South West Rocks, Northern NSW

South West Rocks, Northern NSW

For the last few years we have headed to Scotts Head for a getaway from the cold Victorian winter. Normally we take a day trip to South West Rocks, but this year we decided to have a few nights there on the way home, we were not disappointed with our decision.

Whales from the Smokey yCape Lighthouse

I promise there are whales in the water, if you look closely you will see the water spouts.

A bigger, busier town then Scotts Head, located next to the mouth of the beautiful Macleay River. The caravan park is elevated overlooking Horseshoe bay, a perfect place for kids to have a frolic in the surf.

There is a great kids park and typical beach kiosk, the surf club overlooking the beach towards Trial Bay has great meals on offer. Back Creek is a great spot for kids to catch their first fish. There is a jetty and a bridge a short walk from the caravan park both are ideal spots to try. Peeled prawn or cut pilchard is the best bait with the likely catch being bream, flathead or whiting. An hour either side of high tide is the best time to try.

View down to South West Rocks

Jersey creek

Thanks to the helpful staff at Rocks Marine Bait & Tackle for the friendly advice.

A short drive from the main town center is the Smokey Cape Lighthouse, from here you get a magnificent view back towards Trial Bay and South towards Hat Head. We were fortunate to also see 20 plus whales on their northern migration, a few even coming within a few meters of the bottom Smokey Cape where the lighthouse is situated. I never get tired of seeing these beautiful creatures. I would have happily spent the whole day spotting whales and dolphins except for an impatient 4 year old, who was lucky to spot a big fat goanna happily sunning himself close to the lighthouse.

Boutique Accommodation Smokey Cape Lighthouse

A short drive form the center of South West Rocks is the Trial Bay Gaol. The gaol opened in 1886, after 13 years of construction, in a beautiful setting for a prison. 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.

The goal is surround by national park with available camping and a boat ramp, kangaroos are also a common site. We opted to stay in the campground in South West rocks as the waterfront sites were under maintenance.

 Tip: It is a popular holiday spot, so if you plan on going in high season I would recommend booking well in advance, the best campsites overlooking Horseshoe Bay are in hot demand even during low season, so also wise to book ahead. 


A Winter Getaway, Scotts Head NSW

A Winter Getaway, Scotts Head NSW

When you live in Victoria, I think it is a great idea to head to a warmer climate even if only for a week or three! The last few years we have made the trek to Scotts Head in Northern NSW. Scotts Head is just south of Coffs Harbour and camping ground is part of the North Coast Holiday Park chain.

Why Scotts head? Well there are a few good reasons:

  •  A group of families we have become associated with have been making the migration north for over 20 years, so why not join them. All of their kids have grown up going there and now young Will is the next generation. For us it is perfect, the most relaxing holiday ever. He spends his time going from one camp to the next, making friends, being watched and choosing the best foods to eat. On the list includes coco pops, fish and chips and cheery cheer, soft drink that seems to be unique to the region. We get to enjoy the beach, generally relax and socialise with a group of people we don’t get to see often.
  • The campground is in the sun pretty much all day, an important consideration when you are heading for warmer weather. Just don’t make the mistake we made, make sure you camp on the side furtherest away form the beach to get most of the sun.
  • It is a very short walk to the beach, only a hop, skip and a jump over the small sand dune. The beach is stunning, a wide expanse of clean white sand. Great for swimming, fishing, stand up paddle boarding and generally chilling while the kids play.  As one of the only true point breaks in the region. Scotts Head produces a long right hander and when sanded up, it is regarded as one of the best waves along this bit of coastline. With a permit you can also take your 4wd on a large section of the beach. Although for safety there is a section where vehicles  are not permitted.
  • It is a dog friendly camp ground, this year we didn’t take our dogs but opted for a house sitter. The beach north of the site is also dog friendly so you can give your pooch plenty of exercise if needed.
  • Facilities at the campground are clean and well maintained. The toilet shower block has recently been ungraded and is kept spotlessly clean. You even get to enjoy piped music while taking a hot shower. The camp kitchen has a fridge, kettle, microwave,toaster and cooking facilities. Over the winter a gas heater is also available for use, as it does get cool in the evenings.

Scotts Head is one of many stunning, small, coastal towns on the NSW coast, it has a neat little coffee shop and the small general store has also been recently upgraded and has some beautiful fresh produce. 

a little bit of family fun scotts head camping ground

Make sure you head up to the lookout with a glass of champagne and some nibbles to watch the sun sink over the horizon, you may also get to enjoy some dolphins frolicking in the waves just below the lookout.

Scotts Head Local Services

Tasty Bites Bakery – 6569 7512
OPEN, Mon – Sat: 7.30am to 4pm, Sun 7.30am to 2pm.
Extended hours over holiday periods

Scotts Head Butcher – 6569 8085
OPEN, Mon – Fri: 7am to 5pm, Sat: 7a, to 12pm, Closed Sundays

Tippanys Gift Store – 6569 7244
Open Wed to Fri: 10am to 5pm, Sat & Sun: 10am to 2pm, closed Mon/Tue
Expect during school holidays – open every day

Scotts Head Pharmacy – 6569 7788
Mon to Fri 9am to 5.30pm, Sat 9am to 12pm, Closed Sundays

Friendly Grocer Supermarket – 6569 8325 (OPEN 7 DAYS)
Winter Hours – 7am to 6pm, all other times 7am to 7pm

Local Liquor Bottle Shop – 6569 8377
Mon 11.30am to 7pm, Tue to Fri 10.30am to 7pm,
Sat/Sun 10am to 7pm

Café Cruz – N/A
Opening hours vary depending on time of year please see café for times

Taverna Six Restaurant – 6569 7191
Open every day for Breakfast (8.30am – 1pm), see notice board for
Dinner opening day & hours. Holiday Period 7 days

Club scotts (Bowling Club) – 6569 8163
Bistro Open 7 Days a week in Holiday & Summer season, all other times
Tue to Sun. Lunch 12pm – 2pm, Dinner 5.30pm- 8pm


Other Services

Scotts Head Surf School – Contact Surf Shop
Scotts Head Real Estate – 6569 7140
Tennis Courts – Hired through the Bottle Shop
Beagles Thai Takeaway – 6569 8059

Local Markets

Day of Month


2nd & 4th Saturday

  • Bowraville Country Markets, 8am – 12.30pm, Community Centre.
  • Macksville Riverside Markets

1st Saturday

Bi-Monthly, Even Months

  • Valla Beach Community Markets.

1st Saturday

  • Dorrigo Showground 8am – 1pm
  • Kempsey Showground
  • Coffs Harbour Showground
  • Glenreagh Country Markets, Recreation Ground

2nd Saturday

  • South West Rocks, Horseshoe Bay.
  • Kempsey Growers Market, Services Club Park
  • Woolgoolga Beach Trust Markets, Beach Reserve

3rd Saturday

  • Bellingen Markets, playing fields

4th Saturday

  • Sawtell Community Markets, First Ave.

2nd & 4th Saturday

  • Bellingen Organic Produce Markets, Showground.

Every Sunday

  • Coffs Jetty, Woolworths Carpark 6656771
  • Harbourside Markets, Coffs Harbour

Last Sunday

(Bi-Monthly Even Months)

  • Eungai “Unkya Reserve” – Pacific Highway

1st Sunday

  • Coffs Harbour Lions Club Car Boot Market, Jetty Foreshore
  • Port Macquarie Art Markets, Maritime Museum

1st & 3rd Sunday

  • Medlow Public School Growers Markets, Upper Taylors Arm Rd

2nd Sunday

  • Plaza Shopping Centre, Nambucca Heads

2nd & 4th Sunday

  • Nambucca Valley Farmers Markets, Bowraville Racecourse
She’s Alive… Beautiful… Finite… Hurting… Worth Dying for

She’s Alive… Beautiful… Finite… Hurting… Worth Dying for

Beautiful, moving video, stunning images and music

She’s Alive

She’s Home

She’s Beautiful

She’s Finite

She’s Hurting

She’s our Mother

She Can Be Saved

She’s Worth Defending

Worth Dying For

This is a non-commercial attempt from and…, to highlight the fact that world leaders, irresponsible corporates and mindless ‘consumers’ are combining to destroy life on earth. It is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today. The cut was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network (

Just another day at the office, Volvo Ocean Race

Just another day at the office, Volvo Ocean Race


Having done a little bit of sailing over the years and also run a charter boat in the Bahamas and Caribbean, this little video certainly put a smile on my face, hope you enjoy it as well 🙂 Although what these men and women do is pretty extreme!

An early morning cup of coffee, commute to work, keep the boss happy, go to bed ready to do it all again the next day – sounds pretty normal right? Try doing it in the middle of the ocean for a month during the toughest sailing race there is… For these guys it’s just another day at the office.

Dining Out With A View!

Dining Out With A View!

Is food and travel your thing? Check out these amazing restaurants around the world. Which you you pick to dine at? My personal choice would be Le Panoramic in Chamonix, France

Le Panoramic in Chamonix, France

Le Panoramic in Chamonix, France

Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania


Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Hotel

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Hotel

Ristorante Grotta Palazzese in Puglia, Italy

Ristorante Grotta Palazzese in Puglia, Italy

Isla Contoy Restaurant  Overlooking the stunningly beautiful Cancun beach

Isla Contoy Restaurant
Overlooking the stunningly beautiful Cancun Beach

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Caldera in Santorini, Greece

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Dasheene in St. Lucia, West Indies

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Ayers Rock Resort outback dining

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