Benchmark on Booner – Hawks Nest craftiness (and the Tea Gardens Hotel)

Benchmark on Boomer

For 22 years, on and off, your correspondents have been spending their New Year’s break at the wonderful town of Hawk’s Nest, which is across the Singing Bridge from Tea Gardens. A very simple daily rhythm is followed. Bennett’s Beach (surf) in the morning, lunch, snooze, Mysto’s or Jimmy’s Beach (still) in the afternoon, sundowners at someone’s house, dinner at someone else’s house, back deck drinks, sleep. Nothing complicated.

Contrasting Hawks Nest activities

Occasionally a four wheel drive convoy to Dark Point is organised if conditions are good and there is always a Hawks Nest Boys Night Punters Club evening at the Hawks Nest Golf Club.

Benchmark taps

illiards and I might bring up a few uniques but generally the beer consumed is whatever is on special at the local bottlos. Pleasingly the Hawks Nest bottlo has been successfully visited by the reps from Coastal Brewing and Murrays and I picked up a couple of Coastal uniques, which were very nice.

A venue that has been changing it up in the last couple of years is Benchmark on Booner. This is part of the Ocean Side Hotel Complex, which is about two blocks from Bennett’s Beach.

3 uniques and a happy hour

There are 11 taps at Benchmark and they’ve done a great job. A couple of Murray’s, a Coastal Brewing and a house beer complement a Four Pines Ginger Beer and a couple of Macros. Prices are reasonable, and there’s a very good happy hour.

The time honoured drinking hole is the Tea Gardens Hotel, which looks out over the Myall River and the dock of one of the slowest ferries in Australia. I’ve been to a couple of buck’s nights (decades ago) at the Tea Gardens Hotel and let’s just say that the staff are very patient. The bistro is excellent and the “Tea Gardens famous fish cone” is well deserving of the often undeserved adjective “famous”. $15 for paper wrapped chips and generous plump pieces of battered fish that isn’t Basa.


The beer list is pretty straight-forward with the exception of a couple of taps I haven’t seen before. The Marsden Brewhouse is located in Marsden Park near Richmond. They have six beers and two are on tap at the Tea Gardens Hotel. Not sure how beers from Marsden Park ended up in Tea Gardens, but a little diversity is good. Also, the Tea Gardens Hotel t-shirt is very good.

Marsden Brewhouse beers

Benchmark on Booner: 100 Booner Street, Hawks Nest, NSW

Tea Gardens Hotel: Cnr Marine Drive & Maxwell Street, Tea Gardens, NSW