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Nelson Bay is a suburb 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 2011 census, Nelson Bay had a population of 5,396.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.