Rural villages

There are numerous picturesque villages in the Kempsey Shire that exhibit their own individual charm and attractions. They are worth a visit especially if you are looking for a nice place to picnic, maybe a walk in the bush, are keen to browse for bric-a-brac or are in the market to buy a home in a quiet area not too far from town.

Frederickton

Macleay Street, FredericktonMacleay Street, Frederickton

Historic Frederickton on the Macleay Valley Way, 6kms north of Kempsey.

The Frederickton School and Schoolhouse are located in the riverside town of Frederickton. The historic school and schoolhouse, designed by Horbury Hunt and built in 1880, are both still in use. The Tamban Forest Drive, west of Frederickton, leads visitors through the Ngambaa Nature Reserve and highlights include Cedar Park and the Collombatti Lookout.

Facilities

Shops, takeaway food outlets, parks, hotel, infants and primary school; community hall, boat ramp, tennis courts; 9 hole golf course and golf clubhouse; churches, parks, barbecue and picnic areas.

New houses in FredericktonFrederickton

Accommodation

A farmstay/guesthouse just west of Frederickton at Collombatti.Accommodation at the Macleay River Hotel.

Attractions

Fredo Pies - an award-winning pie shop on the highway, provides an interesting venue to stop and purchase a pie or an ice-cream. Tamban Forest Drive, Cedar Park, Collombatti Lookout; water activities on the Macleay River.

Smithtown

Major Oakes BridgeMajor Oakes Bridge

Peaceful rural village on the banks of the Macleay River, 18kms north of Kempsey. Shady Riverside Park is an ideal spot for a picnic or a barbecue. Home of the Nestlé factory which manufactures Milo. The factory is not open to the public.

Smithtown was also the home of Australia's first Miss World - Penny Plummer who was crowned in London in 1968.

Facilities

Smithtown villageSmithtown village

Bowling Club with 2 bowling greens; shops, old wares shop, tennis courts, boat ramp; infants and primary school; community hall, hotel, church, parks; barbecue and picnic areas; historic wharf.

Attractions

Historic wharf; water activities (including fishing) on the Macleay River.Visitors can browse in the second hand wares shop. You will also find popular dining and entertainment venues.

Gladstone

Antique shop, GladstoneAntique shop, Gladstone

Picturesque riverside village, 17kms north east of Kempsey. Gladstone has become synonymous with fine craft and antique shops.

The Memorial Park is situated right on the bank of the river and features a war memorial topped with a marble statue of a soldier which was built in 1920. Also in the park is a grove of red cedars planted by local schoolchildren to represent the villages’ historic links with the timber industry. Gladstone is a Past Tidy Town winner.

Facilities

Memorial Park, GladstoneMemorial Park, Gladstone

Shops; antique and craft shops; infants and primary schools; cafes and takeaway stores, church, 25 metre pool, community hall, hotel, tennis courts, boat ramp, children's playground, parks, wharf, barbecue and picnic areas.

Attractions

Arts and crafts shops, historic buildings, water-based activities (including fishing) on the Macleay River, park and barbecue facilities; Truck Show and country Music Events. Gladstone has popular dining facilities and interesting arts and crafts for visitors.

Kinchela

Man and dog walking across paddockRural lifestyle

Quiet rural village on the banks of the Macleay River, 23kms north east of Kempsey.

Facilities

Infants and Primary school.

Attractions

Water based activities on the Macleay River and Kinchela Creek. A short drive to Hat Head National Park. Visitors are welcome to visit " Concrete Pots and Crafts" which is owned by John Everson, located on Hat Head Road, Kinchela Creek.

Jerseyville

Jerseyville BridgeJerseyville Bridge

Riverside village 33kms north east of Kempsey. Home of the Macleay River’s fishing and prawning fleet. Jerseyville is an historic village in the South West Rocks area.

Facilities

Fisherman’s Cooperative, boat ramp, wharf. Macleay River Fisherman's Cooperative.

Attractions

Water based activities on the Macleay River and Spencers Creek and Lagoon. Fishing is a popular activity off the Jerseyville Wharf and if you are not successful in your catch, you can always purchase fresh seafood from the Macleay River Fishermans Co-operative. Park and facilities were developed by South West Rocks Rotary Club. Visitors are encouraged to visit Barnetts Rainbow Reach Oyster Barn.

Stuarts Point

Stuarts Point footbridgeStuarts Point footbridge

Situated on the Macleay River Arm near Grassy Head, life in Stuarts Point has always been linked to the river. In the late 1880s Stuarts Point was the first port of call for seagoing vessels heading upriver. Schooners, ketches and small steamers docked at its wharf, not far from a gracefully-arched footbridge that leads to Stuarts Point's long golden beach today. Back then the river was 350 metres wide and up to four metres deep. Today, Stuarts Point is renowned for fishing and boating, and as a fertile growing region for macadamias, avocados, bananas and other subtropical fruit.

Facilities

Specialty shops, bowling club, hotel, takeaways, tennis courts, children's playground, boat ramps, and shady barbecue area.

Accommodation

Accommodation ranges from delightful B&B to holiday houses and a riverside holiday park.

Attractions

Water based activities on the Macleay River, Stuarts Point and Grassy Head beaches. A short drive to the Pines Picnic Area and Mt Yarrahapinni lookout. Caravan and camping facilities at Stuarts Point and nearby Grassy Head Holiday Park.

Willawarrin

Willawarrin HotelWillawarrin Hotel

"Situated along the Slim Dusty Way" - a rural village 35kms west of Kempsey on the Armidale Road. Willawarrin in surrounded by grazing land and forests and is close to the Macleay River.

Facilities

Hotel, shop; pre, infants and primary schools; community hall, tennis courts, oval, church, rodeo facilities and petrol station-takeaway.

Accommodation

Willawarrin Post OfficeWillawarrin Post Office

Hotel, self contained farm cottage, homestay. Willawarrin Hotel - self contained cabin "Uralgurra".

Attractions

Water activities (including fishing) on the Macleay River; access to hinterland and forest drives; Tamban Forest Drive including Collombatti Lookout and Cedar Park. Alice Strutt's Gallery - Kempsey Studio Gallery. Country music featured at the Willawarrin Hotel, when advertised.

Major annual events

May - Akubra Willawarrin Camp Draft - two full days of camp drafting.

Bellbrook

Bellbrook HotelBellbrook Hotel

Historic rural village, 50 kms west of Kempsey. The village is classified by the National Trust as a fine example of a turn of the century country hamlet. The late Slim Dusty and Shorty Ranger, both country music performers of renown, grew up at nearby Nulla Nulla and composed many songs about this picturesque area. Tom Woodcock, who trained Phar Lap, lived at Bellbrook.

Facilities

Hotel, shop, tennis courts; primary and infants school; community hall, church, parks, picnic and barbecue facilities.

Slim Dusty's birthplaceSlim Dusty's birthplace

Accommodation

Cabins, riverside camping at Blackbird Flat (west of Bellbrook).

Attractions

Bellbrook shares the name of the infamous perch lure "the Bellbrook Wobbler". Heritage buildings; Slim Dusty's childhood home is nearby at Nulla Nulla Creek;  water based activities on the Macleay River access to hinterland and forest drives. Good Perch fishing (bass) is a popular activity and the river is excellent for canoeing. Bellbrook "Trading Post".

Kundabung

Kundabung RodeoKundabung Rodeo

Rural village 10kms south of Kempsey near the Pacific Highway. Kundabung Riverside Park is a perfect place for a picnic near the quiet waters of Maria River.

Facilities

Tennis courts, community hall, boat ramp, picnic and barbecue facilities, parks, privately owned rodeo ground. A general store and petrol station are available for provisions.

Accommodation

Motel

Attractions

Water activities on the Maria River; fishing, bushwalks near the Maria River Rest Area.