Back to previous page
Print factsheet

Smoky Cape Lighthouse

Hat Head National Park


Hat Head National Park on the mid-north coast of NSW near South West Rocks is a natural paradise. Explore the lighthouse, camp by the beach and go fishing and swimming.

Historic buildings/places
Hat Head National Park
Entry fees
Park entry fees apply
Please note

It’s a short but steep climb to the lighthouse – be sure to wear sturdy shoes.

Standing high on a narrow headland, Smoky Cape Lighthouse is surrounded by the stunning coastal scenery of Hat Head National Park. The lighthouse itself is as beautiful as the views – check out its winding staircase and octagonal tower.

Built in 1891, this heritage lighthouse is one of the last designed by the Colonial Architect, James Barnet. Smoky Cape headland was so named by Captain Cook after he saw Aboriginal fires burning there in 1770.

Smoky Cape is a fantastic spot for whale watching, birdwatching and picnicking, and you can stay overnight at the lighthouse keepers’ cottage. Don’t miss the views at nearbyCaptain Cook’s lookout.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Tours and events at this location

  • A man enjoys the ocean views from the top of Smoky Cape Lighthouse. Photo: David Finnegan/OEH

    Smoky Cape Lighthouse: Reach the top

    Explore the tallest lighthouse in NSW at Hat Head National Park near South West Rocks. Learn about the 'highway of light' and climb the steep stairs to enjoy the spectacular ocean views from the top.


Subscribe to Naturescapes

Subscribe to our Naturescapes e-newsletter which is packed with the latest information, experiences and events in NSW national parks. Your next park adventure starts here.

A family walk a boardwalk section of Bouddi coastal walk, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Spencer/OEH.

Operated by

Park info

See more visitor info
Smoky Cape Lighthouse, Hat Head National Park. Photo: David Finnegan/NSW Government