There are five State Conservation areas within the Port Stephens Local Government area (LGA). Conservation areas provide a similar protection status to those of National Parks with some exceptions.
From Cape Hawke near Forster to Birubi Beach, the Port Stephens and Great Lakes Marine Park is a 980 km²
Marine Park with a diverse range of eco systems and marine biodiversity essential to a healthy and stable ecology.
National parks are reserves owned by the people for conservation of ecologies, wildlife and habitat. Port Stephens is home to the spectacular Tomaree National Park in the east of the Port and the Gir-um-bit National Park in the west.
The township of Karuah and the Karuah River have a long and important story in the history of Port Stephens from the AA Company and Cedar logging to Oyster Farming and Tourism today.