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Nelson Bay
New South Wales
Nelson Bay Panorama.jpg
Looking north-east across d'Albora Marina
Population 11,820 (2016 census)
 • Density 345.9/km2 (896/sq mi)
Postcode(s) 2315
Area 15.6 km2 (6.0 sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST) AEDT (UTC+11)
Location
LGA(s) Port Stephens Council
Region Hunter
County Gloucester
Parish Tomaree
State electorate(s) Port Stephens
Federal Division(s) Paterson
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.3 °C
81 °F
8.4 °C
47 °F
1,348.9 mm
53.1 in
Suburbs around Nelson Bay:
Port Stephens Port Stephens Port Stephens
Corlette, Salamander Bay Nelson Bay Shoal Bay, Fingal Bay
Anna Bay, One Mile One Mile, Fingal Bay Fingal Bay

Nelson Bay is a significant township of the Port Stephens local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is located on a bay of the same name on the southern shore of Port Stephens about 60 kilometres (37 mi) by road north-east of Newcastle, its nearest rail link. At the 2016 census, Nelson Bay had a population of 5,820.

It is a major tourism centre, particularly for dolphin and whale watching, surfing, diving, fishing and other recreational aquatic activities. The eastern boundaries of Nelson Bay lie within the Tomaree National Park while the southeastern section is almost entirely within the park. Nelson Head Light, an unusual lighthouse built in 1875, is positioned on the northeast corner.

Early settlers

Early settlers included the Dalton family, the patriarch being Captain John Dalton who sailed his ship SS Kingsley to Sydney with fresh marine produce from Port Stephens. He built a house "Westward Ho" in 1882 on the hill overlooking the modern town, on 16 ha (40 acres). He donated land from his holding for the Methodist Church, and for a school.

Transport

Port Stephens Coaches operate local services to Newcastle, Raymond Terrace and Soldiers Point as well as an express service to Sydney.

Climate

Nelson Bay has a maritime-influenced humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with warm humid summers, damp autumns, cool wet winters and relatively dry springs. The suburb is relatively sunny, receiving 117.8 clear days annually. Despite the high amount of rainfall throughout the year, the rain days are relatively few, barely reaching over 10 days per month.

Climate data for Nelson Head (1881–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.5
(101.3)
41.5
(106.7)
36.0
(96.8)
30.5
(86.9)
26.7
(80.1)
24.0
(75.2)
24.7
(76.5)
28.5
(83.3)
34.2
(93.6)
34.5
(94.1)
40.6
(105.1)
39.3
(102.7)
41.5
(106.7)
Average high °C (°F) 27.3
(81.1)
27.0
(80.6)
25.9
(78.6)
23.5
(74.3)
20.8
(69.4)
18.3
(64.9)
17.5
(63.5)
18.9
(66)
21.4
(70.5)
23.2
(73.8)
24.7
(76.5)
26.1
(79)
22.9
(73.2)
Average low °C (°F) 18.9
(66)
19.1
(66.4)
17.8
(64)
15.2
(59.4)
12.4
(54.3)
10.2
(50.4)
9.0
(48.2)
9.8
(49.6)
12.0
(53.6)
14.1
(57.4)
16.0
(60.8)
17.7
(63.9)
14.4
(57.9)
Record low °C (°F) 11.0
(51.8)
14.5
(58.1)
11.5
(52.7)
9.0
(48.2)
6.1
(43)
4.4
(39.9)
2.2
(36)
1.1
(34)
5.0
(41)
6.1
(43)
6.7
(44.1)
9.0
(48.2)
1.1
(34)
Precipitation mm (inches) 100.5
(3.957)
111.3
(4.382)
117.5
(4.626)
129.3
(5.091)
150.7
(5.933)
155.9
(6.138)
138.5
(5.453)
102.4
(4.031)
89.2
(3.512)
77.9
(3.067)
80.2
(3.157)
93.2
(3.669)
1,343.2
(52.882)
Avg. precipitation days 10.5 10.3 11.3 11.9 12.7 12.3 11.7 10.6 10.0 10.2 10.2 10.4 132.1
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