The Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest area is an ideal base for many other activities. Within one hour’s drive of here you will find:
Drive to Bulahdelah via the National Park, cross on the car ferry, take a walk to AlumMountain and see the flooded gum “The Grandis”, the tallest tree in NSW.
If you have time, take a trip out to Seal Rocks, but take your lunch as there’s nowhere to buy lunch there! Walk up to the lighthouse for spectacular views, or wander along LighthouseBeach and out to Treachery Head to see some of mother natures very own rock sculptures.
The BarringtonTopsNational Park on the Great Dividing Range is an easy day trip to see winter snow.
The HunterValley, renowned for its wineries and, more recently, the magnificent HunterValleyGardens (a day trip in itself)
Catch the ferry to NelsonBay and spend the day there ... beats driving! or ..... Drive around Port Stephens where there is camel rides, horse riding, shark feeding and animal feeding on your way to Nelson Bay if you make it that far.
If Arts and Crafts are your thing, then the historic village of Morpeth is only a one hour drive away. That is, if the local art & craft shops don’t satisfy.
You could head north via Wootton to Great Lakes Wines for a taste, then onto, Forster and Tuncurry, also an hours drive away, it has an aquatic centre, and lots of different eateries for lunch plus lots of it's own local activities.