Our original plan had been to go home via Tenterfield and climb Bald Rock but being confirmed coastal dwellers we were all missing the ocean and decided to spend the last couple of days by the sea. Checking the maps we decided to drive over the mountains via the Oxley Highway and stop at Trial Bay.
Nice view from the camper.
The gaol is really interesting and it and the camp ground are managed by National Parks NSW. From the carpark at the gaol we were lucky enough to see 2 groups of whales breaching and playing.
The gaol was built to house convict labour to build a breakwall and create a safe harbour for ships travelling between Sydney & Brisbane. When the breakwall was 1/3 constructed a massive storm washed most of it away and I think the engineers started to realise that with prevailing currents here the breakwall would only cause the bay to silt up and thus be too shallow for any of the ships to use. The place was abandoned when the ships of the day progressed to steam and could complete the run to/from Sydney non stop.
The gaol was reopened during WW1 where it was used as an internment camp for people with German heritage. More information on that is available here: http://www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/zivillager/history.shtml
Remnants of the breakwall. Was to be 1500m long!
Went for a drive to explore the area and stumbled across the Smokey Cape Lighthouse. Nice little camp ground at the base of the headland and the B & B at the lighthouse looks like an awesome place to spend a lazy couple of days sans children.
After a nice couple of days we packed up for the last time this trip and made for home.