Burri Murri Dhunuwi Warrati Barri” – “Welcome to Sunshine Country”
THE LANDS OF THE DUNGHUTTI
South West Rocks is located in the traditional lands of the Dunghutti (Thaingutti) and Monument Point was a place of gathering and ceremony for the Dunghutti, Gumbaynggir and Biripi nations with the headland representing a ‘song line’ or ‘energy line’ between Mount Yarrahapinni and the hills around Arakoon.
South West Rocks was named after a cluster of large granite boulders that lay about 170metres east of what was commonly referred to as Laggers Point. Mostly surrounded by shelving rocks and awash in patches at low water they are known locally as the boulders and in early days were a reference point for shipping.
Trial Bay was named after a brig, The Trial, which was stolen and wrecked by convicts in 1816 in the bay that now bears its name.
When Captain Thomas Whyte found the wreck in 1817 there was no trace of the convicts and it was assumed they had all died by either starvation or being killed by the Dunghutti people.
In 1820 John Oxley, with Captain Allman, made a survey of Port Macquarie and report on its suitability as a new settlement for convicts. Oxley was directed to examine inlets north of Smoky Cape. Sailing in the Prince Regent, Oxley entered the Macleay River but found only ten to twelve feet of water over the bar at high tide.
When the area was developed, Arakoon was intended as the major town in the area, but history has a way of changing the plans of men, and South West Rocks has taken on that role.