If you’ve ever thought about visiting South West Rocks in NSW, one of the best ways to see it is to grab your car keys, hit the road, and stay at one of the caravan parks.
Caravan Parks in South West Rocks allow you to stay in nature, enjoy cheaper prices, park up your RV or camper van, and have your own space.
As well as being more budget-friendly, they are also kitted out like mini resorts, with many onsite amenities such as BBQ areas, laundry facilities, and outdoor swimming pools.
But since South West Rocks has become a booming destination, more caravan sites have opened up in the area, making it difficult to figure out which one to stay at.
To help you out, we’ve listed the best caravan sites in South West Rocks and also listed some top things to do in the area, so you can plan your trip with ease.
- Why Stay in a Caravan Park in South West Rocks?
- Where is South West Rocks?
- Caravan Parks at South West Rocks
- Things to Do at South West Rocks
- Final Thoughts on Campsites in South West Rocks
- Other North Coast NSW Travel Ideas
Why Stay in a Caravan Park in South West Rocks?
One of the best ways to see Australia is to travel by car and stay in caravan parks around the country.
This is really popular with Australians which makes it a perfect opportunity for international tourists to get to know the Australian culture.
It also means you get to discover beautiful, serene natural places and off-the-beaten path experiences that aren’t on the usual tourist trail.
If you are looking for natural beauty, the opportunity to get up close to our native animals, and nice beaches then make your way to one of the caravan parks in South West Rocks NSW.
Where is South West Rocks?
South West Rocks is on the mid-north coast of NSW. It’s just a 20-minute detour off the Legendary Pacific Coast Drive to get there, but the detour is well worth it.
It’s about halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, being a 5-hour drive along the M1 and Pacific Hwy/A1 north from Sydney or south from Brisbane.
South West Rocks is surrounded by National Parks and beaches, which means this small town of 4,000 does not have room to grow. It’s a well-known hot spot for scuba diving and surfing.
The developers can’t really get in so there are no high rises and only a small offering of cafes and restaurants. Instead you’re going to get a whole lot of beauty and relaxation.
The drive into South West Rocks goes through farmlands and coastal forest and the drives around town.
Caravan Parks at South West Rocks
South West Rocks hasn’t got a lot of Caravan Parks, mostly holiday resorts where you can stay in a little cabin or lodge, but you can always find a classic caravan vibe at…
NRMA South West Rocks Holiday Resort (Formerly Big 4 Caravan Park)
We stayed at the NRMA South West Rocks Holiday Park back when it was called Big 4 Trial Bay Caravan Park in the Hat Head National Park and would highly recommend it.
The park is well catered to for families with plenty of great playground areas, a jumping pillow, games room and entertainment area.
You can bring your own motorhome, or you can enjoy the luxury of your own cabin. This is what we did.
Our cabin also came set up with toys for the girls as well as an activity pack for them to record their experiences through pictures and words.
It was cosy and had perfect breakfast and afternoon views out to the bushland. We had kitchen facilities and a comfortable lounge area which I enjoyed while drinking a glass of red wine and watching the Olympics’ closing ceremony. It also comes with free WiFi.
Honestly we forgot we were supposed to be camping!
You can easily walk to the town of South West Rocks or to the beach from the park and it is close to all the nature trails around the Hat Head National Park.
Leanne, the owner is really friendly and has plenty of insider local tips on the South West Rocks area.
The accommodation at the caravan park ranges from campsites to caravan sites, cabins and luxury cabins.
Apart from the standard caravan park facilities like outdoor barbeques, pools and playgrounds, the NRMA South West Rocks also welcomes you to join come together each day for morning tea, they have real coffees available every day, lots of games to entertain the family and the ultimate parent-sanity saver – kids club!!
During the summer months, it has a fun children’s water park called Shipwreck Island Waterpark, which features water slides and an outdoor pool to enjoy. There’s also a tennis court and mini golf course.
If that’s not enough, it’s just a 12-minute walk to the beach and backs on to the Saltwater Lagoon which you can explore by kayak or canoe.
Ingenia Holidays South West Rocks
Ingenia Holidays South West Rocks is a great holiday park for surfers and beachgoers, since it sits right on the banks of Back Creek, a scenic tidal waterway in South West Rocks.
Guests get the option to park their caravan or motorhome, trailer, or sleep in a tent under the stars. It has both powered and unpowered sites. Some sites has the luxury of being right on the water and you can stay in waterfront cabins, too!
If you don’t have a caravan, no worried, you can also stay in a cabin or villa, which includes a private ensuites, kitchen area and living space. Cabins range from studios up to three bedrooms.
The resort also has several activities to choose from, such as surfing lessons, SUP rent and snorkel rentals, and you can also book fishing boat charters.
The Macleay River Boat Ramp is just two kilometres from the campgrounds.
Horseshoe Bay Holiday Park
Horseshoe Bay Holiday Park is in a great location, just a 5-minute walk from Trial Bay Front Beach. Visitors can choose to stay in one of the one or two bedroom cabins or stay in the great outdoors at one of their powered or unpowered campsites.
The cabins are homely and are kitted out like a little home, with a private bathroom with free toiletries, and a small kitchen with fridge (in some cabins).
If you choose to stay in an unpowered site, you can make use of the camp kitchens grill which is available for all guests to use.
The holiday park also features free wifi and has laundry facilities. The only draw back is that it doesn’t have a huge amount of activities. It has a public barbecue, playground, kiosk serving snacks, and a small restaurant.
If you’re travelling with kids, you will need to leave the park to find activities to do (aside the playground).
Things to Do at South West Rocks
If it’s your first time visiting South West Rocks, here are some unmissable things to do in South West Rocks to help you map out your itinerary.
1. See Wild kangaroos by the beach in Little Bay
They will let you get close for photos but don’t try to pat or feed.
When driving out to the lighthouse we met this Skippy by the side of the road. He was massive and happy to let us film him have a good scratch
Here are some other great places in Australia to see wild kangaroos.
2. Check Out the Smoky Cape Lighthouse For Incredible Views
The Smoky Cape Lighthouse in South West Rocks is the perfect place to stop and admire the views.
And perhaps see some passing whales playing in the ocean if you are there at the right time (June to November).
3. Check Out the Historic Trial Bay Gaol
German interments imprisoned here during World War II had the best views of anyone in South West Rocks or any gaol in the world.
The building is slowly being restored, but for now you can wander through the historic, roofless structure, see a few kangas jumping around, and admire the views and the gorgeous structure of the gaol.
4. Enjoy Coastal Nature Walks
You can walk from the lighthouse around to Trial Bay Gaol through the Arakoon National Park and along the coast, which takes about four hours.
It’s up and down hills but it’s not too strenuous as it’s possible to walk with children.
5. Wander Around the Small town
Head into town and enjoy a coffee and soak up the amazing small town atmosphere. There isn’t much in the town of South West Rocks, it barely has any stores or attractions, only a book store and The Shell Shop Museum, which is a great place to get shell crafts for souvenirs.
There are a lot of cafes and restaurants, and even guest houses with beer gardens and terraces where you can sit and enjoy a refreshing drink.
After exploring the town, take some photos of the lovely main beach and South West Rocks creek area.
6. See the Kookaburras
This kookaburra was happy to sit on our cabin deck and let us get up close for a photo. Savannah was fascinated and quickly reached out to see what would happen if she pulled the kookaburras tail.
He turned sharply with a stern look, but continued sitting happily.
7. Scuba Dive at Fish Rock
One of the top reasons to visit South West Rocks is to go diving. When it comes to dive sites, there is no better place than Fish Rock, an underwater cave that runs for 125 metres, which is located just two kilometres south-east of Smoky Cape.
The unique ecosystem attracts a variety of marine life, including nurse sharks and hammerhead sharks during October to January.
When it comes to picking dive centers, the South West Rocks Dive Centre has been taking divers out to Fish Rock, daily, for more than 40 years. They are a family-owned business and know the area well.
Final Thoughts on Campsites in South West Rocks
So there you have it, there’s an overview of the campgrounds in South West Rocks, and as you can see, they each have something special and unique to offer.
We hope this guide helped you figure out which campsite is right for you and also figure out what things to do in South West Rocks.
Wherever you choose to stay, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the peace and solitude of this quaint oceanside town!