Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest have had a great tourist season FEATURED Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest by NOTA - January 13, 2015 As the tourists pour into town, holiday houses are at 100 per cent occupancy and the Tea Gardens Ice Cream Shack is scooping up to 300 litres of ice cream per day. Jade Conaty and Taryn Jones visiting Tea Gardens “Sales across all our products have been phenomenal. The amount of people in town is just mind-boggling,” Tea Gardens Ice Cream shack owner Jim Rutter said. After a bumper summer holiday season last year, the Rutters decided to invest in some extra ice cream storage, and they’re certainly glad they did. “We didn’t think it could be as big as last year, but it has been even bigger. New Year’s week was our biggest week ever. Record breaking,” Mr Rutter said. The same story of pumping business these holidays is being reported right across Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest. “We know Benchmark on Booner over in Hawks Nest is experiencing the same thing,” Mr Rutter said. Principal at Tea Gardens Real Estate, Rick Wraight, agreed that the season had been strong. “We had 100 per cent occupancy in our holiday houses over the Christmas and New Year period,” he said. “We’re expecting 90 per cent occupancy over the next few days and about 80 per cent the following week.” In a year-wide perspective Mr Wraight said his holiday letting occupancy was increasing about three and a half precent each year. He said the majority of tourists were family groups, with about half of them coming from north shore Sydney. “We’ve had great tenants this year. There’s been no trouble at all,” he said. Mr Rutter also commented on seeing more family groups around this year. “The town is buzzing and it’s great,” Mr Rutter added.