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We often meet fellow caravan travellers who recommend great camping spots during our travels around our backyard of Australia. This is how we came to stay at Hawks Nest, or more specifically Jimmy’s Beach for a few days recently on our caravan trip. The twin towns of Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest are located on the northern side of Port Stephens on the Mid-North Coast or the Myall Coast of New South Wales.
We arrived here after reluctantly departing South West Rocks, trekking south along the Pacific Highway to the Myall Lakes region. On one of our previous caravan trips we had spent some time at Port Stephens and were blown away by this area, so we were looking forward to seeing the other side of the bay.
Our camping spot was at Jimmy’s Beach at Hawks Nest, the location being idyllic in that it is right on Port Stephens calm water bay to the south and Bennett’s Beach to the east. The entire holiday park is situated amongst a lovely bush setting with plenty of space to spread out, and a lot of big shady trees, friendly Kookaburras and inquisitive Goannas wandering around the park.
Jimmy’s Beach itself is a safe haven for swimming, boating, kayaking and fishing. We walked on the shores of the bay until we reached the point where the open ocean meets the bay. The water was as clear as crystal and the colour a light aquamarine blue.
Halfway along we encountered a couple in full wetsuits spearfishing and then further along some fishermen who had a nice haul of Whiting they had caught in the waters.
It was a hot morning so a nice swim to cool off in the inviting water was just what the doctor ordered. Our puppy obviously enjoyed the calm shallow water too!
Bennett’s Beach on the Myall Coast runs between Seal Rocks in the north and Yakaba Headland in the south. This lengthy stretch of beach, where we were amongst the few people walking it’s long sandy shores, is the main surf beach for the twin towns. At the northern end of Hawks Nest four wheel drive vehicles are permitted, but prohibited from the patrol area near the Surf Club.
Hawks Nest beach is also reasonably popular with surfers. There are some good surf spots south of the Surf Lifesaving Club and further north towards Dark Point.
A short drive away is the Myall River at Winda Woppa – kind of a strange name for a small hamlet! This area on the river consists of mangrove flats, oyster beds and boat ramps to access both the river and the bay. There is a high arced bridge called the “Singing Bridge” that crosses the Myall River and separates the twin towns of Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens. As we crossed the bridge we saw a pod of dolphins swimming down the river, which we believe is a very common sight here.
The shores of the river in Tea Gardens are beautifully landscaped and feature a large pier, a lovely walkway along the river, with boats and yachts moored in the river. We found an ice-cream parlour and enjoyed licking a cone sitting along the riverfront watching kids jumping into the water off the pier.
The twin towns both have shopping centres where you can buy your essentials, a bowls club, golf course, fisherman’s co-op, cafes, restaurants and a delightful art gallery.
You can jump aboard a ferry from Tea Gardens across to Nelson Bay, Port Stephens. Apart from being an enjoyable journey you are almost guaranteed to see dolphins who seem to enjoy racing the ferry and gambolling in its wake.
Hawks Nest, and in particular Jimmy’s Beach is an excellent place to spend a few days or even a week. Generally when someone recommends a spot it lives up to its reputation and this was the case at Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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