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South West Rocks

Hat Head National Park

semi-overcast 26 °C

Our next destination was going to be the Red Cliff campground in the Yuraygir National Park but on arrival the weather was nasty with strong onshore winds and cloudy rainy conditions. The campground offered little protection and the forecast was not good so we decided to move on and travel in the poor weather rather than waste the day. South West Rocks was our next destination, with the journey broken up with a stop in Coffs Harbour to see the big banana satisfying Deb’s obsession with visiting all the BIG attractions, and to do some shopping. We also detoured to Nambucca Heads to have a quick look around the town and its beaches. The Nambucca River flows to the sea here and the rock breakwall has most of its rock faces painted with murals of all descriptions, some of them are quite artistic. The town itself is very nice and a place we would return to in the future to stay for a few days.

We arrived at the Smoky Cape campground late in the afternoon and found a nice well spread campground behind the beach dunes amongst the rain forest. The facilities here are basic with drop toilets the only facility provided but a nice place to explore the area from. A walk up to the Smoky Cape Lighthouse gives great views of the coastline and Fish Rock which is a popular dive spot. South West Rocks is a beautiful coastal town facing a protected bay with great beaches. We spent an afternoon at Horseshoe Bay swimming, body surfing and reading, with fantastic views of the coastline to the north and dolphins cruising just beyond the breakers.

Trial Bay Gaol stands prominently at the easterly point of Trial Bay and was worth a look from the outside, but we were reluctant to part with $22 to look inside. The campground below the gaol looked like a nice place to camp but was quite expensive. Hat Head was another great spot we checked out on our last morning before packing up and moving on. The campground there is well situated beside a crystal clear creek and protected surf beach.

While camping at Smoky Cape we ran into Simon from the All 4 Adventure TV show who was camping here with a couple of mates. Who would have thought? South West Rocks will definitely go onto our list of places to revisit, a great coastal town in a beautiful part of the country.

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Posted by OzJourney 02:34 Archived in Australia

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