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Suburb Profile: Fern Bay, NSW

Approximately a ten-minute drive from Newcastle, Fern Bay is an intimate suburb of population less than 3,000 and located on the banks of Hunter River. It is a scenic retreat equipped with modern amenities while being a destination away from the city. Now undergoing significant expansion, the serene coastal suburb will witness a residential development in the coming years. Read on for our guide on the area.

fern bay suburb profile

Image: Flickr

The Neighbours

The age distribution of the suburb is much higher than the national average, with recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics listing the median age of residents as 53 years. Of the approximate 2,763 people living in Fern Bay, children aged 0-14 comprise 15.4%, while people aged over 65 accounts for 35% of the population. The laid-back leisurely lifestyle makes it an ideal suburb for retirees.

The Commute

The most common method of transport for commuting to work is via car, with 70.4% people driving to work. A very small percentage of the population uses public transport like ferries and light rail for commuting.  Bus 136 running from Stockton to Raymond Terrace and Bus 138 from Newcastle to Lemon Tree Passage have stops in Fern Bay. A bus service operated by Port Stephens Coaches also runs between Sydney and Port Stephens with stops in Fern Bay and surrounding areas like Hamilton, Fullerton Cove, and Mayfield. Newcastle Airport is approximately 10 km from Fern Bay.

fern bay suburb profile

Image: Sitchu

Shopping for the family

Marketown is the largest shopping centre close to Fern Bay. The centre has Woolworths, BigW, Coles and a variety of other specialty stores and fast-food restaurants. Newcastle City Farmers Market on Broadmeadow is popular for its fresh locally sourced produce – from gourmet cheese to stalls serving breakfast. For retail shopping, boutiques, flea markets, thrift and vintage stores are located in Fern Bay and its surrounding areas of Mayfield and Newcastle.

The School Run

Fern Bay Public and Stockton Public School are the two State schools in the region. St Peter Primary School at 5 Dunbar St in Stockton is a popular private school in the area. The closest institution for tertiary education is the University of Newcastle, situated approximately 12 km from Fern Bay.

fern bay suburb profile


What’s going on?

The Fern Bay Reserve on 8 Vardon Rd is one of the community venues for recreation equipped with a BBQ area, playground, picnic tables, and two tennis courts. Being close to Newcastle, Fern Bay is close to many adventure sports activities on the beach. The less populated Newcastle Beach is great for surfers, where the iconic Bogey Hole is a heritage-listed sea bath carved from sandstone which offers stunning views of the Newcastle coastline. Other attractions and activities include sandboarding and camping on the exemplar Stockton Dunes.

Fern Bay is popular for housing the internationally recognised Newcastle Golf Club on 4 Vardon Road. An event destination for many, this premier club sees an abundance in exotic flora and fauna too.

Looking to build a new home in Fern Bay? Get in touch with our team on 1800 184 284 or book a call for free, expert advice on building the home that’s right for you.

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Preity Bhandary

Preity is currently pursuing a Master of Global Media Communication at the University of Melbourne. She is passionate about sustainable housing and loves exploring the historic architecture of cities.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

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