It’s that time of the year when the normally sleepy towns of Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest swell to overflowing with visitors and tourists.
For many, it’s an annual pilgrimage, following in the footsteps of their parents or grandparents who came for a holiday over the Christmas period, year in year out.
For others, they came, they saw and they fell in love with the area and decided to call it home.
Caroline and Darrell Thornthwaite, once called Canberra home until they made a random turn off the highway.
“We came over the hill because we had some time to kill and fell in love,” Caroline told News Of The Area.
“Our life plan changed in an instant.”
“We’ve had not one second regret, it’s such a beautiful place, there’s so many, lovely, talented, generous and interesting people, and the weather’s great, better than Canberra.” said Caroline.
Cheryl and Bill Roberts, formerly from Ulladulla and the Blue Mountains, made Tea Gardens their home six months ago.
“We didn’t know this place existed and we were on our way to Tweed Heads when we broke down and got towed in here.”
“We stayed here for two days and on our way back from Tweed Heads we stayed here another two days, and four weeks later we moved here,” Cheryl said.
“Every week we take a drive down a different street,” Bill said.
“We went for a drive past the Golf Club and ended up at the Punt, we just kept driving and driving.”
“We thought we were going to run out of petrol.’’
By Margie TIERNEY