With a permanent population of about 1, 027, Hawks Nest is on the mouth of the Myall River, which is 92 km long and begins at the Great Dividing Range. A popular tourist destination, former PM John Howard stayed here every summer for almost 20 years. To get to Tea Gardens, it’s just a short trip over Hawks Nest Bridge, which is known as ‘The Singing Bridge’ due to the way the railings act as a wind harp during heavy south-westerly winds. Tea Gardens supposedly took its name from either the tea-tree in the area or the Australian Agricultural Company’s failed attempts to grow tea here in 1826.
Bennetts Beach, also called Hawk’s Nest Beach, is a patrolled beach with views of rugged islands that spans 3.7km from the fishing village of Seal Rocks (where people must really like listening to Seal) to Yacaabato. Behind the beach is part of the Myall Lakes National Park, which is a king-size 47,493 hectares with over 40km of beaches and a massive lake system. You can venture through mangrove forests, kayak in a lake, see the huge sand dunes at Dark Point or check out The Grandis, a 76m gum tree that’s one of the tallest trees in the state. Following Bennetts Beach leads you to the Yacaaba Headland Walk, a challenging trek that rewards the determined with fantastic sweeping coastal views.
Make some furry friends at the koala zone on Kingfisher Ave, Hawk’s Nest, where the native animals can sometimes be spotted munching on the leaves of Swamp Mahogany trees. If ocean life is more your scene, take the ferry to Nelson Bay for a whale or dolphin watching cruise. Of course, fishing is popular around the local jetties, and the area is well-known for its oysters, but Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens have restaurants where you can get your seafood caught AND cooked for you, and some of them are right on the Myall River’s calm shores. Tea gardens has boutique clothing shops and other stores for last-minute impulse buys, while the Visitor Info Centre in Tea Gardens is the place to head for walking maps and further info.
Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens are just a 65-minute drive from Newcastle so wot are you waiting for? Jump like a hawk on our Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest accommodation and make sure you book a flight to Newcastle. You probably won’t end up running the country, but at least you’ll have a great time.
Hotels in Hawks Nest start at AU$115 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.