Meet Dominic (Dom) May.
As the founder of CoastXP, Dom spends his days showcasing the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie coastline and the iconic scenery of the Port of Newcastle to visitors to our region. Read on to find out more about CoastXP and Dom’s next exciting endeavour.
Tell us about CoastXP
I launched CoastXP in June 2018, after working in some of Australia’s most scenic coastal locations. I believed that Newcastle was unique and this coastline was one of the most diverse and stunning I had seen.
Operating out of the Port of Newcastle on a custom-built boat, guests have the opportunity to get up close to the marine life which inhabits the coastline, local geological formations, as well as unique destination landmarks such as wrecks, cliffs, islands, sea caves and ships.
What has the experience of adapting to COVID-19 been like?
COVID-19 initially had an immense impact on our business. For a period of three and a half months, we were completely closed. Following that, we had 10 months in total of restrictions. Having implemented a number of new policies and procedures, we were able to re-open our business and have since been welcoming guests in a COVID-safe manner.
As small operators, we like to support each other, and COVID is no different. During the initial lockdown, and following on from that, I have supported other operators up and down the coast with their own COVID-safe policies and procedures. From my perspective, if we do everything we can as a community to stay safe, and keep domestic commercial vessels at a high standard of COVID-preparedness we will be successful as a society, sooner rather than later.
What are three things you are currently loving, reading, watching, eating or drinking?
I’ve just begun reading a book called “Against All Odds” by Craig Challen and Richard Harris who were the two Australian men who were instrumental in the Thai Cave Rescue three years ago. As a professional (recreational) scuba diving instructor, I am fascinated by the entire story. I’m super late to the party, but I’ve just begun watching “The Office” and it’s so cringeworthy, it’s funny. Also, I love a good sticky date pudding!
What’s your favourite memory of the port?
There are WAY too many to name just one, but I have to say, I am always fascinated by some of the unique or large vessels that enter the port. Vessels such as the HMAS Choules, Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas or Höegh Autoliner’s, Höegh Tracer. Seeing these vessels from the land is fascinating, and seeing them from the water is an even greater thrill!
What’s next? Any exciting endeavours you can tell us about?
I can’t give away all of my secrets, but CoastXP was established to provide innovative coastal interactions and experiences, and we have recently launched our very own guided hike through the Wallarah National Park. This hike is a 2.5hr, 8.5km experience which finishes at Caves Coastal Bar and Bungalows with a well-earned drink. This experience is something I am incredibly proud of, as we have recently become a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service licensed ECO-pass operator.
Do you accept the NSW Government’s Dine and Discover vouchers?
We sure do! We are currently accepting the discover vouchers on our tours. Eligible NSW residents can redeem their vouchers on our website using the promo code ‘DINEANDDISCOVER’. This will deduct the amount off your booking, from there we simply scan guests QR codes on the day before departing on their experience.