Ain’t no party like a tea party


It’s a party that challenges contestants to embrace their crazy and quirky side.

The Hunter Valley town of Dungog will be the new home of the former Morpeth tea cosy challenge.

The event, which launches this Tuesday 20 August and wraps up on Sunday 25 August, has been rebadged as the Dungog Tea Party.

It will include input from local businesses and schools, the Dungog Men’s Shed, Country Women’s Association and Dungog District Chamber of Commerce.

Dungog Tea Party secretary Erika Seck said the event aimed to promote the town to a wider audience.

“A lot of the businesses here are struggling so, to do an event like this and run it for six days, we’re hoping that people will come and, you never know, they might stay for the weekend,” she said.

“I have already got busloads coming from a number of different areas like Port Macquarie and Toukley.

“We’ve got so many events on and are a very cultural sort of town, so hopefully people will go to the cafes, the art shops, and the museum as well – they’re all going to be open.”

Morpeth businessman Trevor Richards and his wife Shirley first started the novelty tea pot and tea cosy exhibition in 1987 after they purchased and renovated Campbell’s Store.

It attracted widespread interest for three decades before finally winding down two years ago.

“I’d been to Morpeth and seen it, so we contacted them, and they really embraced it,” Ms Seck added. “We had a year off in between; it’s taken us that long to get it organised and we will learn from this year, but the response has been overwhelming.

“The town has really supported it – we’re doing it as a non-profit organisation, whereas [Morpeth] ran it as a business.”

The tea cosy challenge will be located at the historic James Theatre – the oldest purpose-built cinema that still runs in Australia.

Tea cosies must be made by the contestant using any material.

There are seven categories: country capers, rivers to the sea, spring into spring, superheroes, Australiana, paddock to the plate, and treasured memories.

Apart from the tea cosy, there will be several other events and activities, including a trivet competition and tea tastings.

The Dungog Tea Party will go from 11am to 4pm on Tuesday, and 10am to 4pm for the remaining five days.

Visit for more information on eateries, accommodation, and how to get there.

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