Hawks Nest Motel
Hawks Nest is situated on the southern side of the Great Lakes region and the northern side of Port Stephens, an easy 2 and a half hours drive north of Sydney CBD. The “singing bridge” separates the twin towns of Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens and was aptly named from the sound the wind makes as it passes through its rails.
The Hawks Nest area is surrounded by pristine waterways and is handy to the spectacular Myall Lakes National Park, which is a haven for nature lovers and bushwalkers. The Myall River is 50 metres from the Hawks Nest Motel, with a picnic area and childrens playground. A perfect place to watch beautiful sunsets.
The Hawks Nest Ferry wharf and boat ramp are situated adjacent to the park and is the boarding stop for the ferry to Nelson Bay.
Dark Point Walking Track
This short stroll packs quite a punch with breathtaking coastal views leading to culturally significant Dark Point Aboriginal Place, near Hawks Nest on the central coast. Also known as Little Gibber, Dark Point walking track starts at the carpark on Mungo Brush Road leading to the headland overlooking Broughton Island. It’s a great spot to take in the unique history of the area, while on a camping holiday in Myall Lakes National Park.
Following this rough unformed track through coastal dunes behind the beach, stop and take in the refreshing breeze off the ocean. Passing by historic middens, this moderate path leads to Dark Point, an area rich with cultural and historical significance for the Worimi people.
If you’re keen to explore this unique region, make tracks to Mungo Brush campground.
Jimmys Beach is sheltered from the ocean and protected from summer northeast winds making it an ideal place for kids. There’s very little surf and is perfect for swimming.
The beach stretches in a five kilometre arc from the mouth of the Myall River to Yacaaba Headland. The water is always clear and there are great views across Port Stephens.
This beach is not patrolled.
Dogs can be walked on leads only at certain times in the morning and evening on the Yacaaba end on the beach.
Award winning Bennett’s Beach is the most popular and easily accessed beach in the Myall River precinct of the Barrington Coast.
The southern end of the beach is known as The Dolphins Playground and has surf suitable for both board riders and body surfers.
The Hawks Nest Surf Club lies three kilometres from Yacaaba Headland, at the southern end. There is a rugged track to the top of Yaccaba which offers stunning views north and south.
This beach is patrolled.
Dogs can be walked on leads only, between certain times on Bennetts Beach and Yaccaba.
Yacaaba Headland Walking Track
If you enjoy a challenging walk and scenic views rolled into one, then grab your hiking boots and make your way to Yacaaba Headland walking track. This lightly challenging walk leads up and across the northern headland of Port Stephens, in the southern reaches of Myall Lakes National Park.
From the southern end of Bennetts Beach, the track climbs steeply and you’ll notice smooth barked angophoras giving way to gnarly banksias and grass trees. As the track veers north, take a break and admire the inspiring views up the coastline. On a clear day, the distant blue ridgeline of Barrington Tops is visible.
The track gets rockier and steeper, but along the forested ridge top you’ll be treated to coastal views of Seal Rocks and Tomaree Headland. Out to sea, Cabbage Tree Island, known as John Gould Nature Reserve, protects the only known breeding colony of one of the world’s rarest birds; the Gould’s petrel.
Pipers Creek Picnic Area
Pipers Creek picnic area marks the southern gateway to Myall Lakes National Park, just north of Hawks Nest on the Central coast. It’s a rustic creek-side spot near Myall River and a great place to relax and re-fuel on a walking or paddling adventure.
Pull up the boat or canoe, unpack a picnic lunch and enjoy the tranquil river views amid the cackling calls of kookaburras and rainbow lorikeets. You might even glimpse an eastern water dragon sunning itself on the creek banks.
Alternatively accessed on foot via Pipers Creek fire trail, it’s a great spot to join the long Mungo walking track that leads to Mungo Brush. For a shorter walk, head north to Stewart and Lloyds campground and walk back along Mungo Brush Road.
Ezy Kayaks Hawks Nest
Ezy Kayaks offer guided kayak tours, kayak hire and stand up paddle board hire on the Myall River in Hawks Nest, Tea Gardens and the Myall Lakes.
This is the perfect activity for people who would like a guided tour on the Myall River at an ezy pace. The groups are small and everyone is certain to have an enjoyable time. Kayak into mangroves, past shipwrecks and around islands, and see lots of local wildlife up close and Dolphins are regularly sighted on the river.
Set off from the launch site in Hawks Nest at Moira Parade (corner Yamba Street), in Hawks Nest. Kayaks or SUPs will be ready for you so it couldn’t be easier to enjoy the River. Tours only go as fast as the slowest kayaker, so are suitable for the young, seniors and beginners.
Parking and public toilets available. Also suitable for group events, corporate bonding, birthdays and more.
Hawks Nest Bike Hire
Automatic Bike Hire Stations: are self service hassle free bike hire systems, similar to a vending machine that requires a credit card to unlock a bike – open 24 hours everyday.
The Bikes are located at the front of The Hawks Nest Holiday park and open to public and Holiday park guests 24/7.
The eight bike station has six unisex bikes for riders from 145 centimetres tall, three with baskets and three with child seats. Plus two children bikes for riders over 120 centimetres.
Free Helmets and bike locks from the park reception or across the road at The Benchmark Café and Resto bar which is open early till late.
The area is all flat so Hawks Nest Bike hire is a great way to explore the Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens. Ride around the beaches and waterways as well as the parks and forest and is the thing to do in Hawks Nest.
Engels Reach Picnic Area
After a strenuous morning canoeing or kayaking along the Myall River, you’ll be ready for a break at lunchtime.
Engels Reach picnic area is a great place to pull up your canoe or kayak. Set on the edge of the eastern bank of the Myall River, it’s a quieter place than many other picnic areas in the park because you can only get there by boat. You might find you have it all to yourself.
Extend your trip overnight by camping at the nearby Brambles Green campground and in the morning take a walk along the Mungo walking track before setting off again.
Hawks Nest Golf Club
Hawks Nest is a championship rated 6079m 18 hole course with an ACR of 72. Being built on sand, Hawks Nest is the finest wet weather course on the east coast.
Hawks Nest welcomes golfers of all standards and is an easy walk. The club maintains a fleet of Yamaha Golf Carts for use by members and visitors. Just a short detour off the Pacific Highway, or accessible by ferry from Nelson Bay via Tea Gardens, getting here is simple.
Kikuyu fairways, bent greens, easy walking, undulating, watered course built on sand. Soft spikes only. Neat dress code. All welcome. Bookings advised. Social groups welcome.
Myall Lakes National Park
Myall Lakes National Park, on the north coast not far from Newcastle, features one of the State’s largest coastal lake systems that offers countless opportunities for canoeing and kayaking, boating and fishing. The park also boasts more than 40kms of beaches that offer some good swimming and surfing spots.
You can visit for a daytrip to enjoy a barbecue or picnic and some walking, but it’s better to come for the weekend or longer to enjoy all that the park has to offer. There are lots of great campgrounds, some large and some small, including campsites for tents, trailers, caravans, motorhomes, and even boats, so you’re bound to find the perfect site to suit your needs.
Be sure to check out the Grandis, a 76 metre high flooded gum that is one of the tallest trees in the state. You’ll find it in the Grandis picnic area north east of Bulahdelah.
Dolphin And Whale Watching
With over 140 bottlenose dolphins calling Port Stephens home, it’s no wonder these friendly locals are sighted so often.
For a truly once in a lifetime opportunity you can swim with wild dolphins in the open ocean and from May to November, see the magnificent humpback whales up close and personal during the annual migration season between June and November on a whale watching cruise or from a headland in Tomaree National Park.
Humpback and southern right whales migrate along Port Stephens’ beautiful coastline between May and November, with pregnant whales heading to warmer waters to give birth to their young, before returning with their new born calves back to Antarctica.
Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse
Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse stands on a dramatic headland east of Seal Rocks village. Completed in 1875, it is the first lighthouse designed by colonial architect James Barnet and one of only two towers in Australia with an external stairway.
It was originally built to guide ships along the rocky coastline, after a number of incidents, including the shipwrecking of the SS Catterthun and the Rainbow. Despite the coast being illuminated by the lighthouse, 20 wrecks have occurred since the lighthouse was built.
Below the lighthouse are the Lighthouse Keepers’ quarters and outbuildings that have been refurbished to offer holiday accommodation for visitors. On the grassy slopes next to the lookout point and cliff edge, you’ll see three memorials dedicated to people associated with the lighthouse.
Port Stephens Ferry Service
Port Stephens Ferry Service runs daily ferry cruises 7 days a week between Nelson Bay and Tea Gardens. With informative commentary and open panoramic views of beautiful Port Stephens, crossing the bay is a must for visitors to this bluewater wonderland.
The journey across the bay takes approximately 1 hour (30 minutes across the bay and 30 minutes up the Myall River). The area has an abundance of bird and marine life, with dolphins spotted 95% of cruises along the way.
The Ferry to Tea Gardens departs daily from Nelson Bay Public Wharf at 40 Victoria Parade. Our Pre-Boarding Area is located in front of the Dolphin Watch Cafe. Please check-in with our Crew on arrival. Book your seats online or call/SMS our booking line on 0412 682 117.
We look forward to welcoming you on board!
Broughton Island is part of Myall Lakes National Park off the southern boundary of the Barrington Coast, and only accessible by boat.
Daytrip sailors love this island for its beautiful beaches, you’ll be sure to find one that’s suitable in any weather conditions. Take a hamper for a beach picnic then swim and snorkel the crystal clear waters.
Camping on Broughton Island is a truly special experience. With just five campsites you’ll need to book ahead but the reward is a unique camping experience amongst an active seabird colony – it’s a key breeding site for wedge tailed shearwaters. The campground is basic, so please bring all your equipment and supplies with you, including water.
Around the island are endless opportunities for water activities, including swimming, fishing, boating, snorkelling and scuba diving.
Broughton Island Cruise
A day of adventure cruising off-shore to this beautiful National Park Island. Explore, relax, snorkel and enjoy a delicious lunch and afternoon tea on board. A must do local excursion (seasonal)
Take in the spectacular island and coastal scenery as the boat makes its way to Broughton Island. Enjoy a fabulous Ploughmans style buffet lunch on board, or take it onto the island.
After lunch explore ashore, on an island discovery guided walk through wildlife breeding areas, secluded coves and beaches or enjoy your time relaxing on the beach or in the water.
Bring your snorkelling equipment and enjoy the crystal clear waters of Broughton Island or enjoy swimming, fish and ray feeding or just relaxing on the beach. Before heading back, have some fun on the boat sliding straight into the water at Esmerelda Cove.
The Island Action Sports Complex
Located at Nerong, The Island Action Sports Complex is a family owned endeavour which has been a work in progress for over five years.
The Island Action Sports Complex is being constructed by Dreamtraxx, who develop tracks for the likes of Ryan Villopoto, Trey Canard, James Stewart, Chad Reed, Justin Barcia and more in the US.
The Island Action Sports Complex features a number of motocross tracks designed to cater for all skill levels. Owners are currently tending to all specifications set by council, to ensure all compliances are met with satisfaction.
Port Stephens 4WD Tours
Port Stephens 4WD Tours is a family owned and operated business and we have been established for over 15 years. We operate on the unique coastal landscape known as Stockton beach which boasts the largest moving coastal sand mass in the Southern hemisphere.
It’s like our very own Sahara Desert!! Not only do we offer a fun, exciting and safe family orientated sand boarding adventures (our most popular activity!) on top of the highest dunes, but we also offer beach and dune tours to Tin City, and educational tours for school students. Private charter options are available for interest groups, conference groups, seniors clubs, film crews and birthday parties, or simply for those who prefer a small private tour.
Williamtown Fighter World
Fighter World is dedicated to preserving the proud history of fighter aircraft operations in the Royal Australian Air Force.
Located just 20 mins drive north of Newcastle, adjacent to the entrance to RAAF Base Williamtown at Newcastle Airport, Fighter World is a totally ‘hands on’ experience. Exhibited in two hangars, visitors can walk-around, touch and look into the cockpits of such famous aircraft as the Mirage III, the Avon Sabre, the Gloster Meteor, the first Vampire jet built in Australia and new in 2013 the mighty F-111. There is a Hawker Hunter, WWII Spitfire replica, a Messerschmitt replica and much more. Fighter World also offers the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a Mirage interceptor and Macchi jet trainer and experience first-hand what it’s like to be one of Australia’s ‘Top Gun’ pilots in today’s hi-tech world.
Irukandji Shark & Ray Encounters
This Unique experience is a lifetime opportunity to interact with marine life by joining them in their world. Feeding a natural predator in the wild can create an array of impacts from damaging delicate ecological systems to influencing the behaviors of these animals to associate humans with food. Irukandji takes away that danger with a wide array of friendly Sharks and Rays just bursting to say Hi.
Irukandji is a massive family, fish and staff alike, whose life dream is to reveal the true character of some of the worlds most beautiful, intelligent, elusive creatures and at the same time educate us about the Australia’s delicate ocean ecosystems