Road Trip NSW: Southwest Rocks, Trial Bay Gaol and the Smoky Cape Lighthouse
We then took the long scenic (scenic = windy road past some cows which were reincarnated from cows in their past life) route to South West Rocks, which was meant to be another beautiful part of these NSW coastlines.
It was a really pretty town, and the beach was quite impressive, with sailboats and yachts in the distance, and there were surrounding fir trees and grassy undergrowth. The feeling that you got was the one from the Salem High Country ads that you saw back in Malaysia.
Yes, you can almost see the advertisement now - handsome guy and pretty girl dressed like yuppies - his sweater tied in a knot around his woolen cashmere vest and her white-rimmed sunglasses pushed up against her long flowing black hair.
She is cycling slowly, and he is ambling beside her. (/start subliminal message)SMOKESALEMANDYOUCOULDBESUCCESSFUL. ANDNOTDIEOFLUNGCANCER. (/end subliminal message). They are both smiling, their perfect rows of white teeth catching the sun, and life is good.
We had quite a delightful lunch at this restaurant called Bean @ the Rocks, and we I gobbled down a burger that was reincarnated from a cow in its past life. It must have been a good cow, because it was really yummy!
We drove along the roads, and although slightly tired from lunch and ready to go home, there were too many signs to distract us with the promise of other touristy things to do.
KS’ father had insisted that she see the Trial Bay jailhouse, because it had nostalgic connotations for him – having camped out there once before in his youth.
The concept of a prison by the sea didn’t quite make sense to me. The word jailhouse resort kept ringing in my head instead.
But here it was the Trial Bay gaol which housed inmates in the early 1900s before being made into an internment camp for mostly German people in Australia during the 1st World War. All that was left was ruins, of course, a shell of a building that has now stood over that same cliff for over a century now.
The ruins of Trial Bay Gaol - The hollow skeleton of the prison - remnants of the kitchen area (middle left picture) and - get this - that is actually a 1900s bath area (middle right picture) and me - reflecting on my sins (right bottom picture). Check out the view from the "prison".
We paid some money to go in and walk around, and from the educational DVD that we ended up watching, we found out that this was actually quite a pleasant jail at the end of the day.
Not the nasty prisoners killed by prison wardens or other prisoners kind of jail, but the happy everyone-got-together-and-made-soap-and-yoghurt-and-contributed-positively-overall kind of jail. As the DVD said itself – the only prisoner to have died in the initial stages drowned while body surfing.
The early prisoners were often walked to the sea where they had to build breakers for the ocean tides by breaking stone and lining it across the shore line, and were allowed a little bit of fun in the meantime.
On this bright sunny day, the jail had a cheerful non-threatening feel to it, and all in all it was quite a pleasant experience!
The Smoky Cape Lighthouse - Picture perfect.
KS was really keen to go home by this time, and insisted that there would be no more wave watching today. That was until we saw the sign indicating a turn off to a lighthouse. “Buildings I have time for,” she said cheerfully.
And so we decided to take the seven kilometre drive through the winding roads to the lighthouse, and when we got there, it was actually a really nice lookout point to a wide stretch of the NSW coastline.
The lighthouse has stood for many years, and I was quite taken aback to see that someone had established a bed and breakfast at the foot of the lighthouse. But the views from up there were quite spectacular, so it wouldn’t be so bad really, to wake up with God’s wide expanse of water licking the shores below you.
But that was the limit of our adventuring spirit for the day, and so we took a quick drive back to the town.