We started our walk at Monument Point, where two gorgeous French bulldog pups were playing around the obelisk commemorating those who lost their lives when the ketch Woolloomooloo was wrecked in 1864.
Nearby, the lovely Spirit Boat bench overlooks the beach. Teenagers were leaping off granite boulders into the sea. The town is called South West Rocks as boats seeking safe anchorage in Trial Bay navigated south west from these rocks.
We circled around gorgeous Horseshoe Bay towards the flagstaff and signal station on Point Briner. The South West Rocks pilot station has state heritage significance as it is one of only two on the east coast that is substantially intact.
From Point Briner, we followed the path along Back Creek and across the Humpty Back Creek Bridge. A cloud of mozzies descended on us as we entered the bush, so we hastily found an exit onto the more peaceful Back beach.
We scrambled up the rocks onto the breakwater wall at the Macleay River “new” entrance. You can see the “old” entrance on the Grassy Head to Stuarts Point walk. The river changed course after a flood in 1886, construction of the breakwater began in 1896. Later, we would walk on the road which was built for the railway tracks leading from the the quarry to the wall.
The tide was full as we walked on the wall alongside the Macleay, past fisherfolk. Beneath us air pockets burped and water gurgles as the tide found its way through gaps in the rock wall. It sounded like we were walking on a rumbling tummy!
Stepping off the breakwater, we followed the road causeway through the mangroves to make a loop. You may prefer to walk this as an out and back, choosing a point along the training wall to turn around. The map showed a short cut path along South West Rocks creek but it very quickly turned to stagnant swamp with mozzies eagerly seeking for a feed (blame the La Nina summer), so we retreated and did a suburban road bash back to the start.
We parked near Livingstone Street for this walk. Ok, I confess, the choice of parking was entirely determined by my desire for coffee and brownie from Malt & Honey.
Back Beach is a dog off leash area, but you will need to walk around Horseshoe Bay beach and park, as dogs are prohibited there.