Hawks Nest’s turquoise waters. Pic: visitnsw.com

It’s too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to put as many miles as possible between home and your destination in order to go anywhere worthwhile. Many of us are forever driving past primo 4WD and camping spots while fixated on far off greener pastures.

While it’s true that crowds can be somewhat of an issue at a handful of the really popular spots close by big cities, when planning a weekend getaway the last thing you want is to spend half of your trip grinding along the highway.

Hawks Nest is a true gem of a spot on the NSW mid north coast that ticks off every essential ingredient to qualify as a perfect weekend holiday hotspot.

Firstly, it’s located just on the northern side of Port Stephens, and can be reached in less than three hours from Sydney’s CBD. It’s postcard perfect plus it boasts a tidy beach run, bountiful fishing opportunities, a handful of campsites and a couple of knockout bushwalks. What more could you ask for?


4WDING: The beach run up Bennetts Beach from Hawks Nest to Little Gibber Headland is the way to go. Beach access is possible just north of the Hawks Nest golf course, or further north via the Lemon Tree access track.

HIKING: The numero uno bushwalk in this part of the world is the Yacaaba Headland Walking Track. It’s a steep track that’s 3km each way and takes you up to the summit of Mount Yacaaba. Get ready to break a serious sweat, but it’s absolutely worth it for the stunning view from the top.

FISHING: During the warmer months any gutters along Bennetts Beach are worth a cast for sand whiting. The best baits are live saltwater nippers or locally sourced beach worms. Through winter Little Gibber Headland is a great spot to target big greenback tailor at dawn and dusk on gang hooked pilchard baits and small metal lures.


LOCATION: 230km north of Sydney, Hawks Nest is accessed via the Pacific Highway and can be reached in just under three hours from the capital.

CAMPING: Stewart and Lloyds Campground is a top spot to post up for a couple of nights. The campground can accommodate around 15 groups and caters to camper trailers. Facilities include toilet blocks and barbeques. Fees of $12 per adult per night apply during peak holiday periods, and $8.50 each nightly through the rest of the year.

FUEL is available in Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens.

MORE INFO is available at www.environment.nsw.gov.au

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