A friend told me about a competition that Hotel Nelson was running on Instagram and they encouraged me to enter and entering was super easy too, all I had to do was follow Hotel Nelson's Instagram page, like their competition post and tag a friend who I would take. I was super stoked when I was announced the winner and couldn't wait for this exciting little getaway with my husband!
We checked into Hotel Nelson and I was very impressed with the room and how spacious it was! The bathroom had a spa bath and I didn't hesitate to hop straight in and soak myself in the warm water with the bubbles surrounding me, I was in heaven! The bed was really comfortable, there was a seating area both inside and outside on your own private balcony which offered views of the main street and the lake, although our room was right on the main street, the room was completely soundproof and there is also a small kitchenette.
Facilities include on site parking, on site cafe, gym, sauna and a large outdoor lawn area with seating and a heated pool. Hotel Nelson is located right in the centre of town so you don't have to walk far to get to shops, eateries or the bustling waterside precinct.
The plan was to have dinner at Shoal Bay Country Club but when we arrived it was packed! We decided not to stay and made our way to another restaurant, Little Beach Boathouse, only to be told they were fully booked and that there would be an hour and a half wait, silly me didn't think to make a booking in peak school holiday season and my tummy wasn't keen on waiting so third time lucky we ended up at Hog's Breath and got a table straight away! A full belly and cocktail later we returned to the hotel to rest up for a day of adventure for the following day.
After a great night's sleep, we checked out and went down for breakfast at The Little Nel. This cafe is really beautiful with it's fresh and modern interior and you get that beautiful lake breeze wafting through the air. To start, I got myself the mixed berry smoothie and Connor got the banana smoothie. Craving some acai goodness I ordered the Acai Smoothie Bowl with chia seeds, banana, kiwi fruit, green apple, strawberries, toasted coconut and pistachio and it was delicious! Connor was a bit more adventurous and treated himself to the American Waffle Stack which included bacon, maple syrup, vanilla bean ice cream, strawberries and topped with fairy floss.
With our Eco Adventure cruise not departing until 2pm, we had some time to waste. We went for a drive to One Mile Beach and although the waves were small, the water was the perfect temperature and so clear! We also managed to find a patch of sand amongst all the holiday makers. After a swim and a quick lie on the beach we headed back to Nelson Bay, parked the car and wandered around the waterside precinct checking out shops and walking by the beach. We gave Shoal Bay Country Club another shot and had a quick bite to eat before heading back to the Imagine Cruises meeting point and boarded their boat "Envision".
Boarding "Envision" we waited for two more people before our departure. We were then told that this couple were in fact on yesterday's boat and although this cruise takes a minimum of four people the crew, Mark and Steve, were more than happy to give us a private tour around the different bays and sceneries, no complaints there!
Conditions were windy and choppy but the sun was still shining and we were off. It didn't take long for us to come across a pod of dolphins splashing above the surface of the water. We went a little closer inland and were shown the different bays including Shoal Bay, Salamander Bay and passed by beautiful mountains including Tomaree Mountain, a must do walk for anybody visiting the area as you are rewarded with the most incredible views! I have seen so many gorgeous photos of this lookout and hope to one day see the views with my own eyes.
Connor and I had a wonderful couple of days in Nelson Bay. Only about an hour's drive from our home in Newcastle I will definitely be seeing myself in this beautiful region again soon to do some more exploring and seeing what else this place has to offer! Thanks for having us Nelson Bay, you are a gem!
Accomodation: Hotel Nelson - http://www.hotelnelson.com.au/
Dining: Breakfast at The Little Nel - https://www.littlenel.com.au
Dinner at Hogs Breath - https://www.hogsbreath.com.au/
Experience: Imagine Cruises - http://www.imaginecruises.com.au/