About the Macleay Valley


Crescent HeadCrescent Head


428kms north of Sydney on the Pacific Highway.


Great natural beauty and a truly relaxed lifestyle – that sums up the Macleay Valley in a nutshell and makes it easy to understand why many visitors, after holidaying in the area, choose to move here permanently. The Kempsey Shire has a population of over 28,000 and is part of the Mid North Coast Region which is the fastest growing non-metropolitan area in NSW. As the population continues to grow, the need for additional services and facilities is always considered and planning for the future is well in hand.

Macleay RiverMacleay River


The Macleay River is at the heart of the Kempsey Shire as it carves its way from the mountains of the New England Plateau to the sea at South West Rocks. It rises as the Guyra River and merges with a number of tributaries including the Apsley, Chandler and Styx. The original mouth of the river was at Grassy Head however, during the 1893 flood, a new entrance was forced at South West Rocks.

There are boat ramps at Kempsey, Frederickton, Smithtown, Gladstone, Jerseyville, Stuarts Point, Fishermans Reach and at the New Entrance, near South West Rocks. Most types of water sports can be enjoyed and the river is one of the last strongholds of the native bass, popular with freshwater anglers. Small boats and canoes can be hired to explore the river.

Smith Street, KempseySmith Street, Kempsey


  • Town - 11,000
  • Shire - 28,000


  • 338,100 hectares
  • 3,381 sq. kilometres
Clyde Street Mall, KempseyClyde Street Mall, Kempsey


  • 2440 - Kempsey & most of the Shire
  • 2431 - South West Rocks
  • 2441 - Stuarts Point


Kempsey Station is 1.5 km west of Kempsey Post Office.

Visitor Information Centres

There are two Visitor Information Centres in the Kempsey Shire which are open seven days per week for your convenience. They are closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Kempsey Visitor Information Centre

Kempsey Visitor Information CentreKempsey Visitor Information Centre

South Kempsey Park
Lachlan Street (Macleay Valley Way)
South Kempsey
PO Box 3078, West Kempsey NSW 2440

Open: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm Saturday, Sunday & public holidays

Phone: 02 6563 1555
Fax: 02 6563 1537
Freecall: 1800 642 480
Web: www.macleayvalleycoast.com.au  
Email: info@macleayvalleycoast.com.au

Beach, South West RocksBeach - South West Rocks

South West Rocks Visitor Information Centre

Ocean Drive
South West Rocks NSW 2431
Open 9am to 4pm daily
Phone - 02 6566 7099


South West RocksSouth West Rocks

Motels, hotels, caravan parks and camping grounds, self contained units and cottages, cabins, guesthouses, homestay and farmstay.


The original inhabitants of the Macleay Valley were the Dunghutti people. The first Native Title Claim in Australia was granted to the Dunghutti people at Crescent Head in 1997. The earliest European settlement was recorded in 1827 when Capt Innes established a cedar party north of Euroka Creek on the Macleay River.



Akubra Hats factoryAkubra Hats factory

Akuba Hats, Boral Bricks, Nestlé, Explosive Entertainment (previously known as Syd Howard Pyrotechnics) Australian Solar Timbers, Sherwood Wines, Farrawell Aluminium.


Beef, dairying, timber, maize, potatoes, bananas, fishing, prawning, oysters, deer, avocados, horticulture.


Crescent Head boat rampCrescent Head boat ramp

Beach , country and aboriginal experiences.

Cottage industry

Arts, crafts, aboriginal artefacts.