The Tomaree Museum Association

Join us in building a Museum & Cultural Centre for Port Stephens
The Tomaree Museum Association will build a permanent and publicly owned Museum and Cultural Centre on the Port Stephens Tomaree Peninsula. 

We will build a Museum and exhibition space to highlight the Associations’ growing collection & research and provide exhibition space for other historical, ecological and creative associations in the area.  This website is our virtual museum.

On this site you will find articles, videos and audio, our blog and information about upcoming events and membership.


We want to build a multi-faceted Museum for the many historical, cultural and ecological organisations in the area to exhibit alongside our own.

Exhibitions that will enlighten and surprise visitors and locals in an eventual permanent Museum as well as here on our website. Can we let you in on a little secret? We have a lot of fun!

If you’re curious about the unique history and ecology of Port Stephens and want to research, learn and share that information and fun with us – then we hope you’ll press the `Join Us’ button below and sign up for a Tomaree Museum membership.


From the NSW Government & National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW

Updates to Tomaree National Park:
Upcoming temporary closures
As we continue to deliver the 20 kilometre Tomaree Coastal Walk, we’ll be completing some new upgrades at Tomaree National Park in the coming months.

This will require some short-term closures of the Tomaree Summit Walk, Tomaree Headland and other walking tracks and visitor areas in Tomaree National Park.

The work has been scheduled outside holiday times, and we’ll do our best to minimise disruption to the community and park visitors.

 If you are planning a visit Tomaree National Park in the coming months, please be aware of the following expected closure dates (subject to weather):

6 to 17 March 2023: Tomaree Headland WWII Gun Emplacement precinct closed.

Stabilisation and repairs to a landslip near the WWII command post.

 The Tomaree Summit Walk and part of the walkway to the gun emplacements will remain open to visitors.

 16 March 2023: entire Tomaree Headland and Box Beach closed

The entire Tomaree headland including the Tomaree Summit Walk and Gun Emplacement precinct will be closed, to enable the delivery of heavy construction material by helicopter. Box Beach will also be closed on this day to facilitate the helicopter work.

 Access will remain open to the Tomaree Headland carpark, Tomaree Lodge and Zenith Beach precinct

 20 to 31 March 2023: Tomaree Summit Walk closed on weekdays

Tomaree Summit Walk will be closed on weekdays for track resurfacing work. The closure will include all alternative walking tracks to the summit. The Gun Emplacement walk and the Tomaree Headland carpark will be open.

 The Tomaree Summit Walk will be open on weekends, to minimise disruption to visitors.

26 April to 2 June (approximately): Tomaree Summit Walk closed

The Tomaree Summit Walk will be closed to all visitors, to enable the installation of new steel stairways on the walk. The closure will include all alternative walking tracks to the summit. We will confirm the closure dates as our planning progresses. 

 The Gun Emplacement walk and the Tomaree Headland carpark will be open.

 7 March to end May 2023: Anna Bay pathway will be closed from the Pacific Avenue carpark to the Tomaree National Park boundary, near Robinson Reserve.

Work will include a new lookout, seating and interpretation which will form the Birubi Gateway for the Tomaree Coastal Walk.

An alternative pedestrian detour will be in place along Ocean Avenue in Anna Bay.

 Upgrades will also be delivered to a range of precincts and walking tracks in Tomaree National Park in the coming months. Please check for the latest closure alerts on our webpage before visiting at

Work has been scheduled outside peak holiday times and closure dates are estimates only, subject to change, based on weather and other operational factors.

 For more information, please email us at

Fundraising Sausage Sizzle

Date: Sunday 12th of March
Time: 9am to 4pm
Place: Bunnings, Cnr Port Stephens Drive & Taylors Beach Road. Taylors Beach.

Our next Fundraising Sausage Sizzle is on this (?) of October and we hope you can drop in for a tasty breakfast/snack/lunch.

We use only the tastiest & finest grade Aldi sausages skilfully barbecue’d by experienced sausage chefs and artfully placed onto the softest white bread with your choice of caramelised onions and/or barbecue, tomato and mustard sauce to make your perfect sausage sanga.

You can then wash it down with a Coke classic or Coke no sugar, Sunkist or Solo beverage and chat with TMA members about the Museum Project.


HMAS Assault – 2023 Exhibition

Date: At the time of writing. April 6 to May 9, 2023.
Time: 9am to 5pm
Place: Nelson Bay Visitors Information Centre, Victoria Parade, Nelson Bay.

In 2023 in an exclusive sponsorship with Bannisters Resort at Salamander Bay, the Tomaree Museum Association will be displaying a unique exhibition examining Port Stephens amazing War time history.

Banners, artefacts and media will be on display at the Nelson Bay Visitors information Centre in Victoria Parade Nelson Bay for 4 weeks from April 6 to May 9 everyday except Easter Public Holidays.

Newsletter – Dec 2022


2022 comes to an end with loads of vision, fun and work ahead for 2023.
Our end of year newsletter is available to download by clicking the button below. 


Landing at Little Beach

Landing at Little Beach

Our fundraising Sausage Sizzles at Bunnings are a great way to keep in contact with our community.
Here are some donated images of Troop landing exercises in Port Stephens in the 1960’s.

Way back when – but now…

Way back when – but now…

Coming out of lockdown we thought it might be nice to see some images of every day life in Nelson Bay from the Arthur Renforth Collection in the TMA's library of images - then and now. If these images trigger any memories with you, we hope you will share them with us...

Our opening `Open Day’

Our opening `Open Day’

We can only say that our first open day this past Sunday at the Bobs Farm Hall was a great success – and it was pouring rain so that’s no mean feat.


Port Stephens was going to be a Navy Base?

Around 1910 to 1913, a huge 1190 hectare Submarine Navy Base as part of the Commonwealth’s long term defence strategy was proposed for Port Stephens and work commenced in 1916.

The area included was Salamander Bay from Corlette Point (where the Anchorage Resort is now), the entire Soldiers Point Peninsula and down past Cromarty Bay almost to Taylors Beach. The Commonwealth had gazetted the entirety of the Mambo Wetlands and past where the Salamander Shopping Centre is now located.

Work began in 1916 with 250 unemployed miners from Newcastle used to blast rock from the base of Wanda Wanda Head (and anecdotally destroying Aboriginal Artwork in caves there). Surveyors were hard at work and drainage ditches and roads were constructed as well as a wharf to berth Australia’s then two RAN Submarines.

After the finish of the first World War and the loss of our only 2 submarines, work on the base slowed and stopped completely in 1922. The Naval Base land was sold by the Commonwealth to the Port Stephens Shire Council for a bargain £50,000 or about $1.6 million in todays money.

Source: Mike Scanlon, Port Stephens Examiner


Original Museum Artefacts Collection

Members of the Tomaree Museum Association catalogue and collect historical artefacts that have been held in storage by the Carroll Family for 45 years.


Listen to our Podcast `Excavations’.

Keep an ear out for our Podcast about matters related to the history, geology, wildlife, culture and related issues of Port Stephens titled ` Tomaree Museum; Excavations’.


Ray Alley photo collection donated to museum

Ray Alley photo collection donated to museum

Charlie Elias
​Port Stephens Examiner,
13th August 2020.

“Nearly 50 years of work from one of the Port’s most prolific photographers will go on display at the Tomaree Museum Association (TMA) to be preserved for future generations.”

read more


We invite the community to contribute stories of about 200 words on any topic connected to the Port Stephens region including people, places, buildings, or events.

JOIN in the FUN!

Are you interested in joining the Tomaree Museum Association?

The TMA is a young community driven organisation with the goal of building a permanent Museum on the Port Stephens Peninsula for ALL of Port Stephens and everyone interested in the area.

We want to collect, learn and share the knowledge of the many facets of our area – it’s ecology and history, and the many paths our investigations lead us down.  It’s a detective story we’d love you to join us in.