South West Rocks
South West Rocks offers 8 beautiful beaches, Country Club with bowling greens, 18 hole golf course and tennis courts. The Seabreeze Hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and the Riverside Tavern on the bank of the Macleay River. Within the Arakoon State Recreation Area is the historical Trial Bay Gaol and the popular Trial Bay Kiosk - a great place for breakfast, lunch or tea. There are many small shops including great cafes and restaurants in the centre of town as well as a new shopping centre on the edge of town.
South West Rocks has boat ramps at the Macleay River and Back creek and both ocean and river fishing charter boats operate from there. Charter boats also offer whale and dolphin watching tours as well as BBQ boats and river cruises. If fishing is not your go there is always the Macleay River Fishing Co-op at Jerseyville, offering daily catches of prawns, fish and oysters.
Other tourist attractions include scuba diving at the world famous Fish Rock Cave, snorkeling at high tide in Back Creek or around the rocks in the bay, hiring a catamaran or windsurfer for a sail or wandering through the historic gaol.
Our pristine beaches include the small patrolled Horseshoe Bay in the centre of town, Main Beach which stretches the length of Trial Bay to the protected west facing beach at the base of the Gaol. Back Beach runs from the mouth of Back Creek to the mouth of the Macleay River and like Main Beach is perfect for a quiet morning or afternoon stroll. Gap Beach and North Smoky Beach separated from the town by the Smoky Cape Range, are perfect for those who want seclusion and Smoky Beach stretching 14 kilometres to Hat Head is a big favourite with the beach fishermen. Little Bay Beach has plenty of picnic areas popular with the families, and has great views from it's headlands.
With a large area of the Lower Macleay now protected by National Parks, South West Rocks is the perfect place to relax. Some of the beautiful features of the local Hat Head National Park include the Smoky Cape Lighthouse opened in 1891 towering over the ocean and a great place to watch for migrating whales. The historic Trial Bay Gaol built in the 1880's from locally quarried granite and the monument to the German internees, a short walk from the gaol, are both places of interest well worth visiting.
The small seaside village of H.H. is the perfect place to wet a line or just relax on the beach. It can be found at the south end of South Smoky Beach approximately 15 minutes drive by road from South West Rocks. Hat Head has a beautiful beaches, rocky headlands, boat ramp, beach access and a delightful creek perfect for the kids to fish or snorkel at high tide. Being only 13 kilometres from the edge of the continental shelf Hat Head is very popular with offshore fishermen and rock fishermen.
With stories of the ones that didn't get away including Tailor, Jewfish, Bream, Spanish Mackerel, Drummer and even Marlin over the summer months. Hat Head has many different places from which to take advantage of the great fishing, from the rocky headlands for blue water fishing to the creek just right for the kids to throw a line in.
Gladstone / Smithtown
A 20 minute drive back up the river from South West Rocks lie the twin towns of Gladstone and Smithtown situated on opposite sides of the Macleay River. The perfect place for lunch or an afternoon outing. Both towns have BBQ areas, places to dine as well as craft and antique shops.