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Update on COVID-19- The safety of our communities, customers and staff is our top priority. We are continuing to monitor daily developments in response to COVID-19. Find out the latest.


We are committed to safety and accessibility in Port Stephens through parking regulations.

Designated parking areas, time restrictions and ticket machines are used to help regulate parking to ensure equitable turnover of parking spaces. If you drive or ride a vehicle, you need to know what the parking regulations mean and how to follow them correctly.

Smart parking

There's a smarter way to park and it's coming to Nelson Bay soon! To get ready, we'll be starting works from September 2020 including:

  • resurfacing roads in Nelson Bay town centre
  • installing sensors in off street and on street car parks
  • installing digital signage.

Find out more about smart parking below or read the current newsletter to learn more. If you still have questions, you can ask our experts in our online forum.

The new smart parking technology will make finding a car park easier and simpler. It will include:

  • a new smartphone app — or you can still pay with card or coin
  • number plate recognition technology — your new ticket to park
  • sensors and digital signs — to help you find the nearest park.

Smart parking will reduce congestion and improve safety by making it easier than ever to find a park and pay by card, coin or the app.

Digital signs and sensors will guide you to the nearest park, number plate recognition technology will replace paper tickets and the new app will allow you to extend your parking time without going to the meter.

Funds collected from smart parking will be reinvested into Nelson Bay to fund improvements to the public domain, landscaping, increased car parking and place activation.

We know that during busy holiday periods, parking in Nelson Bay can be in short supply. That’s why we established an Independent Parking Panel in 2018, comprising 17 randomly selected community and business representatives.

Facilitated by the University of Technology Sydney, the independent panel came up with ideas to improve parking at peak times in the Bay using technology. After consulting extensively with the community and businesses, in May 2020 our elected Council voted to install smart parking in the Nelson Bay town centre.

In November 2019, we gave our community an opportunity to have real influence over the variables of the smart parking scheme, including who should park for free, paid parking locations and parking times. Read the full community engagement report.

There are plenty of parking options in Nelson Bay. Parking time limits are generally 2 or 4 hours for on street parking and 4 hours or more for off street parking.

New paid parking zones in the Nelson Bay town centre include Government Road, Church Street, Tomaree Street, Yacaaba Street and Victoria Parade. It also includes eastward extensions for the commercial areas of Magnus Street and Donald Street.

We have undertaken a review of parking timing limits. All signage will be replaced with new times clearly shown.

Take a look at our map to see where to park and the time limits that apply.

We are using the NSW Government’s Park‘nPay app. You can download it on any smart phone from your app store.

Park’n Pay makes paying and toping up easier. You don’t need to walk to a meter and pay — instead you can do it from your smart phone. You will receive a notification on your phone when your ‘ticket’ is about to expire to avoid fines.

Once you’ve registered you can keep track of your parking history and receipts. It's a convenient, ticketless and environmentally-friendly way to park.

If you need help to download and set up the app, come and see us at our smart parking pop up shop (details below).

We 're opening a smart parking pop up shop. You can find us at 2/26-28 Donald Street, Nelson Bay. Our opening days are:

  • From 30 September to 9 October during school holidays — Wednesday to Friday
  • From 12 October to 31 December — Monday to Friday.

Staff will be available to answer your questions and sign you up to the park free scheme (expected from late October 2020).

Private car parks are not currently included in the smart parking scheme but may be if they choose to in future.

Yes. Smart parking meters will still accept card and coin payment as well as the app. If paying by coin, you will need to pay the correct amount as change won’t be given. Once the maximum amount is received the machine will stop accepting coins.

No. Your ticket is your registration (number) plate. When you pay via the marking meter you will enter your number plate and this will act as your ticket instead of a paper ticket.

September 2020

  • smart parking pop up shop opens Wednesday 30 September

October 2020

  • installation of sensors to begin in off-street car park areas
  • installation of electronic street signage
  • sign up to park free permit scheme (expected from late October)
  • Church Street road works
  • shared path to Little Beach
  • new amenities for CBD

November 2020

  • installation of parklets
  • resurfacing of Donald, Stockton, Magnus, Tomaree and Yacaaba streets to allow for the installation of sensors in these streets.
  • upgrade of existing meters and installation of new meters in CBD

December 2020

  • smart parking including meters and park free scheme to be operational.
  • stamped asphalt along Stockton and Magnus Streets.
Smart parking — Park Free scheme

Your frequently asked questions about the smart parking Park Free scheme answered.

We'll be introducing a free parking scheme for residents and ratepayers of Port Stephens, plus those who work in the town centre of Nelson Bay.

Eligible people will be able to register for the digital parking permit using their vehicle registration number plate via our website. We are putting the finishing touches on the permit system and expect it to be open in late October 2020.

Parking time limits will still apply — you can still be fined if you overstay the signposted time limit.

Yes. Ratepayers are entitled to register 2 vehicles in the free parking scheme at any time.

When you are at work, no you don’t have to pay. Your employer will be given access to register for employee permits.

  • Resident: unlimited number of cars
  • Ratepayers: 2 vehicles per address
  • Employee working in Nelson Bay: each local business will have a number of designated permits depending on the size of the workforce.

Time limits and restrictions will apply to all vehicles including those who have free parking permits. This means you can still be fined if you overstay the signposted time limits.

There are a number of ways you can pay for parking:

  • via the Park'n Pay app
  • paying by card (via contactless or inserting your card) at any meter
  • coin at regularly located meters.

We have begun carrying out traffic and parking studies and community consultation to investigate installing smart parking at Birubi Point and Shoal Bay. Nelson Bay was chosen as the first smart parking location following the findings of the traffic and parking studies and the recommendations of the Independent Citizen Parking Panel.

Parking infringements

In the event that you receive an infringement notice, you have 21 days to pay the fine, lodge an appeal or elect to go to court.

The NSW Government Revenue is the appropriate authority to direct your enquiries, representations and payments relating to infringement notices.

  • Visit their website
  • Call 1300 138 118
  • Mail PO Box 786 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012.

Resident parking

Port Stephens residents who live in areas where parking is in high demand have access to resident parking. This is different from the smart parking Park Free scheme.

Guidelines, conditions and fees

Residents who have a resident parking permit are entitled to park for an unlimited period. Non-permit holders are restricted to parking for the sign-posted times only.

Parking machines are located at the Nelson Bay Foreshore and are 'pay and display' ticket machines. There are rates for weekends, public holidays and all other times. Visit our Fees and Charges page.

All residents within a resident parking permit area may apply for a parking permit however the following eligibility criteria must be met:

  • The applicant must establish residential status within a resident parking permit area to the satisfaction of Council (for example, a current rates notice).
  • The applicant must have no or limited access to off-street parking and have no unrestricted on-street parking available within a reasonable distance of their residence.
  • The place of residence must not be able to reasonably be modified to provide off-street parking.
  • The nominated vehicle/s must be registered in the name of the applicant or there must be proof from the registered owner that the applicant normally uses the vehicle.
  • The vehicle must be registered in NSW.

Other criteria:

  • Residents of hotels are not eligible to receive a permit.
  • The vehicle must not be a truck, bus or tractor.
  • Where the nominated vehicle is a company vehicle taken home each evening, an authorised statement of circumstances must be supplied by the resident.

A maximum of 2 permits may be issued for any 1 household.

This number will be reduced by 1 permit for every off-street parking space that can reasonably be provided.

A resident parking permit can be used only in the street nominated and within the zones specifically designated for authorised resident parking. These zones are signposted 'Permit Holders Excepted'.

Permits expire annually on 30 June and must be reapplied for.

  1. Read the guidelines/conditions.
  2. Download and complete the Resident Parking Permit Application form.
  3. Lodge the completed form with Council for assessment.

Parking machines

Parking machines are located at the Nelson Bay Foreshore and are 'pay and display' ticket machines. Paid parking operates at various times throughout the area — please check kerbside signs for hours.

Outside the times indicated, parking is free and unrestricted. However, other parking conditions may still apply to ensure road safety. Please check the information on the kerbside signs before parking your vehicle. Most parking machines accept credit card payment.

Off-street parking

On-street parking

On-street parking buses

Donald Street (Cnr of Yacaaba St)

CBD (Free)

Hardy Street

Donald Street West (Free)

Victoria Pde (Pay)

Victoria Pde

Marina (Pay)

Teramby Rd (Pay)

Neil Carrol Reserve Rd

Government Road (Next to the Nelson Resort)

CBD (Free)

Parking around schools

Signs around schools are designed to keep children safe. Common signs appearing around schools include:

  • No parking — you can drop your child off here but you must stay with your car.
  • No stopping — you cannot drop your child off in this area. Medical or other emergencies are permitted.
  • Bus zone — you cannot stop here unless you are driving a bus.

Motorcycle parking

A limited number of marked motorcycle marking spaces are available in the Donald Street car park (opposite Woolworths) and along the waterfront on Victoria Parade. There are also motorcycle parking spaces at Shoal Bay, adjacent to the traffic signals.

Disability parking

A number of Disability Parking spaces are available in the Port Stephens town centres for your convenience.




No. Spaces

Donald Street East Carpark, Nelson Bay

Ground Floor

90° Front or Rear


Donald Street West Carpark, Nelson Bay

Eastern Entrance

90° Front or Rear


Magnus Street

Near Post Office



Stockton Street

Near Seabreeze Hotel



Teramby Road

Near Marina

90° Front or Rear


Victoria Parade

Fly Point



Beach Road

Little Beach



Shoal Bay Road

Nelson Bay RSL


Town Centre Circuit, Salamander BayTomaree Library

90° Front or Rear

Town Centre Circuit, Salamander BayTomaree Community Centre

90° Front or Rear

Aquatic Close, Salamander BayTomaree Aquatic Centre

90° Front or Rear

Leisure Way, Raymond Terrace

Lakeside Aquatic Centre

90° Front or Rear6
Warren Street, SeahamSchool of Arts Carpark90° Front or Rear3
The Close, Raymond TerraceThe Hub90° Front or Rear6
Sturgeon Street, Raymond TerraceRaymond Terrace Library90° Front or Rear2

Sturgeon Street, Raymond Terrace

Council Admin building

90° Front or Rear2
William Street, Raymond TerraceNear pedestrian crossingAngle2
William Street, Raymond Terrace

Opposite Police Station

Ferodale Road, MedowieMedowie Community Centre90° Front or Rear4
James Paterson Street, Anna BayBirubi Surf Club90° Front or Rear2

Disability Parking Permits (Mobility Parking Scheme) provide concessions to people with mobility issues. Roads and Maritime Services is responsible for issuing these permits.

A Mobility Permit Holder can park in spaces marked with a symbol for people with disabilities. This permit also provides parking concessions in other spaces if a marked space is unavailable:

  • where parking is limited by a sign to more than 30 minutes, Mobility Permit Holders can park for an unlimited time
  • where parking is limited by a sign to 30 minutes, Mobility Permit Holders can park for 2 hours
  • where parking is limited by a sign to less than 30 minutes, Mobility Permit Holders can park for a maximum of 30 minutes
  • at a 'No Parking' sign, Mobility Permit Holders may park up to 5 minutes — the driver must remain in the vehicle or within 3 metres of the vehicle to drop off or pick up passengers or goods
  • when parking in metered or ticketed parking areas operated by Council, no charge is applied — charges may apply in privately operated parking areas.

Please obey all other parking rules.