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Captain Cook's lookout

Hat Head National Park

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Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Captain Cook's lookout.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Captain Cook’s lookout is in the Smoky Cape precinct of Hat Head National Park. To get there:

    • Take Arakoon Road from South West Rocks
    • Turn into Lighthouse Road and follow the signs to Smoky Cape Lighthouse

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather

    Parking

    Parking is available at Captain Cook’s lookout.

    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.

    Spring

    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.

    Summer

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

    Winter

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

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    19°C and 26°C

    Highest recorded

    41.7°C (1968)

    Winter temperature

    Average

    13°C and 20°C

    Lowest recorded

    4°C (1997)

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    343.7mm

    Facilities

    Toilets

    • Non-flush toilets

    Picnic tables

    Barbecue facilities

    • Gas/electric barbecues (free)

    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.

    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).

    Accessibility

    Disability access level - medium

    Assistance may be required to access this area

    • The picnic area here has easy-access facilities and toilets

    Prohibited

    Pets

    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.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Captain Cook's lookout

    Operated by

    Park info

    • in Hat Head National Park in the North Coast region
    • Hat Head National Park is always open 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
    The view along the coast and out to sea. Photo:Debby McGerty