Things to do around South West Rocks

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South West Rocks

If you’re looking for things to do around South West Rocks on the mid north coast of NSW, Travellarks local finds will astound you. The first find is your accommodation at SALT at South West Rocks 1 bedroom villa;  SALT at South West Rocks 2 bedroom villa and SALT at South West Rocks 3 bedroom villa by the MacLeay River. Listed below is a diversity of things for everybody.

Getting to South West Rocks is relatively easy – drive, fly or by train. It’s a five-hour drive north from Sydney and just under six hours from Brisbane. You can also catch a train from Sydney to Kempsey, just 30min away, or fly into Port Macquarie Airport and rent a car for the one-hour drive north.

Sitting at the mouth of the Macleay River, South West Rocks has borne many a surfer, sun and coastal living creature who have made their haj to this little piece of paradise. Along with its interesting history at Trial Bay Gaol dating back to 1886 and is set in the most glorious spot. then there’s the towering Smoky Cape Lighthouse at Hat Head National Park surrounded by more stunning coastal scenery and spot for whale watching, birdwatching and picnicking.

The attraction for fishermen and scuba divers is too much as the magnetic waters beckon. Norfolk pines dot the foreshore and the string of pretty beaches.

Wellness & Pampering

Explore & Discover

  • Beaches abound – try Horseshoe Bay, Trial Bay Main Beach (centrally located beachside in South West Rocks) or discover the seclusion of Gap Beach (accessed by 4WD only) or Front Beach that stretches for 3.5km and is generally quiet
  • If you’re inclined  for gentler ”walking on water” South West Rocks Stand up Paddle offer Day Tours, Sunrise and Sunset tours (minimum 4 people) SWR SUP in the calm waters of Back Creek, Nambucca Heads and Scotts Head. Call 0414 714 413  or find them at S W Rocks Road in Back Creek.
  • Now, here’s a treat, cave diving just offshore is Fish Rock Cave there’s a short dive through cave. Don’t go it alone, the South West Dive Centre offers a menu of experiences, including dive tours and diving sites for example Fish Rock Cave, the only true ocean cave dive in Australia running 125 metres right through Fish Rock which lies two kilometres south-east of Smoky Cape. Fish Rock is home to a completely unique ecosystem. This family run business has been operating for over 40 years. They have a series of dives for different levels.
  • For expert advice on the abundant fishing waters, head out with South West Rocks Estuary Charters or Wildside Sports Fishing by calling  0488 546 273 or email info@wildsidesportfishing.com for beginners or experts with a huge variety of experiences, bells and whistles available – off shore, estuary, game, sport or reef fishing.
  • Visit the Smoky Cape Lighthouse with its unusual octagonal tower that was one of the last lighthouses to be designed for architectural excellence. Named in 1770 by Captain Cook: the name arising from the great amount of smoke from Aboriginal burn-off fires on the headland.
  • Take in the view from the moderately challenging Smoky Cape Walking Track that starts at Captain Cooks lookout where you can take in the spectacular views.
  • Arakoon National Park is home to Trial Bay Gaol, high above on the cliffs above the sea with sweeping views, it an internment camp for people of German descent living in Australia during World War 1. Take either self-guided tours, guided twilight tours or dedicated tours for children. On this peninsula you’ll also find Powder Magazine and  Monument Hill walking tracks.
  • It’s never too soon or too late to dive into a bit of surfing with private surf lessons available from one of the world’s best surfers at the Trent Munro Surf Academy. Lessons are run all year round for all levels from beginner to the elite from Trent, a seasoned surfer.
  • Adventurous walkers will enjoy the 10 kilometres to Little Bay to Smoky Cape Walk. The track begins near Little Bay picnic area in Arakoon National Park, near Kempsey starting at historic Overshot Dam, where you can feed the ducks before setting off. Then follow the ridge to The Gap Beach and Smoky Cape tracks.
  • For birdwatchers and wildflower enthusiasts, the Green Island Walking Track leads through woodland and heath to a lookout with brilliant views to Smoky Cape Lighthouse in the northern section of Hat Head National Park. Also go to Boyters Lane Bird Hide that’s built on an old dairy farm, where the bird hide is placed within a tranquil area of rehabilitated bushland, mangrove and saltmarsh. Be sure to take your binoculars!
  • Yarriabini National Park It’s a place of dense rainforest, bubbling creeks, tranquil picnic areas and glossy black cockatoos with views from Mount Yarrahapinni of almost the entire Macleay Valley Coast.  Enjoy coastal views, a rainforest walk or a scenic drive, as well several great birdwatching and mountain bike riding.
  • Take a sunset cruise or hire a boat from South West Charters and explore river life and its critters.
  • The quirky 6th Toe films and movie house do a long week-end, sort of. Friday to Sunday each week and during the week in school holidays. Movies + Music screens current major Hollywood releases and art-house titles from around the world.
  • Try teeing off at the The Rocks Country Club,

Good Eats

  • Set on the picturesque Macleay River and bordered by thriving palms, luscious green grass and neat hedges, is Riverside Tavern on New Entrance Road in South West Rocks. Alfresco and family friendly lunch and dinner.
  • Beachside locals Bruce and Faye have built an enviable reputation at  Malt & Honey and are are the proud recipient of 4 Restaurant Guru awards for Best Atmosphere, Best Outdoor seating and Best Cafe, along with a recent 5 star Excellent Food and Hygiene rating from the NSW Govt – Food Authority. Open 6:30am-3pm
  • Sip your beautiful morning or afternoon coffee at the Back Street Cafe in South West Rocks
  •  Pilot Station Pizza say that they don’t make pizzas, they make peoples’ days! A customer said he would travel back from Brisbane for one of Pilot’s Pizza’s!
  • Open for beach and lunch Heritage Beachside Cafe as you gaze out over Horseshoe Bay – oh, it’s dog friendly!
  • Thai on the Rocks gets solid reviews. located at 12 Gregory St, South West Rocks NSW
  • Another goodie in town is Full Circle Eatery located at 2/21 Memorial Ave, South West Rocks NSW
  • Located on the beach, overlooking historical Trial Bay, the South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club boasts stunning views of the magnificent Pacific Ocean, serving the the freshest,  local ingredients and a broad range of meals, including vegetarian and gluten free options. Nippers meals available too.
  • Considered by locals as the best dining experience in South West Rocks is the Rocks Restaurant and Bar at 45 McIntyre St, South West Rocks
  • Located in the picturesque Arakoon State Conservation Area is the Trial Bay Kiosk with its seasonal menu, overlooking the beach making it a relaxing, family friendly place to visit. Open for breakfast, lunch or dinner
  • Social Alley is an American influenced diner and bowling alley you’ll find at The Rocks Country Club

Foodies

  • Fuller Food Company specialise in Grazing Tables, Canape’s and easy to hold finger food, but if slow cooked roast meats are what you are after, Fuller Food can help you design a menu for your wedding or special event. The recent addition of the newly built vintage caravan means a mobile café coffee cart or a Burger Bar, perhaps even a Cocktail bar is possible to hire.
  • Browse the  Beachside Markets  on the second Saturday of the month.

Retail Escapes

  • Good Vibes Homewares sells home décor, giftware and fashion located at 21 Paragon Ave, South West Rocks
  • At the Boatman’s Cottages you can pick up some local arts and crafts
  •  Somewhere clothing for men and women, including swimwear
  • Handmade unique jewellery, custom made designs  and a range of well known brands including Occulture, Ikecho, Stones & Silver and Boccia Watches.
  • For fishing paraphernalia pop into Rocks Marine Bait and Tackle located at 25 Memorial Avenue, South West Rocks

If you’ve decided South West Rocks sounds like an amazing holiday destination, why not browse our Stays With a Wow Accommodation options.

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