Things to See and Do

Near South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia

South West Rocks is a sleepy coastal retreat at its barefoot best. The town is an oceanfront holiday hotspot bordering Trial Bay whose calm clear waters and natural surrounds provides a wide range of activities ideal for a family holiday. The area has a rich heritage with some key landmarks just a short drive away. Set on cliffs high above the sea, Trial Bay Gaol was built in the 1880s to house…

South West Rocks is a sleepy coastal retreat at its barefoot best. The town is an oceanfront holiday hotspot bordering Trial Bay whose calm clear waters and natural surrounds provides a wide range of activities ideal for a family holiday. The area has a rich heritage with some key landmarks just a short drive away. Set on cliffs high above the sea, Trial Bay Gaol was built in the 1880s to house prisoners & then as an internment camp for Germans and Austrians living in Australia during World War II. Smoky Cape Lighthouse is one of the oldest, and tallest, lighthouses in NSW. Completely surrounded in a natural bushland setting with sweeping coastal views, it's a perfect place for whale watching, bush walking, swimming, fishing or just relaxing with family and friends. From its connections to Captain James Cook historic voyage in 1770, World War II installations and being the traditional country for the Dunghutti Aboriginal people, Smoky Cape provides glimpses of forgone eras. Fish Rock Cave, 2km offshore, is one of the best cave dives in the country, a 125m aqua passage through the centre of a small island, with an amazing variety of marine life. Discover Arakoon National Park and admire the area's surrounding rocky foreshores and beaches, which are often visited by pods of dolphins.

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Featured Things to See and Do

Note:
Distance is calculated point-to-point. If landmarks, waterways or rivers are nearby, the distance may be further by road.

Local Highlights

Trent Munro Surf Academy: Learn to surf in the calm waters of Trial Bay from a pro surfer!
Set yourself free and learn to surf with expert tuition from one of the worlds best surfers Trent Munro. Lessons are run all year round for all levels from novice through intermediate and those who are already surfing but need coaching to achieve a higher level. Get your family and friends or even your staff and experience the thrill of surfing from one of the worlds best.

The Macleay Valley Coast
We have put together a list of our top 10 favourite things to do on the Macleay Valley Coast. These experiences showcase the diverse culture & environment that is here – just waiting to be discovered.

Smoky Cape Lighthouse
Smoky Cape was named on 13 May 1770 by Captain Cook: the name arising from the great amount of smoke from Aboriginal burn-off fires on the headland. The lighthouse, first proposed in 1886, was to ensure the safety of the increasing coastal traffic on the colony of New South Wales northern seaboard. The light was completed and first exhibited in 1891 and has several claims to fame. With the dismissal of the renown James Barnet, who designed lights such as Cape Byron Lighthouse and the new Macquarie Lighthouse, and the abolition of his office of Colonial Architect, responsibility for future lighthouses passed to the Engineer-in-Chief for Harbours and Rivers. This marked the end of a lighthouse representing 'architectural excellence'. From here on most would simply regarded as engineering projects with less and less regard to aesthetics. The other is the unusual feature of having a octagonal tower. This was because it was easier to cast the tower in the octagonal formwork than round formwork. The material used to cast the tower was concrete with local granite aggregate. Enjoy a swim at nearby secluded North Smoky or just relax enjoying the scenery. The lighthouse is a popluar place for dolphin and whale watching. Beaches and views surrounding the Smoky Cape lighthouse are without doubt some of the finest to be found anywhere in Australia.

Trial Bay Gaol
Step back in time on a guided tour of Trial Bay Gaol, soaking up the history and the amazing coastal views that surround it. The gaol opened in 1886, after 13 years of construction. It must have been a strange feeling building a prison in such a beautiful setting. The prison labourers were there to construct a breakwater to make Trial Bay a safe harbour between Sydney and Brisbane. Unfortunately the scheme failed, however you’ll still be able to see the remains of the breakwater from the guard tower lookout. During World War I the gaol became an internment camp for people of German descent who were feared to be enemy sympathisers. Today, this picturesque historic ruin stands as a testament to those who lived and died here, with a museum and memorial for visitors to get a better idea of life in those days. Feeling energetic? Try the nearby Powder Magazine walking track or Monument Hill walking track. There are lots of great things waiting for you in Arakoon National Park. Here are some of the highlights. Spring: - The wildflowers will be out so it's a great time to hike the park's walking tracks During the spring, when the she-oaks produce fruit, glossy black cockatoos come in to feed on the ripe seeds . Summer: -School's out and it's a great time for a family camping holiday – spend your days swimming, snorkelling, fishing and exploring the park's attractions. Winter: - Catch the whales on their journey north along the coast.

Bushwalks Galore
Walks within Arakoon State Conservation Area and Hat Head National Park for the beginner Bridle Trail: Easy – 500m This track links up with the Powder Magazine Track and the track to Little Bay, and starts at Cardwell Street near the entrance to the park. Monument Track: Easy – 1 km return Commencing near the Gaol, this steep but well formed track winds up through banksia heathland. A monument to the WW1 German internees is located near the summit, with views of Trial Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Powder Magazine Track: Moderate – 1.5 km return This track leads off Monument Track to the ruins of powder magazines used to store gunpowder during the construction of the Gaol and breakwater. The track meets up with Bridle Trail which can be followed to Little Bay or follow the main road back to the car park. Jack Perkins Track: Moderate – 1.4 km return From Captain Cook’s Lookout, this track descends through a series of plant communities including pockets of vine-entwined rainforest and dry woodland, emerging at North Smoky Beach. This beach is not patrolled, there are frequent rips and strong ocean currents. The Smoky Cape to Little Bay Track: Hard – 6.4 km one way This track can be done in the following sections or as one adventurous walk of 10km one-way. Gap Beach Track. From the Overshot Dam at Little Bay this track climbs steeply up Little Smoky Mountain, before descending through grass tree forest to North Gap Beach. Follow the road down to the littoral rainforest behind North Gap Beach and walk along the beach. From South Gap Beach, follow the road back up to Ridge Top car park and continue to the Lighthouse. Green Island Lookout Track: Moderate – 3 km return From the southern Ridge Top car park above Gap Beach, follow the track uphill through woodland. At the junction continue east onto the headland passing through beautiful displays of flannel flowers and paper daisies. Green Island is only 100m from the coast. Please note: From the end of Green Island Lookout Track, North Smoky Beach and Gap Beach can be accessed but this is not recommended as there is no formed route and the terrain is very steep and unstable. Smoky Cape Track: Moderate – 4.4 km return From Captain Cook’s Lookout this track meanders along the ridges and across the gullies behind North Smoky Beach. There are numerous cabbage tree palms and ferns where it reaches a junction. From here take: the Green Island Lookout Track continue along the Smoky Cape to Little Bay Track head the west to the Southern Ridge Top car park and down to Gap Beach. Smoky Cape to Little Bay (or reverse): Hard – 10 km one way From the more adventurous take a coastal walk from Smoky Cape to Little Bay. From Captain Cook’s lookout follow the Smoky Cape to Little Bay Track to the Northern Ridge Top car park, and either: walk down to Gap Beach, back up the southern road and onto to the Little Bay Track or walk along the 4WD Road to the junction (to a gate), back up Gap Road past the car park and onto Little Bay Track. A one-way journey can take up to four hours. Leave a vehicle at Smoky Cape or Little Bay to allow for car pooling and avoid the return journey.

Skating on Thin Ice at the BIG Banana Ice Rink
The Big Banana Fun Park is the BIGGEST Fun Park on the Northern NSW coast. It's a full day of family fun for the entire family set amongst the bananas, overlooking the amazing Coffs Harbour Coastline. Now boasting 6 fantastic attractions including a 600m toboggan track, State of the art Laser Tag arena, Brand new Water Park including 4 heart stopping thrill slides and kids aqua play area, Magnificently sculpted 36 hole Mini Golf course, Theatre and Plantation tour, Ice Skating rink, Gift shop, Café, Candy Kitchen and Nursery. ENTRY TO OUR FUN PARK IS FREE! Rides and attractions are individually priced. Please visit the Main Ticket Office upon arrival - We look forward to seeing you.

Swim with a Dolphin
For a truly memorable holiday experience there can be nothing more enticing than an opportunity to SWIM WITH A DOLPHIN. The Pet Porpoise Pool at Coffs Harbour offers this amazing experience to swimmers of all ages - all year around. Ask our friendly reception staff for more information, prices and directions.

Paintball Fun for All the Family
Taken the kids for a great holiday - why not SHOOT THEM before you go home? Skirmish Down Under is a progressive and innovative paintball operation operating from an exciting new facility in Port Macquarie. They ensure players have the best possible experience with a focus on FUN but with guidelines and procedures in place to provide a safe days entertainment. Ask our friendly reception staff for more information.

Cuddle a Koala - or a Snake
Award winning Billabong Zoo is New South Wales premier regional wildlife park that allows you to get close up to all of the animals. Australias world Renowned Koala Breeding Centre You can pat and photograph these magnificent marsupials in the Koala Breeding Centre after each of the shows which are held daily at 10:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. PAT a Koala View our successful Koala breeding programme in the Koala breeding centre. Our experts will educate you on this unique Australian icon. After the presentation you have the chance to get up close and personal by having your photograph taken patting a Koala. Informative keeper presentations about this unique Australian icon three times daily. After the presentation you have the opportunity to get up close and take your own photo patting the koala at no extra cost. Personal encounters available (see encounters) Presentation times 10.30am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm daily. personal-encounter Monkey Mania At this presentation enjoy the antics of our mischievous Black Handed Spider Monkeys. Living an average of 35 years, these guys have the brain capacity of a 7 year old child. Presentation times 11.00am and 4.00pm daily. Monster Croc Billabong Zoo welcomes their newest addition “Shrek” the monster croc. Measuring in at 4.6 metres, you can’t miss this huge dinosaur being feed daily. View this massive creature in our new underwater viewing area. Presentation times 12.30pm daily. Reptile Awareness Listen to the fantastic stories of the world of reptiles. Some species date back to the pre historic days of the dinosaurs. Touch and photograph these amazing creatures at no extra cost. Presentation times 2.00pm weekends and every day in the school holidays. personal-encounter Ernie the dingo Here you have the opportunity to have a rare encounter with Australia’s very own Dingos. Presentation times Pat and take your own photograph of Ernie at 11.30am and 2.30pm daily. Snow Leopards This is your opportunity to see our beautiful big cats Kamala and Sabu at their most active time of the day. Learn about the Snow Leopards plight in the wild and how it has become one of the most endangered big cats on the planet. Presentation times 12pm & 4.15pm daily. personal-encounter Penguin Frenzy Watch these cute and adorable little happy feet feed and frolic while listening to our informative keeper talk. Presentation times 10.00am daily. personal-encounter Meerkat Manor Watch our resident Meerkats interact with our keepers and being fed while listening to the keeper talk. Presentation times 11.20am daily.

Timbertown at Wauchope: Step Back Into History for the Day
Timbertown is more than a heritage village! With many retailers located within the park, Timbertown is the place for shopping... With unique wares and gifts - Timbertown has something for everyone! Set amongst 87 acres of natural forest, Timbertown is an entire village, re-created to demonstrate the struggles and achievements of our pioneers. It's an authentic heritage township, where the Horse and Carriage still runs, timber is still sawn and the bullock team still hauls it's heavy load. You'll smell the distinctive aroma from the steam engines, the smell of sawn timber and the smell of home style cooked meals. Timbertown is considered by many to be one of Australia's finest Heritage Parks. Since opening in 1976, approximately 2,000,000 people have visited Timbertown from all parts of Australia and from around the world. Hastings Woodworkers Guild We are a non profit organisation with our own facilities located @ shed 26 in Timbertown. Our Membership stands at 61 with an age group between 16 years to 84 years, giving us an average age of 70, our Membership range throughout the Hastings & come from all walks of life. Our aim is to teach new members skills that are available within the club, all forms of wood works from toy making to furniture, Timbertown Heritage Railway The railway is a Not for Profit organisation. All profit from the train will go back into the upkeep of the trains and the track. One Train ride per person is included with admission. Steam Sawmill The Timbertown sawmill and much of its equipment was originally built and located on the Allyn River at the foothills of the Barrington Tops. The mill opened in 1943 to process timber close to its source and ceased operating in December 1970. It was purchased by Timbertown and reassembled here in 1977. Timbertown Bullock Team Timbertown Bullocks, each with their distinctive personalities and carefully chosen names, are the only bullocks in Australia to do two demonstrations, 7 days a week. The Bullock Driver Craig Lockwood at Timbertown shows visitors how these fascinating animals pull their heavy load, hold whip cracking lessons, demonstrate shingle splitting and cross cut sawing. Timbertown Colonial Furniture Proprietor and resident craftsman, Alex is an award winning furniture maker fulfilling orders from throughout Australia. His small shop is a treasure trove of period and contemporary pieces and a great place to find that special piece of wood for your customised piece. Timbertown Heritage Playground Take time out and enjoy the old fashioned play equipment. Why not play knouts and crosses or have a photo taken in the cut out characters. Timbertown Livery Stables Take a forest tour on a horse drawn wagon through the blackbutt forest and experience parts of Timbertown many visitors miss.. Clydedales Wagon Ride Prices: Included in admission price Why not Hire our Horse Drawn Carriage for your Wedding or that special event. Timbertown Winery Erwin Cellars Housed in a spacious structure in the centre of Timbertown this specialist winery combines contemporary wines and retailing with an appealing rustic style that draws visitors for the atmosphere, the wines, and regional products. Stop by anytime throughout the day to sample the Timbertown Wines and Fortifieds.

Top Gun Jet Fighter Academy
Become a Top Gun Pilot for a day and fly your very own Jet Fighter Adventure Joy Flight with Australia's longest running adventure jet operator. Operating since 1996 Jetfighter has been perfecting the quality experience you would expect from an organisation with a 100% incident free safety record. Our Pilots are standing by to escort you on the adventure of a lifetime and they are among the best Jet Fighter Pilots in the country. Our world champion pylon racer, and RAAF FA/18 combat instructors have flown a great number of military aircraft including our current RAAF jets the FA/18 Hornet and Hawk, in both Australia and New Zealand. We are based at Port Macquarie - an hour from South West Rocks We own and operate the latest model and lowest air time L-39C Albatros in Australia and we are proud to offer you this unique opportunity to experience an adrenaline packed Adventure Flight experience in this ex-military fighter jet. We provide one of the best gift ideas for any special occasion be it a Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas, or just for fun. read more choose your aircraft Strap yourself into the Albatros L-39C for the ultimate adrenaline ride in an ex-military fighter jet! Experience the sheer rush as you reach speeds Up to 900km/h at 5 G's as your pilot takes you through a range of military combat manoeuvres tailored to the individual from mild to wild. The sheer power of this incredibly agile aircraft is something to dream about, let alone experience. The excitement of being involved in a flight of your choice can only truly be appreciated as you climb into the cockpit of this awesome machine, fitted up in a flight suit and helmet, the briefing running through your mind while you reinvent fashion in a pair of dusted off legendary aviator style sunglasses made famous by Tom Cruise in “Top Gun” all those year ago.

Local Events

What's On in South West Rocks this week?
from 01 February, 2012 to 31 December, 2017
What's happening around town in South West Rocks. Updated weekly.

South West Rocks Markets
from 08 August, 2010 to 13 May, 2017
2nd Saturday of Every Month - at Horseshoe Bay in town.

Triathalon
from 21 February, 2016 to 21 February, 2016
27th Trial Bay Coastline Triathlon South West Rocks In association with the South West Rocks Country Club Swim 500 metres - Cycle 26 kilometres - Run 6 kilometres T-SHIRT TO ALL ENTRANTS - MEDALLION TO ALL FINISHERS Commencing 7:30 am - Trial Bay Gaol, South West Rocks. All Proceeds go to local charities and community groups.

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