Seal Rocks – Stunning, But…..

Seal Rocks – Stunning, But…..

Getting to Seal Rocks

Seal Rocks is approximately 40 km or about a 40 minute drive from the main highway south of Forster-Tuncurry and 310 km from Sydney. This stunning location and picturesque, sleepy quaint town boasts a small general store and a camping ground that is part of the North Coast chain. 

Its fame rests largely on its beautiful lighthouse and the sense of isolation it enjoys. The very ordinary dirt road which separates the town from the main road (Lakes Way) has kept development at bay and there is a strong feeling that the locals are very happy with this barrier to excessive development.

Our Experience

We have been wanting to stay at Seal Rocks for sometime now.

One of the current deals when you stay at a North Coast campground is that the 7th night is free when you stay at two or more of their parks. We had one night to pay for and then a free one up our sleeve, so we decided to stay at the Seal Rocks campground. Only staying one night in the end, we didn’t take the the free night as the campground was a stinker!

Unfortunately the eco friendly septic seemed to emit a fairly unpleasant odour and it didn’t particularly matter where in the campground you were there was always that waft of effluent lingering around….Seriously we were there in the middle of winter. I can only imagine the smell in high summer. I won’t be going back to find out.

stunning seal rocks nothern nsw

So what are you options if you want to stay in Seal Rocks? 

Well we saw at least 5 free campers in the car park directly opposite the caravan park. Some where staying in large self contained vans and others had small tents pitched next to their car. A pretty good option I would suggest.

There is another campground at Treachery Beach, but be warned the road out there is pretty bad easily doable in a 2wd but a very rutted pot holey surface. The camp closes at night and opens again in the morning with gate times of 7am-7pm daily except Fridays, 9.00pm close.  We drove out and had a look, it is a nice setting with a walk over a fairly steep sand dune to the beach, pretty little cabins and camping set in the bush next to a swamp. I am guessing mosquitos in abundance during the summer? We also saw that there were limited flat areas for camper trailers, definitely not a location for bigger rigs.

There is also boutique accommodation on the hill over looking the beach, I did a bit of looking and couldn’t find anything that would fit into our budget, let us know of any that you are aware of costs.

A highlight of staying at Seal Rocks was the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse, a short hike in with a steep climb, well worth the effort. On my list is a stay at the meticulously maintained and gorgeous lighthouse keepers cottage. At $450 a night, with a minimum 4 night stay during whale season, I may have to save for a little longer.

2019 – Updated Accommodation Options Seal Rocks

Reflections Holiday Parks –  Hopefully they have fixed the sewerage issues, the updated park looks fabulous, check their websites for costs. Cabins available.

Seal Rocks Lighthouse Cottages

Treachery Camp – Camping and cabin options plus The Beach Lodge accommodates up to 45 people in twelve separate bedrooms. Ten bedrooms with two bunks (4 single beds) and two bedrooms with queen beds. In the middle of the complex is a large common room with fully equipped kitchen, crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils, commercial stove/oven, large fridges, large dining table, lounge, large deck with outdoor settings, BBQ and fire pit for exclusive use of the Beach Lodge guests.

Check AirBnb fo options as well. 

A Wikicamps search didn’t locate any freecamps. 

There also additional campgrounds at Yagon and Neranie Camp Ground, Myall.

Some Things You May Not Know About Seal Rocks

1. Sugarloaf Lighthouse’s unique design

Standing on a dramatic headland east of the village, it’s hard to miss Sugarloaf Lighthouse. Built in 1875, it is one of only two towers in Australia with an external stairway. Its sweet name obscures the area’s dramatic history, with 20 wrecks occurring since it was built, including the wreck of the SS Catterthun in 1895 where 31 lives were lost.

2. The movie-star connections

In 2013 Seal Rocks was the shoot location for the movie ‘Adore’, starring Robin Wright, Naomi Watts and Ben Mendelsohn. Some believe the breathtaking landscapes were the real stars of the show and the profile of Seal Rocks grew considerably following the movie’s release.

3. It’s named after its resident furry critters

This one’s probably not that surprising. Australian fur seals were very common in the area in the 1800s, but the population has since declined due to hunting and entanglements. Fortunately, it appears they are making a recovery and sightings in the area are increasingly common.

4. There’s more than Number One

Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks has direct access to Number One beach, famous for its surfing, fishing and general loveliness. But did you know there’s also a Number Two? Also known as Boat Beach, Number Two is a snorkelling and diving paradise, perfect for the kids to have a paddle.

5. Dive with the sharks

Seal Rocks is one of NSW’s most iconic diving hotspots; famous for its grey nurse shark populations, underwater caves and shipwrecks just waiting to be explored. Apparently, it’s as beautiful below the water as it is above!