summit in the background. Credit: Remy Brand © Remy Brand

    Shoal Bay to Fingal Bay walking track

    This 5 km one-way walk from Shoal Bay to Fingal Bay in Tomaree National Park is ideal if you’re after an easy walk near beaches and cafes..

  • Coastal view from Tomaree Head summit walk. Photo: John Spencer © OEH

    Tomaree Head Summit walk

    Tomaree Head Summit walk offers a short but challenging hike and picturesque ocean views across Port Stephens and beyond. It's a must-see destination if you're in the area.

These maps give a basic overview of park attractions and facilities, and may not be detailed enough for some activities. We recommend that you buy a topographic map before you go exploring.

Map


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Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/beach/zenith-beach/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Zenith Beach.

Maps and downloads

Learn more

Zenith Beach is in Tomaree National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Aboriginal heritage

People admiring the cultural artwork by Worimi man, Gerard Black at Birubi Point Aboriginal Place. Credit: Remy Brand © Remy Brand

Tomaree National Park is the traditional land of Worimi People and provided a range of resources, including food, medicines and shelter. The ancient landscape of the park is part of the cultural knowledge and 'Dreaming' stories of the Worimi People and remains an important Aboriginal place today. The south end of the park includes Birubi Point, a declared Aboriginal Place. A walk along the beaches of Tomaree National Park are a walk along ancient travel routes used by Worimi to travel north and south through their Country.

  • Aboriginal culture Bring your students to this unique excursion in Tomaree National Park, near Port Stephens. They’ll experience the park through the eyes of an Aboriginal person on this Stage 2 (Years 3-4) Aboriginal culture Geography excursion.
  • Birubi Point Aboriginal Place Learn more about the culture of the Worimi People at Birubi Point Aboriginal Place in Tomaree National Park, near Anna Bay. Hear Worimi artist, Gerard Black, discuss his artwork titled Matjarr nguka biinba.
  • Birubi Point to One Mile Beach walking track This 7.5 km one-way walk from Birubi Point to One Mile Beach offers ocean views and Aboriginal culture. Located in Tomaree National Park near Port Stephens, it winds through several coastal villages with convenient facilities.
  • Junior ranger: Tomaree coastal adventure tour Be guided by a NPWS Discovery ranger on this bush to beach adventure in Tomaree National Park.
  • Ocean rockpool nature tour: Tomaree Discover the amazing world of rockpools along the rocky shores of Fishermans Bay on the Tomaree National Park coastline. See what you can find below the surface, not far from Nelson Bay.
  • The Earth's environment Join The Earth's environment Geography excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students at Tomaree National Park, near Port Stephens. They'll discover how NSW National Parks safeguards over 10 per cent of land in NSW.
  • Tomaree Coastal Walk Explore a mountain summit, beaches, rock platforms, and Worimi Aboriginal culture on this multi-day adventure along Tomaree Coastal Walk.
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Birdlife and koala country

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), Tomaree National Park. Photo: John Turbil

The park's beaches and rocks support sooty oystercatchers and the swamps support active populations of wallum froglet populations of migratory shore birds including the eastern curlew and red-necked stint. See if you can spot the passing bar-tailed godwit - this long-beaked bird holds the record for the longest non-stop flight; 11,000km without a break. Visit in winter to see colourful lorikeets and honeyeaters feeding on wildflowers in the coastal heathland and in summer you'll see migratory tropical species including cuckoos and rainforest pigeons. Look close at the surrounding shoreline and you may find green turtles and dugongs. Tomaree National Park also offers the opportunity to see one of Australia's iconic animals up close. See koalas feasting on swamp mahogany in and around the park, or in the trees around One Mile Beach carpark.

  • Fingal Island eco-walk and lighthouse tour Discover the captivating history of Point Stephens Lighthouse and Fingal Island on this tour with Aquamarine Adventures. Take in the incredible views and immerse yourself in this magical landscape in Tomaree National Park, near Nelson Bay.
  • Junior ranger: Tomaree coastal adventure tour Be guided by a NPWS Discovery ranger on this bush to beach adventure in Tomaree National Park.
  • Ocean rockpool nature tour: Tomaree Discover the amazing world of rockpools along the rocky shores of Fishermans Bay on the Tomaree National Park coastline. See what you can find below the surface, not far from Nelson Bay.
  • The Earth's environment Join The Earth's environment Geography excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students at Tomaree National Park, near Port Stephens. They'll discover how NSW National Parks safeguards over 10 per cent of land in NSW.
  • Tomaree 4WD tag-along and passenger tours Explore the fabulous sand dunes of Tomaree National Park safely with experienced guides from 4WD Tag-Along and Passenger Tours, near Nelson Bay and Port Stephens.
  • Tomaree coastal walking tour Explore Tomaree National Park near Port Stephens and discover it's spectacular coastline and incredible Australian wildlife on this 2 hour guided walk.
  • Wreck Beach walk The short walk to Wreck Beach offers a private alternative to the beaches of Port Stephens, with opportunities for picnicking and whale watching.
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Ancient landscape

A lookout perched on the rugged cliff edge along Tomaree Coastal walk, near Iris Moore lookout and picnic area in Tomaree National Park. Photo: John Spencer © DPE

The northern section of Tomaree National Park has 4 peaks, the largest being Tomaree Head at 162m high. Overall, the landscape is the residual surface of a peneplain uplifted during the tertiary period (65 to 1.8 million years ago) and subsequently eroded, leaving the more resistant volcanic rocks as small hills. Port Stephens is a flooded river valley. The western sections of the park are sand deposits of fluvial and estuarine origin.

  • Junior ranger: Tomaree coastal adventure tour Be guided by a NPWS Discovery ranger on this bush to beach adventure in Tomaree National Park.
  • Ocean rockpool nature tour: Tomaree Discover the amazing world of rockpools along the rocky shores of Fishermans Bay on the Tomaree National Park coastline. See what you can find below the surface, not far from Nelson Bay.
  • Tomaree 4WD tag-along and passenger tours Explore the fabulous sand dunes of Tomaree National Park safely with experienced guides from 4WD Tag-Along and Passenger Tours, near Nelson Bay and Port Stephens.
  • Tomaree coastal walking tour Explore Tomaree National Park near Port Stephens and discover it's spectacular coastline and incredible Australian wildlife on this 2 hour guided walk.
  • Tomaree Head Summit walk Tomaree Head Summit walk offers a short but challenging hike and picturesque ocean views across Port Stephens and beyond. It's a must-see destination if you're in the area.
  • Wreck Beach walk The short walk to Wreck Beach offers a private alternative to the beaches of Port Stephens, with opportunities for picnicking and whale watching.
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Military history

Tomaree Head gun enplacements, Tomaree National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Follow in the footsteps of Australian soldiers on the trail to Tomaree Head. The historic Fort Tomaree played an important role in the defence of Port Stephens during World War II, including Tomaree Head that was solidly armed with gun emplacements. You can take a guided Discovery tour of the gun emplacements to find out more about this historic site.

  • Fingal Island eco-walk and lighthouse tour Discover the captivating history of Point Stephens Lighthouse and Fingal Island on this tour with Aquamarine Adventures. Take in the incredible views and immerse yourself in this magical landscape in Tomaree National Park, near Nelson Bay.
  • Fingal Island historical lighthouse tour Take a step back in time with this tour of Point Stephens Lighthouse and Fingal Island in Tomaree National Park. Hear fascinating stories of the island's history from a passionate local guide on this engaging outing with Moonshadow-TQC Cruises, near Nelson Bay.
  • Fort Tomaree walk Fort Tomaree walk is an easy walk that runs just below Tomaree Head Summit walk and takes you to the World War II gun emplacements, used in the defence of east coast Australia during World War II.
  • Point Stephens Lighthouse and Fingal Island Take a boat or a tour to Fingal Island and explore Point Stephens Lighthouse and historic ruins. Aquamarine Adventure run regular tours to Fingal Island. It's not safe to walk across the sand spit to the island as the tide and swell can change quickly.
  • World War II gun emplacements Discover the military history of Port Stephens on a guided tour of the historic gun emplacements at Tomaree Head in Tomaree National Park on the north coast of NSW.

Plants and animals protected in this park

Animals

  • Koala. Photo: Lucy Morrell

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

    One of the most renowned Australian animals, the tree-dwelling marsupial koala can be found in gum tree forests and woodlands across eastern NSW, Victoria and Queensland, as well as in isolated regions in South Australia. With a vice-like grip, this perhaps most iconic but endangered Australian animal lives in tall eucalypts within a home range of several hectares.

  • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

    White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

    White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

Plants

  • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

    Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

    Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

  • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

    Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

    Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

  • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

    Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

    An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

Environments in this park

Education resources (1)

School excursions (3)