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Clarence Way

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Glen Innes


Great Lakes


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Wine Trail

Macleay Valley


Where can you find a place in northern NSW that has good facilities, is not overcrowded or overdeveloped, centrally located and is naturally beautiful? The Macleay Valley Coast, situated in the heart of North Coast NSW, is the place plus it has a whole lot more to offer. It is the perfect holiday destination for couples, families or the adventure lover.


Kempsey, the commercial centre and hub of the Macleay Valley has of one of the finest museums in country NSW. The Wigay Aboriginal Cultural Park also in Kempsey features a traditional food tree park, arts crafts and culture. Kempsey is renowned as the home of Akubra hats, and both Slim Dusty and Shorty Ranger were born in the valley. The town has an extensive shopping centre, clubs, many cafes and restaurants and a number of motels, hotels and caravan parks. In recent years, some unique quality home style accommodation has become available in Kempsey and the surrounding valley including guesthouses, bed & breakfast properties and farm stays. The town has some of the best sporting facilities on the coast with an 18 hole golf course, two bowling clubs, a ten pin bowling alley, gymnasiums, squash and tennis courts, horse and greyhound racing tracks and an indoor cricket arena.


There is a lot of discussion from holiday makers and locals as to where the true treasures lie in the valley. Some say it is the unspoilt coastline, others feel it is the superb Upper Macleay hinterland and yet others maintain that the real essence of the valley lies in the Macleay River that carves its way through rich rural country on route from the mountains to the sea. Whatever the point of view, there is something for everyone the Macleay Valley Coast.


The Macleay Valley Coastís 80km coastline has to be seen to be believed. Protected by the Hat Head National Park, Arakoon State

Recreation Area, Limeburners Creek Nature Reserve and the Goolawah Reserve, the coast combines safe beaches and creeks for families; miles of uninterrupted coast for the peace lover or the fisherman in pursuit of the "big one"; the protected calm of Trial Bay for the water sport enthusiast; the powerful surf for the board rider or body surfer; and the rocky outcrops and headlands for the snorkeller or rock fisherman.


South West Rocks, the largest seaside town in the valley, offers visitors a wide range of accommodation, including motels, guesthouses, luxury units, self contained cottages, caravan parks with modern on site accommodation and camping grounds. Sporting facilities are excellent and include an 18 hole golf course, bowling greens, tennis and squash courts, bushwalking tracks and a swimming pool. Fishing boats, waveskis, catamarans, and boogie boards can all be hired and charter fishing boats operate from the entrance of the Macleay River. Scuba divers from all over the world travel to South West Rocks to dive Fish Rock Cave, an underwater cave just off the coast from Smoky Cape. There is shopping for everyone either in the town centre or the new Rocks Shopping Fair at the entrance of town. The Country Club, the Hotel and Tavern provide entertainment and there is a choice of fine restaurants, bistros and takeaways for those who choose not to cook whilst on vacation. Attractions include historic Trial Bay Gaol, Smoky Cape Lighthouse, the oyster barn, a river cruise, the historic Boatman's Cottage and interesting arts, crafts and antique shops.


The picturesque village of Crescent Head, renowned as a great surfing beach, offers something for everyone. The Holiday Park is sited right on the water and offers both oceanside and creek front sites and well positioned comfortable self contained cabins. In the village, three modern motels, units and cottages provide holiday accommodation to suit most tastes. Just to the south, cabins nestled in the bushland, rustic camping grounds at Racecourse, Delicate Nobby and Big Hill and a caravan park in an unspoilt bushland setting compliment the range of accommodation in and around Crescent Head. The unique 6 hole waterfront golf course is a must for all members of the family and the village also has tennis courts, bowling greens and a swimming pool. Entertainment is provided at the Country Club and the Tavern and there is a good selection of restaurants, cafes and shops.


Peaceful Stuart's Point, situated on the river and minutes away from a long white sandy beach, is popular with fisherman who try their luck in the blackfish breeding grounds of the Macleay. The Holiday Park is situated right on the banks of the river and people can drag their fishing boats onto the sand just outside their site or watch as the children enjoy water sports at their front door.


Units and cottages are available for holiday rental and nearby, there is a resort that specialises in fishing holidays and an island in the river that features self contained log cabins. The village boasts a small shopping centre, tennis courts, a tavern and the bowling club. Takeaway food is available and there are restaurants for a special evening out. At nearby Grassy Head, an unspoilt beach entices families to relax and unwind. There is a caravan park tucked into the bushland, self contained holiday units, an Ecology Centre which is ideal for large groups and a couple of gorgeous guesthouse B & Bís overlooking breathtaking Yarrahapinni Mountain.


Surrounded by the Hat Head National Park is the pretty coastal village of Hat Head. Popular with fishermen, families and bushwalkers, the town is renowned for its productive fishing and tranquil lifestyle. The Holiday Park, in the heart of the village, is close to both the beach and Korogora Creek and there are also units and cottages available for holiday rental. The bowling club has two greens, there are tennis courts nearby and the area is serviced with two general stores. A series of walking trails lead bushwalkers on a tour of discovery through the National Park and in spring, the wildflower displays are spectacular.


The Macleay Valley Coast is more however, than just a wonderful collection of seaside villages with spectacular beaches. A visit into the Upper Macleay Hinterland is a must. The Hinterland is an playground for those interested in adventure and discovery, with spectacular scenery that can be enjoyed by those taking one of the many recommended drives through farm and forest country. Experiences abound with abseiling, kayaking, canoeing, bushwalking, mountain biking, historic villages and the opportunity to visit many craft, antique and nursery outlets. A visit to the national trust village of Bellbrook is just like taking a step back in time. Country hospitality can be enjoyed in a quaint pub or at one of the bed and breakfast properties in the area. Visit the deer farm at Kempsey or the late Slim Dustyís homestead for a glimpse of rural Australia.


There is a comfortable motel at Kundabung and hotels at Smithtown, Gladstone, Frederickton, Willawarrin and Bellbrook. Frederickton has a nine-hole golf course, a game of bowls can be enjoyed at the bowling club in Smithtown. Gladstone is well- known for itís Arts and Crafts, unique gift shops and delicious food served out of local cafťís.


 Come alive and rejuvenate yourself in the Macleay Valley Coast. Immerse yourself in natureís wonderland, feel your muscles relax, breathe deeply, clear your mind and enjoy the core values shared by generations.

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