Anna Bay, NSW

Anna Bay has been a place I have wanted to visit for awhile - just the area anyway - Port Stephens, Nelson Bay, Anna Bay, Zenith Beach - I have heard great things and very keen to explore. Simon knew about a place called 'Tin City' amongst the Stockton dunes and has been before but wanted to show me as well, so on Monday we decided in the morning to pack a bag and head up the coast for a few nights (had to shoot for some collabs as well so thought it would be nice to shoot up the coast for something different!). 

It was a pretty cruisey drive - my first road trip since having spine surgery seven weeks ago. I had the passengers seat situated right back but we just blared tunes and played 'would you rather' for ages, which is always hysterical.

During the drive, we picked a random, fairly cheap hotel and when we arrived, we ended up getting upgraded anyhow so it was a pretty good situation! Headed to check out a few beaches and go to the dunes for sunset. 

Zenith Beach, NSW

Zenith Beach, NSW


I was hoping the 4WD-ing wouldn't be too hectic on my back and the dunes weren't too crazy to drive on luckily, however walking up them for someone in my unfit-post-surgery situation was exhausting. Worth it though, we got some really amazing photos and got to see the dunes from the top of one windy hill. Sunset was beautiful but the temperature plummeted and it was absolutely freezing. Shortly after the sun went down, we headed into town for some pizza and back to the room for an early night.


The rest of the time was spent shooting photos, chasing sunsets, and exploring the Stockton dunes. 

We aimed to check out as many spots as we could, including Gan Gan lookout, Shoal Bay, Zenith beach, Nelson Bay, Anna Bay, etc and tuck in to some fish and chips (personal goal haha). Simon wanted to shoot 'Tin City' at sunset, so we took his car across the dunes until we found it. Basically, it is a bunch of little huts where people are living off the grid (no taxes, water, electricity etc). As the sun set, the temperature plummeted again and although it was a beautiful sight, it was pretty eerie. Like, kind of reminiscent of 'The Hills Have Eyes'. Eek. So when I couldn't bear the cold anymore, we packed up and headed back to our hotel, not before stopping off at Woolies. I had decided that we should have a little romantic picnic - ideally it would have been outside at sunset, but I kid you not, the winds were that of a hurricane, whipping in our faces and it wouldn't have actually been possible. Also the whole cold factor! I picked out some cheese, crackers, olives and dips while Si picked out a cab sav. We had a giggle when the self checkout brought an attendant over to us on an alert to ensure that the buyers of the plastic forks were over 18. I set up a cute 'ricnic' (that's room picnic, guys) and we had a super romantic last night away.

 There are so many places on the coast to explore and this was only a small area that we could cover in a small amount of time but it felt like another world for a minute... until I remembered that we couldn't stay because I had my follow up appointment with the surgeon, so we had to head home. Wish we had time to drive up and down to FNQ and just explore everywhere (I've done this a few times but would be mega keen to do it again! Especially with Si).