Laura Crino gives local tips about her favourite place in Australia, a charming beach 3 hours’ drive north of Sydney.

When somebody utters the words ‘ favourite place in Australia’ many people’s minds will wander through the art-clad laneways of Melbourne, sail through the lakes between the golden gorges of the Kimberley or float alongside the marine life in the Great Barrier Reef.
For me, I think of somewhere simpler: Seal Rocks. As you make your way down an unsealed gravel road through typically Australian bush, you have the distinct feeling that you are discovering a secret place. When you reach the end of the road you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of tranquil Boat Beach.
The electric-blue water is inviting and the sea is calm for those with families. It is the perfect spot to relax, unwind and enjoy the best of what Australia has to offer. If relaxing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities to keep the more adventurous type entertained. A walk across the rock pools will encourage you to discover marine life and give you an opportunity to go fishing and catch fresh fish to barbeque for dinner. It is also recommended to bring your snorkel gear as marine life thrives around the rocks and the nearby island, Statis Rock. Calm water means that it is a safe activity for the whole family to enjoy.
If you love of surfing and have time to explore beyond Boat Beach, head along the coast to Lighthouse Beach. The sole unpaved road leading to the beach has managed to keep developers away and allowed the beach to remain untouched. Take a stroll to the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse and soak in expansive views of the headlands and golden sand. Walking down from the lighthouse will lead you to the keeper’s cottages which have arguably the best views over the ocean. Recently renovated, these cottages present the perfect opportunity to stay in your own slice of paradise.
At the bottom of the cliff is Lighthouse Beach, where waves can reach up to two metres high, making it a perfect spot for surfing enthusiasts. Sit’s great for scuba divers here, too, but please bear in mind that this is a rip-dominated and unpatrolled beach, so take care if swimming here with young families.
Where to stay
*There are plenty of options to stay right on the waterfront at Boat Beach, but if you want the best of the best, Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse Accommodation at Lighthouse Beach is ideal. www.sealrockslighthouseaccommodation.com.au
*A more budget-conscious option, Kataway, is located on the gravel road heading into town and only a seven-minute drive from Boat Beach. The house sleeps six. Ample living spaces lead out to the true gem of this property: the oversized entertaining deck. Uninterrupted views stretch out over bushland and out to sea. Book via www.stayz.com.au
The best thing about Seal Rocks? 
It is only a 3-hour drive north of Sydney, so it’s the perfect place for an out-of-town short break.
Laura Crino wrote this story as part of our Virtual Internship Program. To find out how you can be part of this unique program to help foster new writers and photographers, email us at interns@australiantraveller.com