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Seal Rocks: Rugged Seascapes and Endless Hikes
Seal Rocks, at the heart of the Great Lakes region of New South Wales, is a fishing village with a rugged, picturesque foreshore. The quiet community has continuously resisted commercial and residential development, so it retains its small town essence.
Visitors will likely spend their days outside; in the area’s national parks, riding the waves at one of the numerous surf beaches or observing the seal colony just off the coast, which gave the village its name.
Watch the sun rise over the sea from your waterfront rental or observe birdlife from your bush retreat just beyond the coast. Holiday homes in Seal Rocks are very often integrated into the natural world around them.
Seal Rocks Surf Beaches and Watersports
Seal Rocks’ beaches are synonymous with good surfing conditions. The most popular surf destination is Treachery Beach, which is also a popular spot for 4WD rides on the sand.
If you are looking for a less crowded place to surf, head to neighbouring Lighthouse Beach. As the name indicates, this beach is located beneath the town’s famous lighthouse. Then there is Yagon Beach, with its golden sand interrupted only by smooth rock formations.
If surfing is not your sport, the waters around Seal Rocks are also popular with snorkelers and divers. The wreck of the S.S. Satara, not far off the coast, is considered one of the best dive sites in Australia.Sugarloaf Lighthouse & Seal Rocks
Built in 1875, Sugarloaf Lighthouse is a Seal Rocks landmark, situated within Myall National Park. Travelers can see the lighthouse’s unique exterior staircase, a testimony to colonial architecture, and the original, refurbished lightkeeper’s cottage.
The path behind the lighthouse leads to a lookout from which you will be privy to views over the ‘seal rocks’ for which the town was named. Close to shore, these rock formations are home to a large colony of Australian Fur Seals. Warmer months are considered breeding season, so bring binoculars to observe parents with their young.
During migration season, you will also be able to spot whales passing by in the waters beneath the lighthouse.
Myall National Park
After visiting the lighthouse, explore Myall National Park some more. If you enjoy hiking, head along the Treachery Headland Walking Trail. This short, easy path departs from the lighthouse and provides sweeping views of the coastline before winding inland, showcasing the park’s rainforest. Sidetracks lead to seemingly untouched, white sand beaches, where you can swim, kayak or go fishing.
Alternately, immerse yourself in local Aboriginal history as you wander along the Dark Point Walking Track. Dark Point was an important Worimi People gathering site for four millennia. Visitors will be able to see aboriginal artifacts, middens and burial sites as they learn all about the area’s first inhabitants.
Booti Booti National Park
Booti Booti National Park is another great spot to stretch your legs. Start off at the Lakeside Walking Track, which will take you past oceanfront beaches and along the shores of Wallis Lake. In season, you could see some whales and dolphins frolicking in the waters close to shore. To cool off, bring your bathing suit and get into the water.
Booti Booti features numerous scenic picnic areas, including Elizabeth Beach and Sailing Club, fronting Wallis Lake. Before or after your meal, stroll along the lakeshore to discover native vegetation which goes right up to the water’s edge.
Wallingat National Park
Wallingat National Park introduces visitors to constantly changing scenery, from forests to swampland. There are plenty of trails to choose from and many birdwatching opportunities. Whether you would like to walk, bike or ride your horse, there are dedicated trails for each activity.
Ride your mountain bike or horse along the Tip to Tail Trail, which meanders through the forest and past the Whoota Whoota Lookout. Stop for a few moments to admire views of the coastline on one side and Wallis Lake and eucalyptus forests on the other.
Walking enthusiasts can undertake the Cabbage Palm Lookout Walking Track, a trail favoured by birdwatchers. Keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of native wildlife. This walk is relatively short but covers hilly terrain.
Getting to Seal Rocks
A 3.5-hour drive from Sydney and just over 1.5 hours from Newcastle, Seal Rocks is best reached by car. If you don’t have access to a vehicle, however, you can opt for public transport. You can get to Seal Rocks from Sydney or Newcastle by taking a combination of trains and coaches, but the time to your destination easily doubles.