Trial Bay Gaol

Top choice museum

in South West Rocks

Occupying Trial Bay's eastern headland, this sandstone prison was built between 1877 and 1886 to house convicts brought in to build a breakwater. When nature intervened and the breakwater washed away, the imposing structure fell into disuse, aside from a brief, rather tragic, interlude in WWI when men of German and Austrian heritage were interned. Today it contains a museum devoted to its unusual history; even if you don't visit within, it's worth a detour for the views and the resident roos.

It's a pleasant 4km dawdle along the beach from South West Rocks.