Kempsey Area

From world-class waves and thrilling dives to exhilarating bushwalks and fascinating museums, the Kempsey region is a wonderful destination. On the mid North Coast of NSW, the region is blessed with gorgeous, uncrowded beaches and spectacular wilderness such as Hat Head National Park.

On the banks of the beautiful Macleay River, Kempsey is the main town in the area with a number of heritage-listed buildings and the Wigay Aboriginal Cultural Park, where you can learn about native plants used by Aboriginals for food and medicine. The iconic Akubra hat is made in Kempsey.

Coastal walk around Hat Head National Park, Macleay Valley Coast.

A legend of Australian country music, Slim Dusty, is honoured in Kempsey, less than five hours’ drive north of Sydney. Visit the Slim Dusty Centre and learn more about the famous singer-songwriter. You’ll find plenty of accommodation options in the region, from luxury retreats to campgrounds.

Explore the region on scenic drives, including the splendid Heritage Hotel of Gladstone, a pub by the Macleay River in the charming Gladstone village, northeast of Kempsey. Inland from Kempsey is the Willi Willi National Park, where you’ll find some of the best warm temperate rainforest in Australia.

Bellbrook - Macleay Valley Coast

On the coast is Crescent Head, a surfing paradise with one of the longest point breaks in Australia. You can learn to surf with Surfaris, which operates a surf camp in Crescent Head, a laid-back coastal town. The annual Crescent Head Malibu Classic draws surfers from around the world.

For one of the best cave dives in Australia head for South West Rocks, 50 minutes’ drive north of Crescent Head and 30 minutes northeast of Kempsey. Two kilometres off South West Rocks is Fish Rock Cave. Diving tours are available with Fish Rock Dive Centre and South West Rocks Dive Centre.


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  1. Sculpture in the Gaol

    Sunday 05 August 2018 to Saturday 01 September 2018 , South West Rocks

    For the duration of the event the historic grounds of Trial Bay Gaol will be transformed into a dramatic landscape filled with sculptures for this stunning exhibition. Why not also take the opportunity to read about the Gaol’s famous histor…

    05 Aug - 01 Sep
  2. Slim Dusty Festival

    Monday 15 October 2018 to Sunday 21 October 2018 , Kempsey

    Fun and Friendly Country Music Festival for all ages in October with camping on site - choose powered and unpowered sites. Their great bus tour this year will be to Slim Dusty's childhood homestead and The Pub with No Beer with morning tea …

    15 Oct - 21 Oct
  3. Natureland Classic Motorcycle Club Toy Run

    Sunday 16 December 2018 , South West Rocks

    Every year the Natureland Classic Motorcycle Club conducts a Toy Run in December, collecting toys to make Christmas a little brighter for disadvantaged children in the Macleay Valley. More than 80 motorcycle riders travel from South West R…

    16 Dec
  4. Crescent Head Rugby Sevens

    Saturday 02 February 2019 , Crescent Head

    Crescent Head Rugby Sevens is one of the most prestigious rugby sevens tournaments held in the NSW Country, with over AUD16,000 prize money on offer. There are Mens and Womens divisions. All teams must be an ARU registered club or ARU reco…

    02 Feb
  5. Annual Nestle Junior Triathlon - Trial Bay

    Saturday 09 February 2019 to Sunday 10 February 2019 , South West Rocks

    The annual Nestle Junior Triathlon will be held at Trial Bay Gaol, Arakoon State Conservation Area in South West Rocks. Racing is for five to 15 year olds. There will be five races - for five year olds, six to seven years, eight to nine …

    09 Feb - 10 Feb