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Holiday rentals in Arakoon, New South Wales

One of the most unusual destinations on the New South Wales’s Mid North Coast is Arakoon. It is part of a nature reserve and sits on Trial Bay, one of the few north-facing bays on the eastern seaboard of Australia, and it’s also home to a historic ruined prison, Trial Bay Goal.

Swimming, surfing and fishing – as well as sightseeing – are the main activities for visitors to Arakoon and its sheltered, clean beaches have helped it become one of the best-kept secrets on the coast. There is a terrific variety of holiday accommodation for holidaymakers to choose from, including villas and houses, as well as self-contained accommodation.

Jail break

Arakoon was the original site of European settlement on this part of the coast before South West Rocks became the main township in the late 19th century, thanks to its popularity as a bathing beach. The original Trial Bay Gaol was built in the 1860s to house prisoners who were employed on building a break wall nearby. However, when that project was abandoned, the prison lay empty until it was used as an internment camp for German citizens during the First World War.

Today the gaol is a museum and popular tourist attraction with visitors keen to explore its ruins and imagine life as a prisoner here. Its position on a headland also provides outstanding views of the coastline and out to sea where whales and dolphins can be spotted. A little further south on the coast is Smoky Cape Lighthouse, situated in Hat Head National Park, and also a fantastic spot for whale watching.

Holiday rentals are plentiful in Arakoon and nearby, South West Rocks offers good shopping, restaurants and bars.

Its protected position means Trial Bay’s beaches are excellent for swimming and water sports, the calm waters perfect for families with children. Fishing is another great activity here, both on the nearby Macleay River and also in the deeper waters offshore. Fish Rock Cave, just off the coast at Arakoon, is considered one of Australia’s best dive sites.

Park life

Arakoon is part of the Macleay Valley Coast and there is a wealth of activities and attractions for holidaymakers to see and do here. Nature lovers are particularly spoilt for choice. Way Way Creek features amazing forests and rainforests, including a canopy packed with ferns, lianas and orchids, plus a lookout with some spectacular views at Mount Yarrahapinni.

A drive away from your Arakoon holiday accommodation is New England National Park where Point Lookout’s views of the valleys, forests and Pacific Ocean are simply breathtaking. The ancient rainforests are frequently shrouded in mists that add an eerie quality to an already stunningly beautiful setting.

Take a trip back in time and come bang up to date at the same time with a trip to Douglas Vale Historic Homestead and Vineyard, where the Victorian property and gardens have been restored to their former glory. Wine tastings make this a day out not to be missed.

For great shopping and some of the area’s best food and bars, head to Port Macquarie, the main resort on the Mid North Coast.

Stay chilled

The climate in Arakoon is a subtropical one that brings warm springs, hot summers with a wet season, and cool, dry winters. Average daily temperatures are around 30°C during the summer months of January, February and March, while winter days will rarely get warmer than 18°C. Whatever kind of holiday accommodation you plump for, look for one with air conditioning to make those hot summer nights more bearable.

Getting there

Visitors travelling from the UK to Australia’s east coast will arrive at Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney – flights with the main airlines depart from London’s Heathrow Airport daily. You can take a connecting flight to Newcastle and look for local connections to get to your holiday accommodation in Arakoon. Car rental can offer greater freedom and the drive on the Pacific Highway to Arakoon should take around three hours. There are also bus and train connections to Kempsey.

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