Lions Park Lookout
2 km north-west of Tea Gardens, and 6.4 km off the highway, along Main Road, a blue sign denotes a rest area. This is Lions Park where there is a lookout at the apex of a hill with parking, picnic and toilet facilities. From this vantage point you can gaze over the two towns, the bridge, the offshore islands and the two enormous headlands at the mouth to Port Stephens.
Head down the hill into town. 2.2 km beyond the park turn left into Coupland St which will take you to the riverbank of the Myall River where sometimes dolphins can be seen. Marine Drive runs along the riverbank south to the bridge. This frontage is Tea Gardens' most impressive feature. The streetscape is pleasant and at the end of the road there is a childrens' park, a swimming pool (open from October to April), a noticeboard with information for anglers and pedestrian access to the bridge.
Visitors Information Centre
Over the road from the pool is the visitors' centre in Myall St, just before the bridge, where you can obtain a comprehensive account of attractions, activities, tours, cruises, accommodation and bookings, tourist maps, tide charts and fishing guides. Visitors can pursue a range of activities, mostly relating to the proximity of water: boating, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, water skiing, diving, fishing and canoeing.
On the wharf opposite the Tea Gardens Hotel-Motel are the departure times for the ferry to Nelson Bay, on the southern peninsula of Port Stephens. There are two caravan parks and three boat ramps along Marine Parade and it is from this location that you can hire a boat or houseboat, and join the various river, lake, fishing, deep-sea fishing and dolphin-watch cruises.
Pindimar and Bundabah
If you wish to visit the small seaside villages of Pindimar or Bundabah the turnoff is just south of the Pacific Highway on the Tea Gardens road. Pindimar was once proposed as the site for the establishment of a major port city. A design plan was drawn up and, the following year (1919) Viscount Jellicoe suggested it should be converted into a naval base for the Pacific fleet. Nothing came of either plan (thankfully). See the entry on Hawks Nest for further information on the area.