Bannisters Port Stephens

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About Bannisters Port Stephens

Surrounded by water, koala habitat and a sense of peace from hotel to horizon, Bannisters Port Stephens reimagines the stunning outlooks and impeccable menus guests have come to expect. Built on 3 acres, they have a range of accommodation options, from 29 Paperbark rooms which overlook the Kookaburra and Koala habit, 49 Ocean view rooms, 4 Luxury Suites and a magnificent Penthouse with panoramic views of the Bay.

They have availability to cater to both exclusive and intimate weddings, offering a choice of 5 wedding venues with the ability to cater from 30 people to 200.

Behind The Brand

Your best piece of advice for event styling/honeymoon planning?

Create a brief and stick to your budget.

Follow your theme through from beginning to end. Make sure you’re designing every aspect of the event with a similar style.

Lighting is very important, you’ll want to make sure the lighting at the venue complements the rest of the aspects of your event. Make sure you visit the venue at the time of year and time of day that your event will be held so that you can see what kind of light you’ll be working with. A darker room needs stronger colours or metallics while a light works better with paler tones.

Arranging candles and flowers in odd numbers like threes or fives, echoes symmetry and allows for them to be positioned in a central point

You can add a hint colour to the event through flowers, candles or napkins.

Spend as much as you can on the flowers, a large floral display at the entrance of the room is a great opportunity for photos and Instagram moments. Simple flowers and candles always add a touch of style, make sure you put some in the toilets.

Signature cocktail at the beginning of the event adds a sense of fun and sets the tone of the event.

A glamorous wedding cake can double as dessert and decoration, if budget is tight.


What was the spark for Bannisters Port Stephens? Where did the story begin?

The Bannisters brand has become synonymous with Australian coastal getaways, panoramic views and fabulous seafood. In 2016, the owners of the Salamander Shores hotel were looking at what to do with their run down, but fantastically positioned 1950’s hotel. Numerous guests and prospective buyers commented that it could be ‘the next Bannisters’, and so they contacted our business partner Peter Cosgrove. With its great view of Port Stephens and abundant seafood, it was a natural location for the brand.


What inspires you creatively?

I find travelling inspires me, even time spent in airports, planes and trains seems to revive my creative juices. I am really lucky to travel every few weeks somewhere, be it for work or pleasure. I love the experience of different nationalities , culture ,cuisine , clothing, architecture , languages, smells, sounds, and sights. Travel revitalises my mind.


Most memorable place you’ve travelled.

The first city, my husband, Rick and I holidayed together was Mexico in 2002,.I remember it’s buzz and colour . It had a culture and a flavour all of its own. Brilliant arts scene, an amazing creative energy, wonderful markets filled with local fashion and artifacts. We ate lots of tamales, quesadillas and tortillas bought from street vendors and consumed lots of Margaritas from bars blaring mariachi music. Mexicans love to party and enjoy all of its own. Brilliant arts scene, an amazing creative energy, wonderful markets.


On a typical weekend at Bannisters Port Stephens??

Lovely to start the weekend, having sundowners with family and friends at the Terrace Bar overlooking Nelson Bay then a casual dinner there. On Saturday, after breakfast, we like to do something like the Tomaree Head walk, it’s not difficult and there are panoramic views of Port Stephens. After finishing the walk, maybe a swim and relax at Zenith Beach stopping off and spending some time at Nelson Bay shops, . Saturday night is the highlight when we have dinner at our restaurant. Sunday, we like to have a lie in, normally due to a few too many bubbles the night before, followed a big breakfast and swim in the infinity pool at the Terrace Bar. If we are feeling energetic the Stockton Sand Dunes are fun. Later on, like a mini Sahara complete with camels.


A favorite quote?

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Editor’s Notes

Why we love it…

Australian laidback luxury at its finest. A stylish, boutique getaway channeling holiday vibes from the 60’s and 70’s.


For the couple…

Who appreciate quality Australian dining and simplistic luxury.


Styling tips…

Take in the views and embrace the natural surroundings of Port Stephens.