Things to do in Tea Gardens

THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Tea Gardens

Things to Do in Tea Gardens

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What travellers are saying

  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Charmingly named, the Singing Bridge, apparently ‘sings’ whenever a high wind whistles through its railings. A local tourist site describes it as a ‘mournful harp’. I’ve not heard it myself but like the previous reviewer, it’s a good excuse for everyone in the car to belt out a song whenever you cross the bridge.
    The concrete girder bridge spans the Myall River, linking the twin holiday towns of Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest.
    Built in 1974, it replaced an old ferry service which had operated since 1928.
    Pedestrian footpaths on ether side allow you to walk across the 304 metre span although the paths are narrow and kids with bikes will probably have to get off and wheel them across. The views up and down the river, especially at sunset, are well worth taking the time to stroll across.
    Immediately, on the Hawks Nest side, is the Jean Shaw Koala Reserve, a natural, untouched bushland expanse that is a haven for the local koala population. On the Tea Gardens side, as you leave the bridge are the local fish co-op, Mumm’s Seafood Restaurant, a picnic and fishing area and the Tourist Information centre.
    For many years, pelicans roosted on top of the light posts along the bridge. You will only occasionally see one perched there now because the council, sick of running the gauntlet of pelican droppings, installed spikes on the top of the poles to deter the birds. A shame really as the pelicans were such a distinctive feature of the bridge.
    Written 18 March 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a good starting point when you are staying in Hawks Nest or Tea Gardens and it is worth stopping here at the start of your visit to pick up free maps and information brochures on activities in and around the area.
    As small coastal holiday towns, a lot of activities are not highly advertised or immediately visible so its worth picking up some information early in your visit. There are several nice bushland walks and cycling trails but again, these are not particularly easy to find unless you know they are there. Some of great tracks include the Yacaaba Headland trail, the Dark Point Track and the Tamboi Boardwalk.
    National Park day tickets are sold here also ($8) but the passes have been moved to online only sales.
    The centre is staffed by volunteers and understandably, it has been closed for some time during the pandemic. However the last two times I tried to go, it was still closed. This was outside the school holiday season so hopefully during public holiday times, it will be open more regularly.
    You’ll find the centre just before the Singing Bridge on the Tea Gardens side. In the same complex there is also the local Arts and Craft Centre Gift Shop.
    Written 21 March 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This might seem an odd listing on a tourist site but it is useful for visitors and tourists to know about because it offers free wifi. Whilst it’s increasingly unusual for holiday rentals not to provide wifi, it can still happen in small, coastal towns. It also has games and puzzles which can be handy if you have a rainy spell while holidaying here.
    The library is beside the Singing Bridge. During the week, opening days are every second day - Mon, Wed and Fri, from 9 - 5pm. It’s also open on Saturday, from 9:30-12.
    Other than that, there is a small playground out the front and an interesting local artwork called Pioneer Poles which consists of 6 totem poles, each one painted to represent an early local pioneer from the 1800s. An information board tells the story of the Engel and Motum families, early settlers who helped to build up the fledgling fishing and timber industries that once thrived here.
    This is something of a community hub and directly across the road, you’ll also find the local Arts & Craft centre and gift shop as well as the Tourist Information Centre.
    Written 20 April 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Myall River is a wide waterway that is popular for boating, paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing. Easy access can be gained through the holiday towns of Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest.
    For tourists to the area, there are a lot of ways to explore the river’s. Its a large river with long runs of mangrove-lined banks, small bays, islands, sandbanks and mudflats.
    Kayaks, SUPs and canoes can be hired at EZY Kayaks or Lazy Paddles in Tea Gardens (they do guided river tours also).
    Tinnies and runabouts can be hired from the Tea Gardens Boatshed and nearby, BBQ Boats hires out pontoon-style boats with full BBQ/kitchen facilities that cater for larger groups. Discover NSW vouchers can be used for some of these.
    For the less adventurous, the ferry between Tea Gardens and Port Stephens is a slow, traditional way to see the river and passes under the charmingly named, Singing Bridge, which will sometimes whistle in the wind.
    We always enjoy walking along Marine Drive which follows the riverside through Tea Gardens. Starting from Singing Bridge, you will pass the local fish co-op, Anzac park and the war memorial, the ferry, the Tea Gardens pub, the Ice Cream Shack and several art installations which are a part the Myall Riverside Art Walk. Pelicans gather beside the local fishing co-op fighting over scraps of fish and it’s not uncommon to see dolphins.
    The river itself is strongly tidal but at low tide, you’ll see lots of small crabs scuttling between the roots of the mangroves and exposed skeletons of old oyster leases.
    At one time, there used to be an old swimming pool built into the riverbank. It’s long-gone now except for the stairs which led down to the pool. A plaque marks the spot and gives a little historical background.
    Written 23 March 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This substantial war memorial sits beside the Myall River in Tea Gardens and is comprised of 3 main parts:
    i) a circular structure and flagpole
    ii) an original M2A2 Howitzer Gun
    iii) Lone Pine
    Three plain, concrete walls form the memorial's main circular structure and represent each of the 3 branches of service, the Army, Navy and Airforce. The words 'Lest We Forget' are inlaid in brass and a flagpole stands in the centre. This is a practical memorial and is the focus of Anzac Day services each year.
    It is broadly dedicated to to include those who sacrificed their lives during war as well as all men and women who have served overseas - a much more inclusive wording than in older, traditional memorials.
    Specific veterans are remembered with plaques affixed to timber park benches surrounding the memorial. Each plaque is inscribed with the full service details of the veteran, including name, service number, conflict, service unit birthdate and date of death.
    The Howitzer gun is the most eye-catching feature of the memorial. An original weapon, it was installed here in 2015 and is a tangible reminder of the reality of wartime violence, bloodshed and death. First used by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War, these Howitzers were critical in providing close artillery fire support for the army.
    The Lone Pine tree is a highly symbolic and poignant addition to the site. Planted on Anzac Day, 2003, it was grown from a seed from the original 'Lone Pine' at Gallipoli.
    The Battle of Lone Pine, a major offensive of WWI, was ultimately devastating for Australia. On one single day on August 6th, 1915, the Australian troops suffered 3500 casualties and won 7 Victoria Crosses. The story of how that seed came to be here is very moving. Following the battle, a soldier, Lance Corporal Smith, collected several pine cones from the trenches and sent them home to his mother. His brother had been one of the 2000 who died over the course of the battle. His mother would never be able go to Turkey where her son died but the pine cones were a small token from there that she could physically hold onto and feel connected to him. She grew two trees from the pine cone seeds, one of which she gave to the Australian War Memorial, and in memory of all those who fell, they propagated many more trees, including this one.
    Written 20 March 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Riverside Art Walk is an easy, relaxed way to explore the holiday towns of Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens.
    Over 25 artworks, sculptures, mosaics and installations are positioned throughout the two towns. Originally they were placed on Marine Drive, along the bank of the Myall river but as the programme has expanded, they have spread out over both the towns, covering a much larger area.
    Without a map, it’s a bit like a treasure hunt. A guide to the walk is available from the local Tea Gardens Information Centre but because the works are so spread out, most people will probably just do the stretch along the river, rather than the whole trail.
    Most of the artworks have small plaques beside them, giving their title, date, name of the artist and a brief description.
    Some of the the older artworks are starting to show their age. Exposure to the weather and sun has weathered and faded some of them. New ones are added each year.
    Some are really very good and some, not so much.
    Two of the best ones are near the main beach in Hawks Nest. You have to look closely to find the small, new painting of a very realistic possum, peering out of a gum tree. You’ll find him near the main beach, next to the kids’ playground. It catches you by surprise and is a delight for kids. I believe the same artist has done a large tree frog also but I didn’t find that one.
    Nearby, overlooking the beach, is a lookout point with a steel frieze of the rare Gould’s petrel seabirds by artist, Chez Randes. Both the frieze and the view from here are very striking.
    The easiest way to see a selection of the works is to walk along Marine Drive, following the river. Starting from Singing Bridge and the Fish Co-op, you can look out for the following works:
    * River Crossing by Phillip M. Everett (beside the fish co-op)
    * Anzac Mural (in Anzac Park)
    * Pioneer Totem Poles by Margaret Germon (in front of the library)
    * Mosaic BBQs (along the riverfront, past the ferry)
    * Silent Witness by Lee Anderson (opposite HookNCook fish & chips)
    * Windows in Wood by Bronwyn Fife (also opposite HookNCook)
    Written 25 March 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This small park runs alongside the Myall River in Tea Gardens and has an expansive outlook across the water, towards Singing Bridge.
    Created as a memorial space to commemorate the war time sacrifices of those who have served overseas, the park is the focus of Anzac Day remembrances each year.
    It is also a community space. Farmers’ Markets are sometimes held here and there are BBQ and picnic facilities. In particular there is an electric BBQ, toilets and a covered picnic table space. There’s no playground for kids but there is a small patch of sand along the riverside which can keep kids entertained.
    There are prettier spots to sit, further along the river but this is the only one as far as I know with a public BBQ available.
    A large mural at the far end of the park attempts to capture the Anzac spirit with symbolic images and the words ‘Lest We Forget’ but what really catches your eye most of all, is the original M2A2 Howitzer Gun. These guns were first used by the Australian Army during the Vietnam War and played a significant role at the Tet Offensive. It was installed in the park in 2015.
    Beside the gun, you’ll also see a formal memorial structure consisting of 3 plain walls around a central flagpole. Park benches surround the memorial and plaques have been added to each seat to commemorate individual veterans.
    In addition, a pine tree has been planted to remember the appalling losses at the WWI Battle of Lone Pine. On a single day on 6th Aug, 1915, Australia suffered 3500 casualties and won 7 Victoria Crosses. What is most poignant about this tree, is that it was propagated from the original ‘lone pine’ that stood in Turkey at the battlefield.
    There is plenty of free street parking along the front of the park.
    Written 20 March 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LVS Neco
    Shellharbour, Australia68 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice little shop, great staff, lots of beautiful and original jewellery, some clothes, nix and nax. You can kill some time here if you ferry over and are looking for something to do.
    Written 5 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Gerry-Angie
    Wickham St Paul, UK3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We had a brilliant day kayaking on Myall Lake with Darren. The weather was perfect and the lake calm. We saw jumping fish, black swans, eagles, pelicans, and much more. Darren’s knowledge of the lake, surrounding area and history made the trip even more enjoyable. The snacks at the rest point were most welcome and delicious. Thanks Darren for a great day.
    Written 15 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Gallery is housed in a charming cottage along the Myall River, just a few doors down from the local pub. Local artists showcase and sell their works here in several rooms which have been converted to light, bright, open galleries. The small, pretty garden also has lots of shady nooks and crannies filled with lush plantings, quirky statues and a pond.
    Inside, you’ll find mostly paintings, many with coastal themes. There’s also some sculpture, photography and ceramics and a small range of hand-made cards and gift/souvenir items like scarves and jewellery.
    The Gallery is run as a non-profit venture, representing artists from Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest and the Myall River region and is run by volunteers, who are very welcoming.
    It’s closed on Tuesdays but is otherwise open every day from 10 - 4.
    It’s a lovely spot to visit especially for tourists and visitors who are keen to support local communities while on holidays.
    Galleries in the Gardens is also involved with the Myall Riverside Art Walk and many of these artists have contributed public artworks to the walking trail.
    Written 20 April 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom9,516 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    You’ll find old-school, traditional crafts here, made by local artisans and crafters. Everything here is hand-made. It’s like a mini version of the Royal Easter Show Arts & Craft pavilion.
    This is a place for tourists and visitors who are keen to support local communities while on holidays. It’s a charming little shop, housed inside an old weatherboard building and is entirely run by volunteers who are welcoming and friendly (if you have any questions about the local area, it’s not a bad place to get grass-roots advice on what’s good and what’s not in the area).
    You will find larger pieces like hand-turned wooden bowls, mosaic planters, ceramics and framed art, as well as smaller, inexpensive items which make nice local souvenirs or gifts.(embroidered hand towels, glasses cases, scarves or bookmarks).
    Not surprisingly, there’s a large amount of patchwork and knitted items. Some of the woollen and patchwork blankets are very lovely and there’s a good range of hand-knitted baby clothes and booties.
    Parking is out the front and it’s open Mon-Fri from 10 - 4. There’s always a bold yellow flag like banner out the front when its open.
    Written 25 March 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Richelle K
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We had a wonderful day out on the water with a large group of friends. We hired both the boats and set sail together. Great boat, great facilities for a bbq. Found a beautiful beach to stop at and have a beachside picnic. Even saw dolphins on the way who were playing at the bow of the boat. Kids had a fun time fishing and jumping in the water for a swim. Beautiful day out!
    Written 10 February 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Tea Gardens Attractions Information

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Friday 5:42 am