We spent five days in South West Rocks, camping at the BIG 4 Holiday Resort, which was a complete splurge for us. It’s a luxury family resort by far and we loved every minute of it! As we’d spent so long out west where the kids really weren’t bumping into other kids to play with, we’d promised them a Caravan Park with all of the fancy bells & whistles once we got to the coast.
Between the mobs of Kangaroos grazing the grounds to the fantastic Shipwreck Island Waterpark and Mini Golf, it was a real ‘holiday within the holiday’ for us.
If you’re looking for your own resort style holiday with the kids, we highly recommend the South West Rocks BIG 4. We found the sites to be roomy with a beautiful outlook across the green Paperbark forest.
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BIG 4 South West Rocks
💲 Prices vary – we paid $74/ night (off peak) with 2 kids, unpowered
🐶 Pet friendly
🛁 Family bathroom (with bath & shower)
💧 Drinking water
⚡️ 240 volt power
🌳 Shady sites available
🍴 Camp kitchen
☕️ Cafe/ Restaurant
🏊 Swimming Pool, Water Slides, Tipping Bucket, Spa (cold)
⛳️ Mini Golf
🎈 Jumping Pillow + Trampoline (under cover)
🎪 Playground (under cover)
🚴 Pedal Kart hire
🎾 Tennis Court
🏓 Games Room (Arcade and Table games)
👧🏼 Kids Club
📽 Movie Room
🗑 Rubbish bins (landfill + recycling)
⬇️ Dump point
👕 Laundry (coin operated Washers & Dryers)
🚣 Boat ramp for small boats & kayaks (river & lake)
📱 FREE WiFi (500mb per day)
📶 Telstra reception
🏡 Cabins available
⛺️ Tents, Campers, Caravans, Motorhomes, Buses & Big Rigs
Shipwreck Island Waterpark
Honestly the kids will not want to leave the resort with such a fantastic Waterpark onsite. Grab a sun lounge and make yourself comfy as they explore the Pirate Ship, Skull Cave and swim below the decks.
You’ll probably be tempted to jump in and get wet too under the tipping bucket or with the water canons and three water slides.
Pool & Spa Cave
Alongside the Shipwreck is a refreshing pool to take a dip in. The pool even has a small cave behind a waterfall with a seat.
In keeping with the Pirate theme is an additional Spa Cave with waterfalls running down the outside from the roof. As you gaze out of the spa you can watch the water run down across the rocks and into a shallow pool below, before continuing down some more rocks into the big pool. It’s very relaxing and perfect for a hot, sunny day.
I must admit, I was super disappointed that there was no hot spa. Although we did find the water in all of the pools to be fairly warm as it’s solar heated, which was nice.
Mini Golf Course
What family resort would be complete without a Mini Golf Course, right? This one is fairly basic with just 9 holes, I guess they’ve kept the youngsters in mind.
You can hire the clubs and balls from Reception for a $10 refundable deposit, which will get you 30 mins of play time. Don’t forget to grab a score card and see who comes out on top.
Games Room & Kids Club
The Games Room was the usual style with a free Ping Pong table (we got free Ping Pong sets on check-in, but not sure if that is an ongoing thing). There are also coin operated Arcade Games, Pool Table and Air Hockey.
Built into the Games Room is a Movie Room. To be honest we were too busy exploring and hanging out at the pool to use the Movie Room, so I’m not sure if you can play movies whenever you like or if they’re scheduled (enquire at Reception).
Kids Club is offered year-round at the South West Rocks BIG 4 with extra sessions over School Holiday periods. Drop the kids off for an hour’s worth of activities every Monday and Friday usually around 10.30am, but just check at Reception when you book them in.
Kids Club Activity examples:
- Make your own camp mug
- Make a pirate treasure chest
- Grafitti canvas
- Rock painting
- Create your own sand art
- Make your own puppy
- Make your own lego man
*Kids under 4 need to have an adult; kids over 4 can be left at Kids Club (a staff member will be present).
Playground & Jumping Pillow
The thing I liked most about the playground is that it’s completely undercover. As a parent in Australia you spend half your life chasing the kids around with hats and sunscreen, so I reckon this is fantastic.
It’s not a huge playground, but with everything else in the park, it offers just one more thing for the kids to burn some energy on.
I reckon this is one of the biggest Jumping Pillows we’ve come across in a Caravan Park. It sits right next to the Playground and is also undercover.
It doesn’t deflate until sundown, which is around 8pm in summer time, so get stuck into it kids!
VIDEO: Quick Tour!
Check out the South West Rocks camping experience for yourself (in under 2 minutes) with our quick tour below.
Things to do in South West Rocks
One of the main things to do in South West Rocks is to hang out at the beach. The coastline is just stunning with golden beaches and randomly placed boulders.
You’ll notice there are a few surf shops in town sell snorkelling gear. We were pointed in the direction of a spot out the front near the rocks or to a popular spot at Back Creek. Unfortunately the day we chose was really overcast and the tide was going out, so we didn’t have any luck with snorkelling, but you might have some better luck.
Two big attractions, which are popular for travellers to check out, are the Trial Bay Gaol Ruins and the Smoky Cape Lighthouse. Read more about those below.
Trial Bay Gaol Ruins
The Trial Bay Gaol was built in the most beautiful seaside location back in 1886. The gaol itself was to house prison labourers who were there to build a breakwater. They needed to make Trial Bay a safe harbour between Brisbane and Sydney.
Unfortunately the wall was never completed as high seas demolished it, so the scheme was abandoned. Then during World War I the gaol was used as an internment camp for German descendants.
These days the ruins still sit perched atop the hill overlooking the ocean at Trial Bay. Visitors are welcome to wander through the grounds and absorb the information detailing the history of the site.
|TRIAL BAY GAOL
|Adult – $11
Concession – $8
Family (2A + 2K) – $30
|9 am – 4.30 pm daily
|1 hour (self-guided tour)
|73 Trial Bay Gaol Road, Arakoon NSW 2431
Smoky Cape Lighthouse
The walk up to the Smoky Cape Lighthouse isn’t a long one, but it’s steep. Adjacent to the car park is a nice picnic area with fantastic views, although it’s very windy (as you’d expect).
For something different you can actually stay in the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, which is a bed and breakfast, plus you also have the choice to add on a Lighthouse tour.
More NSW Coast Camps
- Big 4 North Star – HASTINGS POINT
- Mount Warning Rainforest Park – MOUNT WARNING
- Gumma Reserve – MACKSVILLE
- Wauchope Showgrounds – WAUCHOPE