Trial Bay Gaol
For a glimpse into Australian history, head to South West Rocks to explore the historic ruins of 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.
**To keep visitors safe ALL camping in NSW national parks now requires a booking. For day visitors, please plan ahead and visit outside of peak periods (11am and 2pm). Check park alerts and visit COVID-19 updates for more information before visiting any park – www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au **