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Smoky Cape campground

Hat Head National Park

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Smoky Cape campground.

Getting there and parking

From Kempsey:

  • Take the South West Rocks Road toward South West Rocks
  • Just after the Spencers Creek bridge turn right onto Arakoon Road
  • Turn right onto Lighthouse Road and follow the signs to Smoky Cape campground

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather


Parking is available at the Smoky Cape campground.

Best times to visit

This park's sweeping beaches are extremely inviting during summer, but its wildlife and walking tracks make it a joy to visit all year round.


A birdwatcher's delight as the heath shrubland bursts into a kaleidoscope of wild flowers and birds come from all around, listen out for the guttural call of glossy black cockatoos.


Take the Connors track beach walk to experience wildflower displays amongst the banksias .


Spot humpback and southern right whales migrating to northern waters between May and July.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature


19°C and 26°C

Highest recorded

41.7°C (1968)

Winter temperature


13°C and 20°C

Lowest recorded

4°C (1997)


Wettest month


The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day



  • There's a limited supply of firewood available at this campground, but it's good idea to bring your own.
  • Water is not available at this campground.
  • There are some rubbish bins available at this campground, but please take any left over rubbish with you.


  • Non-flush toilets

Picnic tables

Please note that numbers of picnic tables and wood barbecues are limited.

Barbecue facilities

  • Wood barbecues

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Camping safety

Whether you're pitching your tent on the coast or up on the mountains, there are many things to consider when camping in NSW national parks. Find out how to stay safe when camping.

Fire safety

During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

Fishing safety

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).



Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.


NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Smoky Cape campground

Park info

  • in Hat Head National Park in the North Coast region
  • Hat Head National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Park entry fees:

    $8 per vehicle per day at Hungry Head and Smoky Beach.  The park has coin-operated pay and display machines - please bring correct coins.

    Buy annual pass
People standing on the sand dunes looking out to sea. Photo:Debby McGerty