Seal Rocks is a small township surrounded by Myall Lakes National Park. It was a sleepy place with lovely beaches when we were there, but although it has so far avoided major development, the locals told us that it is packed in the peak tourist season.
On the headland East of the township perches the beautiful Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. Completed in 1875, it is the first lighthouse designed by colonial architect James Barnet and one of only two towers in Australia with an external stairway. It was originally built to guide ships along the rocky coastline, after a number of incidents, including the shipwrecking of the SS Catterthun and the Rainbow. Despite the coast being illuminated by the lighthouse, 20 wrecks have occurred since the lighthouse was built.
Below the lighthouse are the Lighthouse Keepers’ quarters and outbuildings that have been refurbished to offer holiday accommodation for visitors. On the grassy slopes next to the lookout point and cliff edge, you’ll see three memorials dedicated to people associated with the lighthouse. Apparently the lighthouse is a great spot for whale watching but unfortunately they had not arrived when we were there.
A short walk is required to get to the lighthouse, passing a deep gorge complete with blowhole. The last 100m or so are a bit of a climb but it is well worth it for the stunning views. The lighthouse keeper’s cottages were restored by the National Parks and Wildlife Services and are now available for upmarket accommodation with a stunning view.