About South West Rocks

South West Rocks is a coastal town which attracts both holidaymakers and retirees. Like all the North Coast towns that are not on the Pacific Highway, it is most commonly bypassed by holidaymakers. This has resulted in a town removed from excessive, modern development. It is a haven for people looking for quietness and coastal relaxation.

For many years it was a popular hideaway for television personalities eager for a little privacy. Today the township is primarily a tourist destination. It has plenty of accommodation, beautiful foreshores, pleasant beaches, and particularly beautiful stands of Norfolk pines.
Read more on the Aussie Towns website

A major attraction is the Trial Bay Gaol. More information is included below, in the places of interest section below.

Find out more about South West Rocks area from these links…


Staying at:Ingenia Holidays South West RocksWikiCamps Link
Address:Gordon Young Drive South West RocksTel: (02) 6566 6264
Google Maps route:Approx 119kms & 1hr 31mins from Dorrigo
Arrival date:Monday 17th May 2021
Staying for:2 nights
Departure date:Wednesday 19th May 2021
Accom notes:The is a dump point in the park
Fire pits are permitted or they may be hired from the office @ $15/day. They sell Ekologs 9.75Kg wood briquettes @ $15 per bag.
NOTE:You must complete the Brazier Hire & Safe Use Acknowledgement form at office; even if you have your own firepit

Places of interest in the area

Tourist Info

The nearest tourist info centre is the Macleay Valley Coast Visitor Information Centre - South West Rocks, located in #1 Boatman's Cottage - Ocean Dr - 1.3km north of the CP. Tel: (02) 6563 1555

Here’s some suggestions of places to visit and things to do around South West Rocks:

Trial Bay Gaol

Step back in time and discover the eerie ruins of Trial Bay Gaol. The gaol was built to house prisoners who were brought to the area in 1886 to construct a breakwater to make Trial Bay a safe harbour. The breakwater was never completed, but if you look out from the guard tower you can still see some of the remains.

During World War 1 the gaol was used as an internment camp for local German residents who were suspected (almost always falsely) to be conspiring with the enemy. It hasn’t been used as an active gaol since, and is now an historic ruin.

Monument Hill walking track & German Monument

Featuring stunning coastal views, the easy Monument Hill walk takes in the historic monument built for German gaol internees before finishing at Little Bay picnic area.

  • Leaving from the Trial Bay Gaol car-park the 1.7km walk takes 30-60 minutes return
  • Entry is free.
  • Contact (02) 6566 6168 or visit this website for further details.

Smoky Cape Lighthouse

Standing high on a narrow headland, Smoky Cape Lighthouse is surrounded by the stunning coastal scenery of Hat Head National Park. The lighthouse itself is as beautiful as the views – check out its winding staircase and octagonal tower.

Built in 1891, this heritage lighthouse is one of the last designed by the Colonial Architect, James Barnet. Smoky Cape headland was so named by Captain Cook after he saw Aboriginal fires burning there in 1770.

TIP: It’s a short but steep climb to the lighthouse – be sure to wear sturdy shoes.

South West Rocks Boatman’s Cottage Maritime Museum

The Maritime Museum at South West Rocks houses an array of historical memorabilia such as photographs, paintings and documents from the rich maritime history of the region. This fantastic museum is highly recommended by locals and visitors alike.

Nearest Supermarkets & Bottle Shops