Perhaps unsurprisingly, you'll find Little Beach Boathouse perched right on the edge of Nelson Bay's Little Beach. In fact, when the tide is high, the outdoor seating area of the downstairs bar and cafe, Below Deck, is actually over the water.
Upstairs, the main restaurant offers coastal dining at its best — fresh seafood and a winning view of the shimmering bay. The restaurant opened back in 2013 (followed by the bar in 2016) with a focus on locally sourced ingredients — from the seafood and produce to the drinks. The extensive wine list heavily features drops from the Hunter Valley, and local craft brewery Murray's makes it on the beer list.
Lunch is a fairly straightforward affair — one main and sourdough for $40 per person. But you're given the option to add in starters and dessert if you want to linger a little longer admiring the view (you will). Prawn cocktails, Port Stephens rock oysters with native pepperberry mignonette or Hervey Bay scallops with cauliflower puree are among your upgrade options. Come dinnertime, you can opt for a two- or three-course set menu ($55 or $65 respectively). Predictably, it's mostly seafood on offer, think squid ink spaghetti, miso glazed salmon and market fish, but there are meat and vegetarian options, too.
Image: Destination NSW