Boat Harbour & Fishermans Bay

Last Updated on July 5, 2021 by Kyle Tully

If you want to get back to nature or you’re backpacking around the globe – this is the perfect destination to find inner peace and rejuvenation!

Where the bush meets the rugged coastline, the neighbourhood of Boat Harbour is famous for its natural beauty, secluded beaches, stunning coastal walks, koala habitats and whale watching. With unbeatable serenity, calm waters and enviable proximity to Nelson Bay, Boat Harbour is also an easy, accessible and safe spot for a long weekend getaway with kids. 

May through to November you will find the locals perched on the rocks at Boat Harbour spotting the whales as they pass through the humpback highway on their annual migratory journey. Throughout this period, it’s possible to admire the beauty of these majestic mammals from vantage points along the spectacular coast, or whale watching cruises. In addition, over 140 bottlenose dolphins call the area home and can be seen year round.

You’ll find Fishermans Bay to be similarly rugged and beautiful, but on a much smaller scale, with only 6 small, residential streets in the whole suburb!

On the Sand: 

There are no patrolled beaches in Boat Harbour or Fishermans Bay, however Boat Harbour Beach is sheltered well within the safety of the headlands and is a calm water beach with only very small waves. The secluded Kingsley Beach is south facing and does occasionally have larger waves, depending on the swell direction.

There is limited parking at both beaches, though most people staying in the area are within a very short walk of the water.

There is a boat ramp on Boat Harbour Beach, accessed via Graham Street, as well as at Fishermans Bay via Pacific Street.

In the Sea: 

Average seawater temperatures for Boat Harbour and Fishermans 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 OK in Boat Harbour, though it does occasionally fill seaweed and other sea grasses. Fishermans Bay water clarity is usually great.

On the Land: 

Boat Harbour North Headland Playground is a newly upgraded park for the kids to enjoy. It sits on a small hill overlooking the beach, surrounded by picnic tables, benches and grassy knolls making it a pleasure for children and parents alike. 

To the southern side of Boat Harbour Beach (off Kinglsey Drive) you can access a few walking trails (all on flat ground, and fairly easy to trek) that take you through the bush to the sweeping ocean views on the other side. Start at the plaque and follow the whale images until greeted by the Pacific Ocean.

Just off of Noamunga Street you can find the Boat Harbour North Headland – perhaps the best vantage to watch the whales frollicking temptingly close to the coastline on their yearly migration north. 

Public toilets are located at Boat Harbour Beach and Fishermans Bay Park. There are no stores, cafes or commercial properties in Boat Harbour or Fishermans Bay. Amenities can be sourced from Anna Bay, 5 minutes away.