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South West Rocks

South West Rocks is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, near the mouth of the Macleay River.

Details

  • Area:13.683 km2
  • Elevation:19 m
  • Population:4,603
  • Local Government Area:Kempsey Shire Council

Description

South West Rocks is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, near the mouth of the Macleay River. It is approximately 40 km (25 mi) from Kempsey. Jerseyville is located nearby. The population of South West Rocks is 5,313 people, and maintains a steady growth rate. The tourist population of South West Rocks increases markedly during the holiday season. The area's beaches as well as man-made attractions such as Trial Bay Gaol and Smoky Cape Lighthouse are local tourist attractions. Because of the warm ocean in the area fed by the East Coast current which flows down from the tropical regions it is possible to swim all year round.Many of the population of South West Rocks are retired.Trial Bay is one of the few north facing bays on the Australian east coast. # History Arakoon was originally established as the township on Trial Bay in 1866.However, by 1889, South West Rocks had established itself as a popular bathing resort with people of the Macleay Valley.South West Rocks got its name most likely from the captains of passing ships, who claimed it was safest to moor vessels near the rocks, south west of Laggers Point (the point on which Trial Bay Gaol is built). Another theory is that their moorings would be safe if they kept the rocks to their south west.Trial Bay was named after a brig, The Trial, which was stolen and wrecked by convicts in 1816 in the bay that now bears its name.On 13 May 1770, Captain James Cook observed smoke from a fire on a mountain which he named Smoky Cape. The headland in front of the mountain is now the location of Smoky Cape Lighthouse.In 1972, a Sydney Harbour showboat, Sydney Queen, and the former Newcastle car carriers Lurgurena and Koondooloo, were wrecked on the Main Beach after breaking free from their moorings in heavy storms. Elements of all three vessels were salvaged, but the hull of Sydney Queen filled with sand and could not be removed. It was eventually burned to the waterline to remove the obstruction from the beach. # Weather South West Rocks has a warm and wet humid subtropical climate. The warmest month on average is February with a mean maximum temperature of 27.0 °C (80.6 °F) and the coldest month on average is July with a mean maximum temperature of 18.7 °C (65.7 °F). On an annual basis, South West Rocks averages 121.2 clear days, the most in August with 14.7 and the least in January with 8.1. Dew-points in the summer average at around 20–21 °C (68–70 °F). The wettest month is March and the driest month is September. South West Rocks experiences a mean of 137.5 raindays annually, with the most occurring in March and the least occurring in July. South West Rocks gets the highest mean amount of rain during the Autumn and the lowest mean amount of rain during the Spring. Some of the heaviest rainfall received at South West Rocks is quite often received from weather systems known as "East Coast Low Pressure systems" also known as "Mid Latitude Cyclones" not to be confused with Tropical Cyclones which are formed by different type of convection currents. These weather Systems often cause major flooding in the valley and also cause beach erosion and wind damage. Approximately an average of four of these systems impact on the area each year to varying degrees depending on their location and mostly occur from January to June although have been known to occur at other times of the year. Tropical cyclones which form further to the north have been known to impact on the area occasionally but this has only happened on an about half a dozen occasions over the last 100 years.South West Rocks' thunderstorm activity is mainly during the period from September to March (inclusive), with October and November being the months where the risk of a severe thunderstorm is increased due to a relatively high frequency of unstable atmospheric conditions which favour frequent and strong thunderstorm development. Hail is relatively rare at South West Rocks, only occurring once every year or two, and it is usually less than 2 centimetres (0.8 in) in diameter. ## Climatic Averages for South West Rocks (Smoky Cape Lighthouse) # Things to do

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