Small holiday resort town adjoining Hawks Nest
Tea Gardens is a small township of 850 people located adjacent the northern head of Port Stephens 219 km north of Sydney via the Pacific Highway, 77 km north-east of Newcastle, 10 km off the Pacific Highway and 16 m above sea-level. It is separated from the town of Hawks Nest by the mouth of the Myall River, which runs from the Myall Lakes down to Port Stephens, and joined to it by the 'Singing Bridge', named for its tendency to act like a wind harp in a strong south-westerly breeze. Despite their proximity there is quite some difference between the two towns. With the exception of the strip along Marine Parade, adjacent the river, Tea Gardens is something of a poor cousin to the rather more attractive Hawks Nest, both in terms of environment and housing which appears more slapdash and simply imposed upon the bushland rather than reconciled with it.
The local economy has traditionally revolved around seafood and timber. While there is still a fishing co-op, and woodchip mills still work the forests, BHP's sandmining operations are probably the principal source of local income if not the predominant employer. Tourism no doubt plays a role of some importance too.
Tea Gardens Visitors Centre
Tea Gardens NSW 2324
Telephone: (02) 4997 0111