South West Rocks, New South Wales facts for kids

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South West Rocks
New South Wales
Southwestrocksswr.jpg
South West Rocks
Population: 4,816
Postcode: 2431
Location: 40 km (25 mi) from Kempsey
LGA: Kempsey Shire
State District: Oxley
Federal Division: Cowper
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
23.2 °C
74 °F
15.6 °C
60 °F
1,489.7 mm
58.6 in

South West Rocks is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, near the mouth of the Macleay River. It is approximately 40 km from Kempsey. Jerseyville is located nearby.

The population of South West Rocks is 4,816 people, and maintains a steady growth rate. The tourist population of South West Rocks increases markedly during the holiday season. Beautiful scenery, numerous beaches, and man-made attractions such as Trial Bay Gaol and Smoky Cape Lighthouse are popular tourist attractions. Because of the warm ocean in the area fed by the East Coast current which flows down from the tropical regions it is possible to swim all year round. This also with its natural beauty makes it a sought after holiday destination.

Many of the population of South West Rocks are retired. Many move to the area upon their retirement to enjoy the natural beauty the area offers.

Trial Bay is one of the few north facing bays on the Australian east coast.

History

Arakoon was originally established as the township on Trial Bay in 1866. However, by 1889, South West Rocks had established itself as a popular bathing resort with people of the Macleay Valley. South West Rocks got its name most likely from the captains of passing ships, who claimed it was safest to moor vessels near the rocks, south west of Laggers Point (the point on which Trial Bay Gaol is built). Another theory is that their moorings would be safe if they kept the rocks to their south west. Trial Bay was named after a brig, The Trial, which was stolen and wrecked by convicts in 1816 in the bay that now bears its name.

On 13 May 1770, Captain James Cook observed smoke from a fire on a mountain which he named Smoky Cape. The headland in front of the mountain is now the location of Smoky Cape Lighthouse.

In 1972, a Sydney Harbour showboat, Sydney Queen, and the former Newcastle car carriers Lurgurena and Koondooloo, were wrecked on the Main Beach after breaking free from their moorings in heavy storms. Elements of all three vessels were salvaged, but the hull of Sydney Queen filled with sand and could not be removed. It was eventually burned to the waterline to remove the obstruction from the beach.

Aged Care

South West Rocks also has an Aged Care Facility known as the "South West Rocks Nursing Centre" which has 80 rooms low to High Care and employs many of the people who reside in South West Rocks.

Development

Development in the town has increased over the past few years, with The Rocks Shopping Fair opening in 2002, and an adjacent housing subdivision known as Oceanside.

South West Rocks may be divided into five main areas: South West Rocks, Arakoon, Oceanside, New Entrance and Spencerville. Arakoon is located to the east of South West Rocks and is home to Trial Bay Gaol. New Entrance is the river mouth located to the west of South West Rocks and locals also refer to the residential area on a ridge just to the east of the Macleay River at the river mouth as New Entrance.

Oceanside is located adjacent to The Rocks Shopping Fair; it is a relatively new subdivision in South West Rocks and consists of recently built houses. Spencerville is the most southern area of South West Rocks. It runs from The Rocks Shopping Fair south to Spencers Creek Bridge and was its own village prior to recent development in Oceanside that joined South West Rocks and Spencerville.

Suburbs

Climate

Weather chart for South West Rocks
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
148
 
27
20
 
 
171
 
27
20
 
 
181
 
26
19
 
 
170
 
24
17
 
 
132
 
22
14
 
 
138
 
19
12
 
 
77
 
19
11
 
 
80
 
20
12
 
 
57
 
22
13
 
 
91
 
23
15
 
 
117
 
25
17
 
 
119
 
26
18
temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm


South West Rocks has a warm and wet humid subtropical climate. The warmest month on average is February with a mean maximum temperature of 27.0 °C and the coldest month on average is July with a mean maximum temperature of 18.7 °C. On an annual basis, South West Rocks averages 121.2 clear days, the most in August with 14.7 and the least in January with 8.1. Dew-points in the summer average at around 20 °C - 21 °C. The wettest month is March and the driest month is September. South West Rocks experiences a mean of 137.5 raindays annually, with the most occurring in March and the least occurring in July. South West Rocks gets the highest mean amount of rain during the Autumn and the lowest mean amount of rain during the Spring. Some of the heaviest rainfall received at South West Rocks is quite often received from weather systems known as "East Coast Low Pressure systems" also known as "Mid Latitude Cyclones" not to be confused with Tropical Cyclones which are formed by different type of convection currents. These weather Systems often cause major flooding in the valley and also cause beach erosion and wind damage. Approximately an average of four of these systems impact on the area each year to varying degrees depending on their location and mostly occur from January to June although have been known to occur at other times of the year. Tropical cyclones which form further to the north have been known to impact on the area occasionally but this has only happened on an about half a dozen occasions over the last 100 years. South West Rocks' thunderstorm activity is mainly during the period from September to March (inclusive), with October and November being the months where the risk of a severe thunderstorm is increased due to a relatively high frequency of unstable atmospheric conditions which favour frequent and strong thunderstorm development. Hail is relatively rare at South West Rocks, only occurring once every year or two, and it is usually less than 2 centimetres in diameter.

Climatic Averages for South West Rocks (Smoky Cape Lighthouse)

Climate data for South West Rocks (Smoky Cape Lighthouse, 1939–2016)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 39.5
(103.1)
39.2
(102.6)
34.3
(93.7)
32.8
(91)
29.5
(85.1)
26.3
(79.3)
28.3
(82.9)
31.5
(88.7)
35.6
(96.1)
39.2
(102.6)
41.7
(107.1)
39.5
(103.1)
41.7
(107.1)
Average high °C (°F) 26.9
(80.4)
27.0
(80.6)
26.2
(79.2)
24.1
(75.4)
21.5
(70.7)
19.3
(66.7)
18.7
(65.7)
19.9
(67.8)
21.8
(71.2)
23.3
(73.9)
24.5
(76.1)
26.0
(78.8)
23.2
(73.8)
Average low °C (°F) 19.5
(67.1)
19.7
(67.5)
18.8
(65.8)
16.6
(61.9)
14.3
(57.7)
12.2
(54)
11.2
(52.2)
11.8
(53.2)
13.4
(56.1)
15.1
(59.2)
16.8
(62.2)
18.4
(65.1)
15.7
(60.3)
Record low °C (°F) 13.3
(55.9)
12.0
(53.6)
11.0
(51.8)
9.1
(48.4)
5.9
(42.6)
4.2
(39.6)
4.4
(39.9)
4.0
(39.2)
4.4
(39.9)
7.8
(46)
9.0
(48.2)
8.0
(46.4)
4.0
(39.2)
Rainfall mm (inches) 147.6
(5.811)
170.7
(6.72)
180.6
(7.11)
170.4
(6.709)
131.5
(5.177)
138.2
(5.441)
76.8
(3.024)
80.4
(3.165)
56.9
(2.24)
90.8
(3.575)
116.7
(4.594)
118.9
(4.681)
1,491.2
(58.709)
Humidity 75 77 75 72 70 68 63 62 67 71 73 75 71
Avg. precipitation days 13.5 14.0 15.5 12.9 11.2 10.4 8.2 8.1 8.3 10.9 11.7 12.8 137.5
Source: Bureau of Meteorology
South West Rocks (Smoky Cape Lighthouse) Rainfall Data
millimetres (inches)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Average rainfall 147.6 (5.8) 170.7 (6.7) 180.6 (7.1) 170.4 (6.7) 131.5 (5.2) 138.2 (5.4) 76.8 (3.0) 80.4 (3.2) 56.9 (2.2) 90.8 (3.6) 116.7 (4.6) 118.8 (4.7) 1,491.2 (58.7)
Highest Daily rainfall 178.6 (7.0) 158.6 (6.2) 217.7 (8.6) 343.7 (13.5) 227.6 (9.0) 209.3 (8.2) 163.6 (6.4) 215.9 (8.5) 89.0 (3.5) 142.6 (5.6) 147.1 (5.8) 193.8 (7.6) 343.7 (13.5)
Highest Monthly rainfall 527.0 (20.7) 509.2 (20.0) 649.3 (25.6) 702.6 (27.7) 466.5 (18.4) 573.2 (22.6) 597.5 (23.5) 380.6 (15.0) 254.4 (10.0) 536.4 (21.1) 434.8 (17.1) 466.0 (18.3) 3,011.2 (118.6)
Lowest rainfall 15.0 (0.6) 3.8 (0.1) 24.2 (1.0) 7.2 (0.3) 1.4 (0.1) 5.6 (0.2) 0.0 (0.0) 0.0 (0.0) 0.0 (0.0) 2.4 (0.1) 6.9 (0.3) 15.5 (0.6) 814.5 (32.1)
Source: Bureau of Meteorology.

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