Tanilba Bay & Lemon Tree Passage

Last Updated on July 5, 2021 by Kyle Tully

Take a left at the Salt Ash roundabout and explore the tranquil Tilligerry Peninsula neighbourhoods of historic Tanilba Bay, Lemon Tree Passage and Mallabula. All relaxed waterfront hamlets in nature’s playground and perfect for a peaceful family getaway.

Lemon Tree Passage and Tanilba Bay are renowned for their abundant native wildlife and picturesque, bayside scenery. Wind down and rejuvenate amongst the eucalyptus trees that the local population of koalas call home. Let the gentle breeze flow through your hair, and the warm sun calm you into a state of total zen.

There are lots of easy walking tracks that weave their way around the water’s edge, inviting you to dip your toes into the calm waters while enjoying the fragrant smells of the native flora enveloping you. A central boat ramp in the safety of the marina is a great way to get out onto Port Stephens, with lots of local boat rentals also available.

Did we mention the fishing in the area was great too? 

On the Sand: 

Soft sands line the foreshore of both suburbs, however there are no patrolled beaches in the area. The beaches are port facing and have calm waters with no waves. 

There is a boat ramp in the downtown area of Lemon Tree Passage (on Cook Parade)

There is a parking lot next to the boat ramp, and lots of street parking elsewhere.

In the Sea: 

Average seawater temperatures for Lemon Tree Passage and Tanilba 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 at both.

On the Land: 

Getting back to nature is what it’s about in these leafy suburbs.

Soft walking trails follow the shoreline, including the Koala Reserve (Mangrove Boardwalk) and Tanilba Bay Boardwalk, as well as other unnamed tracks along the water’s edge. For those wanting to increase their heart rate, the area is surrounded by national park to go bushwalking through.

Don’t miss the Tilligerry Habitat Reserve – 9 hectares of flora and fauna reserve along the beachy foreshore between Tanilba Bay and Mallabula. You can pick up a guide and tour what is an easy 200m flat, level walk (you can even hire a wheelchair if needed) 

Visit the favourite feeding and resting spot for the local Koala population or take a walk through the native flora reserve at Lemon Tree Passage on Helen Avenue. There’s plenty of boat ramps for fishing, waterskiing, sailing and kayaking and a quaint shopping village, golf course, holiday park and several clubs.

Meals out are no exception out on the Tilligerry Peninsula. Lemon Tree Distillery and Poyers are both beautifully located in the Lemon Tree Passage Marina for a meal out, while the Oyster Shack in Tanilba Bay is great for Fish & Chips on the go.

Public toilets can be located near the carpark of Lemon Tree Passage (Cook Parade) as well as along the foreshore of Tanilba Bay on Peace Parade, and a third at Caswell Reserve. Kids playgrounds are scattered along the foreshore, including newly built playground at Caswell Reserve, and other playgrounds at Henderson Park, Tanilba Park and the small Peace Park Playground.

There is the main shopping centre in Tanilba Bay, including a supermarket, liquor shop, bank and other specialty stores to stock up on amenities.