Beginning at Crescent Head, Tourist Drive 12 follows the meandering Belmore River through lush farmland to South West Rocks, highlighting some of the Macleay Valley Coast’s best coastal attractions and scenery along the way.
Begin your journey at Crescent Head, a laid-back village known for having one of the few official surfing reserves in Australia. Grab a coffee and watch the waves peel off the point or climb Little Nobby to look out for whales.
3. Stop for farm-fresh veggies along the Belmore River
Follow the beautiful Belmore River Road out from Crescent Head towards Gladstone. Be sure to grab some change to take advantage of the little farm gate stalls selling eggs, condiments and seasonal produce.
4. Discover the cafes and galleries of Gladstone
5. long lunch in frederickton
Take a quick detour and cross the river from Gladstone to Smithtown to find the Nestle Milo factory and savour lunch overlooking the Macleay River at the Garden Bar & Kitchen in Frederickton. Or if you prefer to grab a bite and keep travelling, then Fredo’s Pies & Cafe is the perfect place to stop – Home of the famous Crocodile Pie for over 20 years!
6. Walk the short Korogoro Track at Hat Head
At Kinchela, take the turn off to Hat Head, where you can get your legs moving on one of the most stunning headland walks on the coast – the short yet challenging Korogoro Track. Afterwards, cool off with a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of Korogoro Creek.
7. Pick up some fresh seafood
Follow the road along the Macleay River (where you’ll find more farm gate stalls full of fresh produce) towards South West Rocks, stopping in for fresh, locally caught seafood at the Macleay River District Fishermen’s Co-operative outlet in Jerseyville. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to watch fisherman unloading their morning haul.
8. bird watching
Take in in the wealth of bird life at the Boyters Lane Bird Hide on the way into South West Rocks. Built on an old dairy farm, the bird hide is placed within a tranquil area of rehabilitated bushland, mangrove and saltmarsh. Stroll along the recently built walkway, read the information board and be sure to being your binoculars!
9. GET OUT ON THE WATER
10. Experience Trial Bay Gaol
No visit to South West Rocks is complete without a visit to the world-class attraction of Trial Bay Gaol, which is located within beautiful Arakoon National Park. Ramble around the ruins and be sure to say hello to the site’s ubiquitous kangaroos!
11. learn the local dunghutti culture
Marrgaan Cultural Experience offer visitors, locals and groups the chance to approach wellness from a holistic perspective, something that is central to the local Dunghutti culture. Please contact them directly for private or bespoke cultural experiences.
12. Take in the views from Smoky Cape Lighthouse
Ascend the steep staircase to Smoky Cape Lighthouse in Hat Head National Park to be treated with magnificent 360 degree views of the surrounding coastline. This is also your best chance of spotting whales between May and September.