Whale watching certainly works up an appetite! So after stepping back on old ground we decided to try the food at “The Galley”, a small cafe on the ground level by the jetty. The menu looked good, and the burgers – sweet potato and almond patty verge burger, and lentil and macadamia vege burger – definitely sounded too good to pass up. OMG… these burgers were absolutely divine, with the freshest bread rolls we have ever had anywhere and homemade patties bursting with flavour. This little cafe was an absolute gem and we’re only sorry we couldn’t stop there again! Fresh herbs and other ingredients are grown on-site beside the sea wall – you can see where they’ve been freshly picked – and we would highly recommend a stop here if you’re in the area and need a great feed with good prices.
Hitting the road again to continue our journey south, we passed Nambucca Heads – our last stop here was at the White Albatross about 8 years ago, and while we absolutely loved our time there and enjoyed cruising the beautiful waterways, it wasn’t quite far enough down the road for an overnight stay and so we continued on our way.
Urunga was a town we had Googled before leave Coffs Harbour, and looked quite promising and beautiful from the pictures we found. Upon driving into it, however, it was a completely different story. The different accommodation options looked very disappointing, and plain run-down in some cases, so we didn’t stop at all.
Further down the road we went through Jerseyville – presumably named after all the cows in the area! – and continued out to South West Rocks. We didn’t really know what to expect when driving out here, having only looked up one caravan park in the area which from the pictures seemed to indicate it was right on the waterfront. Upon closer inspection, their waterfront was mangrove-front and we were sure we could get better options if we continued on. After passing the local shopping centre we drove up a small rise and at the top of the hill were absolutely blown away – straight ahead of us was a true waterfront caravan park with tiered sites allowing for most to have direct ocean views, and right in the heart of town. Just up the road was the local Roxy Cinema, Maritime Museum, Police Station (with the best view we can imagine any police station ever having!), Tavern, Beauty Salon and various fast food outlets. Knowing Trial Bay Gaol and Smoky Cape Lighthouse were just down the road, there really wasn’t anything to discuss – we had to stay.
Horseshoe Bay Holiday Park has a number of camping options, but as we are travelling without our van and no linen, we opted for Cabin 5 – a double bed cabin with e suite and right on a corner with direct oceans views. At $92 a night the price for these views was outstanding, although I was personally disappointed at having to pay an extra $20 for linen for our stay. The staff were lovely though and if you are ever in the area, you absolutely must stop here and experience the beaches and outlook for yourself. If that’s not enough, while sitting back with a cuppa later in the afternoon we looked up to see whales passing by offshore. Too far to get decent photographs, but just knowing they were there and we could spot them was enough.
We decided to postpone our visit to Trial Bay Gaol until the morning, and instead spent the afternoon walking along the beach and enjoying this small coastal town that is a true hidden gem.