NOW: Macleay Valley NSW – Trial Bay in Arakoon State Conservation Area, South West Rocks, Crescent Head and Point Plomer
The seaside township of South West Rocks sits on the coast where the Macleay River enters the ocean. Camping at Trial Bay you can look back across the ocean and see the town at the other end of the beach. One of our “early morning” walks along the beach became breakfast in town at around 11.00am! We really are taking our time on the coast and enjoying the beachside camping.
The Trial Bay Gaol was a place of trial for internees during the first world war and provides an interesting background to the campground. Being half way by sea between Sydney and Brisbane, Trial Bay was thought to be the ideal place for a safe harbour. The trials continued in the 1880’s when attempts were made to build a breakwall to increase safety for the ships. Unfortunately the harbour silted up and the ships were unable to enter. The remains of that breakwall make a protected swimming bay where adults and children float in the warm, calm water.
This is Dhanggati country. Signs along the headland and coastal walks explain the plants and the way Aboriginal people have used them for food and as medicines.
While we were in South West Rocks the NSW Surf Life Saving Country Championships were held on the town beach. The ocean had been calm until the day the carnival started so there was plenty to watch as the boat crews battled the shore dump.
After several weeks of overcast, wet days we stopped in at Crescent Head to recharge our batteries, dry out our canvas and our feet and restock from the Bakery. The caravan park here is adjacent to the National Surfing Reserve where longboarders ride the point break right into the creek, jump out, run along the pathway and then ride the break again! While I wouldn’t call us surfers, there were a few good waves for a couple of mature aged body boarders to ride into the shore! We also floated with the locals in the creek on the outgoing tide.
Our next travel day was a whole 17 kilometres from Crescent Head to Point Plomer. We scored a postcard perfect spot by the beach where we watched surfers, boaties, fishermen and swimmers from the shade of our awning. We also tried our hand at fishing from the beach but the fish remain elusive.
Campfires are permitted here with wood available from the office or you can bring your own firewood with you. We enjoyed a perfect roast lamb dinner cooked in the camp oven on a bed of coals – one of the chef’s best so far. We use an enamel pie plate covered in foil so that we fit the roast vegies as well and avoid having to wash up! A few green beans wrapped in foil steamed on the top of the oven and the meal’s complete.
NEXT: Heading South through Sydney to the NSW south coast via Kangaroo Valley.
On The Coastal Emu Track!
Cheryl and David