The historic Trial Bay Gaol dates back to 1886 and sits on oceanside cliffs within Arakoon National Park. Explore the picturesque ruins along the easy-walking historic Bridle trail. Within the National Park there’s a number of good fishing and picnic spots, as well as a variety of walks for all fitness levels where you might spot an Eastern Grey kangaroo or a pod of dolphins playing along the coast.
Horseshoe Bay is a protected beach that sports an excellent right-hand wave for surfers whenever an east coast low appears on the weather map. Main Beach stretches 3.5km around to Trial Bay – great for lazy walks and tranquil swimming. Trial Bay is a shallow, sheltered little cove protected from the swell by a break wall and is one of the few west-facing beaches in NSW. It’s the perfect place for a late-afternoon picnic to watch sun set over the water. South Smoky Beach has 4-Wheel Drive access for those with a beach-driving permit. Pull up anywhere along this long sandy stretch and have the beach to yourself.
South West Rocks has a variety of fishing spots, both onshore and offshore. Anglers regularly catch mulloway from the rock walls at the entrance, bream, luderick, flathead and whiting from the river, as well as native bass in the freshwater reaches of the river. Head offshore to land a marlin, wahoo, yellowtail kingfish, cobia, dolphinfish, spotted and Spanish mackerel, longtail and yellowfin tuna, and tailor.
Horseshoe Bay and South West Rocks is the perfect place for an idyllic beach holiday with diving, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, body boarding, jet skiing, boating or fishing.
Horseshoe Bay and South West Rocks has a lively local shopping scene with a number of boutiques, restaurants and cafes in a relaxed coastal village setting. Horseshoe Bay Markets are on the second Saturday of every month from 8am until 1pm, with a delicious selection of local produce, jewellery, craft, crystals and art.
South West Rocks is world famous for its Fish Rock Cave, which offers spectacular diving and abundant marine life including the graceful and critically endangered Grey Nurse sharks. Fish Rock Cave is the only place in Australia to experience a true ocean cave dive. The cave runs 125 metres through Fish Rock and is home to a completely unique ecosystem. The temperature outside the cave is always at least one degree warmer than the surrounding ocean and the water is always clear.