Last Updated on July 5, 2021 by Kyle Tully
Once a place quietly filled with just surfers and seniors, Anna Bay is now a rugged oasis where locals, surfers and holidaymakers sit harmoniously side by side. The almost surreal setting of Anna Bay is a dreamy destination that oozes laid-back surf charm, with a beautiful backdrop of jaw-dropping coastlines and the spectacular Stockton Sand Dunes (Worimi Conservation Lands) stretching into the horizon.
The Stockton Sand Dunes are the largest moving coastal dunes in the southern hemisphere.
The 32 kilometres of sandscape reaches heights of 40 metres in some places and slopes of 60 degrees making ideal launch pads for sandboarders. There are many ways to experience these monumental dunes with tour operators offering 4WD tours, quad bikes, camel rides and horseback.
Though the dunes provide the main attraction, Anna Bay has much more on offer! You’ll discover rockpools, great surf, 4-wheel driving and beach fishing. Birubi Beach is a patrolled surf beach and Crest Cafe sits atop where you can enjoy a coffee and beautiful views.
Just a few hours north from Sydney, and 30 minutes from Newcastle airport, Anna Bay makes a wonderful weekend escape.
On the Sand:
Birubi Beach serves as Anna Bay’s main beach and is a patrolled beach. You’ll find yourself in a sea (literally) of surfers to one side, kids and families between the flags, and normally a pod of dolphins in the background.
4WD beach access is also available and requires a pass.
There is substantial parking at Birubi Beach, both via James Patterson St and Robinson/Fitzroy St, but these fill up quickly in the summer. Street parking rules apply and are monitored.
There is no boat ramp in Anna Bay.
In the Sea:
Average seawater temperatures for Anna Bay peak in the range of 21 to 23°C (69 to 73°F) in early February and are at their lowest mid August, in the range 16 to 18°C (61 to 64°F).
Water clarity is usually great in Anna Bay, though it does occasionally fill with sand and sediment during particularly large storms. This normally clears up within a day.
On the Land:
Tours, sand boarding and camel rides over the dunes operate daily (depending on weather) If adventure isn’t on your to-do list, then a meal at Crest (on Birubi Beach) is a must. In Summer, the spectacular views only make lunch even more delicious, while in winter you can watch the whales frolicking by, right by the shoreline.
The Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters is at it’s new and larger site on Nelson Bay Rd, where kids and their families can get up close and personal with aquatic life. A putt-putt and golf driving range is also located nearby on Nelson Bay Rd.
There is a newly upgraded park and skate ramp on the lower end of Birubi Beach (Corner Robinson and Fitzroy Street) as well as a walking trail that hugs the coast and takes you on a journey to hidden enclaves and rock pools not found any other way.
Anna Bay Tavern has recently been renovated, with a large beer garden outside to enjoy the sunshine and a park for the kiddies to play. We can also highly recommend Anna Bay Thai across the road for an authentic and delicious thai dinner.
Public toilets are located at the Birubi Point carpark on Ocean Avenue, Birubi Beach carpark on Fitzroy Street, as well as next to the SLSC on James Patterson St and next to the IGA on Gan Gan Rd.
The shopping complex at Anna Bay has an IGA grocer, post office / newsagency, butcher, bakery, liquor shop and cafe. The bus stop is placed directly in front. A petrol station can also be found an additional 100m up the road.