Macleay Valley Coast
We’re all yours....
The perfect holiday destination
for couples, families
and the adventurer.
Where the bush meets the sea... Crescent Head is famous for one of the best right hand point breaks in the world and it’s no surprise. Set in an idyllic setting surrounded by stunning natural beauty, Crescent Head
waits for you.
Crescent Head Village is a great family village with shops catering for your holiday needs. Restaurants,
cafes and takeaways are all centred in the village within an easy walk.
There is a variety of comfortable holiday accommodation available at Crescent Head, with motels, secluded cottages and house, holiday rentals, dorms to rustic camping grounds. Crescent Head has one of Australia’s best sited holiday parks situated on the edge of the beach.
What to do
Fishing, Snorkelling or Play Golf on the 6-hole golf course as you watch migrating whales and frolicking dolphins. Pool, bowls and tennis can be enjoyed with beautiful water views.
Learn to surf and hang ten with beginners and pros and enjoy the world class waves off the point.
Take a drive south from Crescent Head and take in Goolawah National and Regional Parks as well as Limeburners Creek National Park with untouched beaches rich with native flora and fauna. To the north of Crescent Head is Hat Head National Park which protects spectacular rock formations, beautiful beaches, heath lands and wetlands. Look out for sea eagles, echidnas, kangaroos, numerous small birds, goannas, koalas, black cockatoos and the very rare green and gold bell frog.
North of Kempsey on the Pacific Highway is the riverside village of Frederickton. Frederickton’s sweeping views take in Kempsey, the Macleay River flats and the hinterland to the west.
Take a drive around Frederickton to take in the Frederickton Old Post Office1886, the 1880’s Public School and Headmaster’s Residence designed by architect John Horbury Hunt. They are an excellent example of a Victorian school complex.Frederickton has a unique business with an individual facade that can cause a queue. Seen as a ‘must stop’, Fredo Pies’ shop is frequented by many tourists and locals as well as famous people including Russell Crowe and Sir Bob Geldof.
There are some 160 pie recipes, offering at least 50 different varieties each day. All pies are cooked fresh daily and fillings range from the standard beef mince to such exotic fillings as emu, kangaroo, ostrich, crocodile and venison.
Gladstone and Smithtown
The twin towns of Gladstone and Smithtown lie on opposite banks of the Macleay River and are linked by the Major Oakes Bridge and they each enjoy pleasant wharfs to throw in a fishing line.
Gladstone is a unique historic village housing art galleries, cafes, hotel, interesting shops, beauty spa, private homes and funky retro accommodation. A pleasant stroll through Smithtown passes 20 historic buildings and sites including the Smithtown School of Arts built in 1900.
Take a drive and visit the Gladstone Memorial Park and a grove of red cedar trees planted in recognition of the town’s early links with the timber industry. Smithtown Riverside Park is surrounded by big towering shady trees and overlooks the entrance to the Nestle factory where Milo is made. The number one chocolate malt beverage brand in the world, Milo is manufactured at the Nestle plant in Australia at Smithtown, on the Macleay River.
46kms north of Kempsey is Grassy Head an area where unspoilt beaches entice families to unwind. The Holiday Park with beach access is tucked into the bushland with self contained holiday cabins and camp sites.
Take a scenic drive into the nearby National Park to a picnic spot with an Aboriginal storyboard and mosaic continue up Mt Yarrahapinni to a stunning lookout with views over most of the coastal area of the Macleay Valley Coast. At Yarrahapinni, stay the night in an award winning bed and breakfast or attend art workshops or women’s health experience.
Hat Head is a tiny village nestled in the Hat Head National Park. It is a holiday retreat for those who want to get away from the ‘maddening crowd’. Popular with fishers and families the area features beautiful surfing beaches, a protected creek, scenic walks and spots to watch migrating whales. Holiday accommodation includes the holiday park with cabins and camp sites plus holiday rental houses.
The closest point on the Australian coast to the continental shelf, Hat Head is one of the country’s premier fishing destinations. Pursue Marlin, Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, Yellow and Blue Fin Tuna, Bar Cod, Snapper, Pearl Perch, Tailor, Bream, Jew Fish and Drummer.
Each year on Boxing Day the Hat Head Trig Marathon is held. Eager runners make their way up the 164 metre hill while the spectators enjoy the carnival atmosphere which surrounds the event.
The swamps and lagoons of the surrounding park provide an ideal breeding ground for black swans, egrets, herons, spoonbills, kangaroos, possums, wallabies, marsupial mice and reptiles. Take a walking tour around the peninsula, through the rainforest pocket around to the entrance of the natural arch and cave.
Jerseyville is home to the local fishing and prawning fleet and the Fisherman’s Cooperative. Stop just near the bridge and watch the pelicans before you purchase local fresh delights.
Kempsey is located halfway between Sydney and Tweed Heads and is the commercial hub of the Macleay Valley. There’s so much to see and do...
Browse through the shops; relax with a drink or meal at one of the alfresco cafes, restaurants, clubs or hotels.
Enjoy a game of ten pin or choose a joy flight for a bird’s eye view of Kempsey and the surrounding countryside. Take a drive and enjoy one of the self guided heritage walks through West, East and Central Kempsey.
If you’re planning to stay there is a variety of accommodation to suit your needs whether it be bed & breakfasts, motels, serviced catered lodgings, caravan park or camping.
Visit the Val Melville Centre in South Kempsey Park and take in the Glen Murcutt Award winning building. The centre houses the Museum, the Dunghutti-Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery and Visitor Information Centre where you can pick up self guided heritage walking brochures. The Wigay Aboriginal Cultural Park located in West Kempsey, features plants used for hunting, food and medicine.
Kundabung is the home of the annual Australasian Bull Riding Titles held on the Long weekend in October.
South West Rocks
South West Rocks offers a variety of beaches to suit everyone – surfing, body surfing, sailing and much more.
Other attractions include the Arakoon National Park - Trial Bay Gaol, Hat Head National Park - Smoky Cape Lighthouse, shopping, cinema and sporting activates such as golf, croquet and bowls. For water based activities try diving sites including Australia’s best cave dive - Fish Rock and there is excellent deep-sea, river, rock and beach fishing.
Great experiences are on offer with excellent alfresco dining, great pubs and clubs and a variety of accommodation to suit all budgets, from motel, hotel, holiday rentals plus independent rental properties, bed & breakfasts and well appointed holiday parks and camping areas.
The Boatman’s Cottage where the past comes to life in maritime and history displays. Green Island is the home to Loggerhead Turtles. Black Rock is considered unique by marine biologists as hard corals are found in abundance.
The peaceful village of Stuarts Point is situated on the arm of the Macleay River and is only a short walk from the long white sandy beaches that are interrupted by the rocky outcrops of Grassy Head and Middle Head.
Swimming, surfing, excellent beach and river fishing are favourite pastimes. The river is popular with fishers for Blackfish, Blue Swimmer and Mud Crabs. The Holiday Park is situated on the banks of the river where you can drag your fishing boat onto the sand or watch the family enjoy water sports at your front door.
Stuarts Point has shops, restaurants, a tavern, tennis courts and the Bowling Club has two bowling greens. Stay the night at the holiday park on the Macleay Valley Arm, tie up the fishing boat out the front of the cabin or camp site.
Bellbrook & Willawarrin
The villages of Bellbrook and Willawarrin are located in the Macleay Hinterland with breathtaking scenery that takes in the river, forest, mountain and grazing country. Take advantage of these diverse landscapes to 4WD or explore remote National Parks with hike in overnight trails. Bellbrook was named in 1882 by Caroline McMaugh after the local bellbirds and the adjacent river. It is a significant example of a turn-of-the-century hamlet and is heritage listed. Accommodation includes cabins, rural homestead, campground and health retreat.
Call into the country style pubs or cafes, enjoy scenic drives to Slim Dusty’s childhood home and to numerous lookouts with views of the surrounding mountain ranges and Macleay River.
For more information about any of these interesting, fun, free activities and other great things to see
and do in the Macleay Valley contact the friendly team at the Kempsey Visitor Information Centre.