The Macleay Valley follows the kinks and bends of its namesake river from its source at Blue Nobby Mountain, east of Uralla within the Great Dividing Range.
The river meanders for miles through the valley’s fertile soils before making its confluence with the Pacific Ocean in a torrid, estuarine flush at South West Rocks.
The valley links the lush hills of the New England Tablelands with the verdant plains of the New South Wales mid north coast.
The region is centred around the regional hub of Kempsey, and is a five-hour blast up the highway from Sydney, putting it well within range of a weekend trip for metro residents, central coasters and Novocastrians.
STUFF TO DO
4WDING: There are some ripper tracks to be found in the lush rainforest-clad foothills of the dividing range. Head west from Kempsey for 30 clicks until the blacktop runs out around Bellbrook – this is where the adventure starts!
Follow the twists and turns of the steep track for another 50km or so until you reach Georges Junction. The track here is sheer and narrow and not ideal for towing, but the tranquil riverfront campground you’re rewarded with is a reward for all that hard driving.
FISHING is maybe the second best reason to visit the Macleay Valley, with a huge number of options available to visitors. If you’ve got a hankering to get connected to a big, rampaging Macleay River bass, then head up to Bellbrook and explore the hinterland on foot or by kayak. Spend a night or two at The Bass Lodge near Bellbrook and benefit from their guides’ expert local knowledge – look them up at www.basslodge.com.au
LOCATION: Kempsey’s located 430km north of Sydney and the valley extends inland past Bellbrook as well as all the way to the river mouth at South West Rocks.
CAMPING is available at the peaceful campgrounds at Bellbrook and Georges Junction, however if you’re craving more of a coastal vibe, our hot tip is to head east at Kempsey and pitch your tent in the Hat Head National Park for a night or two.
There are ripper campsites at Hungry Head and Smoky Cape that are within a winch rope’s distance of the dunes.
FUEL is available at Kempsey, Gladstone and South West Rocks.
MORE INFO is available at www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au