The area is an affordable residential suburb and a popular holiday destination.
Stockton is a peninsula, with the Hunter River at the south and south-west and the Pacific Ocean at the east. On the eastern side are sand dunes and surfing beaches, with numerous shipwrecks at its north, while on the western side there are marshes, where many migratory birds can be spotted. There are numerous spots at Stockton suitable for recreational fishing.
Stockton is surrounded by the ocean and a number of parks, providing many recreational activities. Pitt Street Reserve and Griffith Park are linked by a cycle way and provide some picnic areas. Other facilities in the suburb include a skate ramp, a swimming centre, tennis courts, ovals and the Ballast Ground, a large park on the coast. The Stockton Beach Tourist Park attracts tourists to the area and provides limited recreational activities.