- Destination NSW

Trial Bay Gaol - South West Rocks


Arakoon National Park is located four kilometres east of South West Rocks. This reserve is home to Trial Bay Gaol (1886), a picturesque ruin which was built as a public works prison but was also used as a World War I internment camp. The gaol is surrounded by rocky foreshores and pleasant sandy beaches.

Wander through the gaol museum, explore the ruins or relax on the beach. Stroll over Monument Hill to the Little Bay picnic area, or enjoy the spectacular half-day walk from the picnic area to historic Smoky Cape Lighthouse in Hat Head National Park.

Around the gaol there are picnic areas and facilities for car-based and caravan camping, and you can stay at secluded Little Bay Cottage. Picnicking, easy bushwalks, sightseeing, surfing, swimming, beach and rock fishing are all available.

Parking area, kiosk, shelters, 103 unpowered sites and 13 powered sites and hot showers.

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Surfers at Hat Head, near South West Rocks, Kempsey. Image credit: Don Fuchs;Destination NSW