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Alcohol free & prohibited areas

In Port Stephens there are restrictions on taking alcohol into or consuming alcohol in some public places. The intention is to prevent anti-social behavior caused by the consumption of alcohol and to improve public safety.

Types of restrictions

  1. Alcohol Free Zones (AFZ)* prohibit the consumption alcohol on specified roads, footpaths and car parks and apply 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Alcohol Free Zones are intended to prevent street drinking and improve public safety by minimizing chances of anti social behavior and alcohol-related crime on the streets.
  2. Alcohol Prohibited Areas (APA) prohibit the consumption of alcohol in parks, beaches, reserves and ovals between specified signed hours. However, Alcohol Prohibited Areas may be 24 hour prohibited.

The same penalties apply for both alcohol-free zones and alcohol-prohibited areas.

Alcohol-free zones listed by suburb:

Temporary Special Events Alcohol bans - New Year's Eve and Australia Day

Port Stephens is a significant tourist destination and the above mentioned special events has peak visitation to the area. The community and local Police have experienced significant irresponsible behaviour from the consumption of alcohol in the these areas. The issues have included, but are not limited to, vandalism, violence and littering. The local Port Stephens Police Commander has been consulted and supports these prohibitions.

New Year's Eve & Australia Day celebrations - Port Stephens Council has declared that Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay Foreshores including the beach areas including the Little Beach Reserve and beach are all Alcohol Prohibited Areas for these celebrations - see dates, locations and times outlined on attached Special Events map (PDF 420KB).

These Alcohol Free Areas will apply for 24 hours on dates and times specified. This means alcohol cannot be consumed in these areas during the stated periods. A large Police presence will enforce the alcohol ban as required. Appropriate signage will be erected outlining to the public alcohol bans at these Special Events, view the map (PDF 420KB).

Port Stephens Council has declared alcohol-free family style fireworks on New Year's Eve. Fireworks display is situated across the bay from the D'Albora Mariner commencing 9pm. Bring your picnic blanket and view from Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay Foreshores. There will be no road closures at Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay for these Special Events.

Please note:

  • After the 9pm fireworks, no further entertainment is organised. Please contact local venues for their NYE event information.
  • There are sufficient licensed premises nearby that have views of the fireworks.

For further information contact Council on (02) 4980 0255.

* AFZs are established and operate under Sections 642 - 649 of the NSW Local Government Act.