destination NSW

South West Rocks


Family in South West Rocks

South West Rocks is a sleepy coastal retreat at its barefoot best. The town is an oceanfront holiday hotspot bordering Trial Bay. With a number of camping sites and caravan parks, Trial Bay's calm clear waters and natural surrounds provides a wide range of activities ideal for a family holiday.

Must Do

About South West Rocks

South West Rocks lies at the mouth of the Macleay River, a half-hour drive from Kempsey. It's an ideal family retreat by the beach which is perfect for year-round swimming.

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 and 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.

Fish Rock Cave, 2 km offshore,is one of the best cave dives in the country, a 125-m passage through the centre of a small island, with an amazing variety of marine life including grey nurse sharks. Be sure not to miss a day of idle beachcombing at Hat Head National Park.

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Hat Head Beach near South West Rocks


Enjoy the great surfing conditions at Horseshoe Bay, or visit the family-friendly Trial Bay for a relaxing day on the sand. Alternatively, enjoy the waves at South Smoky Beach. Relax on the white sands and calm waters of Main Beach where you can go swimming or bodyboarding.

Kayaking in South West Rocks

Water Activities

The South West Rocks area is renowned for a wide range of water activities such as fishing, kayaking, snorkeling and diving. Visit Fish Rock Cave and go on a diving tour to explore the island's ocean cavern, home to a breathtaking amount of colourful sea creatures, including grey nurse sharks.

Hat Head Beach in Hat Head National Park

National Parks

Explore Arakoon National Park and admire the area's surrounding rocky foreshores and beaches, which are often visited by pods of dolphins. Further down the coast is Hat Head National Park, a great location for bushwalking and camping. Explore the park's sand dunes, rainforest and wetlands.

Explore South West Rocks