Kempsey | Macleay Valley Coast Destination Guide

We invite you to explore the beautiful Macleay Valley Coast while you’re in the region for our event – Kempsey has so much to offer! What is there to do in a coastal region when the weather turns chilly? The answer is, plenty, especially when winter in the Macleay is mostly blue clear skies and crisp, cooler days. Here are our top ways to enjoy winter on the Macleay Valley Coast in winter.

About the event

The Shimano MTB GP’s events are all about “seriously fun” racing! Podium chasers can line up with Australia’s elites and experienced amateur endurance racers plus casual racers will have a blast, all feeling safe and part of an inspiring community.

Supported by Macleay Valley Coast, this event will be happening at the Kalateenee MTB Trails. Race for four hours solo or in relay pairs. There are age-group and eBike categories. Expect less of a winners-only-focused competition, but a positive and inclusive experience for all racers.

This is XC lap racing at its best! From the first time between the tape to people that have spent a lifetime training for power output, we have you covered when you line up at the Rocky Trail start line!

Double-header alert!

We have TWO Shimano MTB GP events happening back-to-back over one PACKED weekend in July.

Start out at Jolly Nose MTB park in the beautiful Port Macquarie Hastings Valley on the SATURDAY, and then follow up with another GP on SUNDAY at the Kaleteenee MTB trails in Kempsey, which is only 45 minutes north!

Check out the Destination piece for Port Macquarie as well, and make it an epic weekend full of twice the fun!

#rockytrailjourney: Kempsey

We can’t wait to come back to Kalateenee MTB Trails, which is a favourite with the local riders. We designed the Shimano MTB GP event format as a perfect opportunity to make it a weekend getaway with family, friends, your mates and your special someone!

Explore Saturday, Race Sunday!

…it’s what the Shimano MTB GP is all about!

Scroll down for visitor information such as accommodation options, and What’s On in the region off the race track. There are lots of ideas for what your fambam can get up to while you race, plus some of our favourite experiences you can have together before or after the race.


Kalateenee MTB Trails – 330 Macleay Valley Way, South Kempsey NSW 2440

The event centre is at the Kempsey Golf Course, so track side camping won’t be possible. You can, however, drive along West Street and camp in the State Forest there; plus there is the Kempsey Motor Inn right next to the Golf Course and a Caravan Park right across the road, the Kempsey Tourist Village.

Stay & Play!

The Macleay Valley Coast has a diverse range of accommodation available for all budgets. Find out more information and search by category to view all listings. Find out more…

Camping: From beachfront and creekside caravan parks to the space and tranquillity of one of our National Parks and Reserves to the picturesque hinterland, you’ll find a range of camping options in the Macleay Valley Coast.

Things to Do

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Kempsey and the surrounding region has so much to offer. Here are the top things to do with some insider tips from the locals!

Have a whale of a time!Winter just happens to be whale season on the Macleay Valley Coast, so don’t miss the opportunity to spot these gentle giants making their way along our shores. Get your camera ready and capture the whales breaching and feeding in pods from the vantage points of Crescent Head, Smoky Cape, or Hat Head.
Suit up at the beachWinter on the Macleay Valley Coast means mild temperatures, offshore winds, crisp mornings and, often, perfect surf conditions. Don a wetsuit and ride a paddle board in the calm waters of Trial Bay, surf glassy waves in Crescent Head, or dive off South West Rocks.

Fishing is another great way to get out on the water at this time of year, with endless options including beach, rock, reef, deep sea, river and estuary fishing.
Get your culture fixThe Macleay Valley is home to a rich Indigenous history and a vibrant culture that is maintained by strong local Indigenous groups, art galleries and events. Whether you’re after a unique treasure for your home, yearn to learn something new or simply want to immerse yourself in the arts, there’s plenty to whet your cultural appetite in the Macleay Valley.

Don’t forget to pop into the Gladstone Hub for a coffee and toastie from Steam and Cedar and spend some time perusing art, vintage furniture and Moroccan rugs in the artisan stores.
Do a tourist driveBeginning at Crescent Head, the incredibly scenic Tourist Drive 12 takes you through lush farmland along the Belmore River, passing through Gladstone on its way to South West Rocks.
Take a walk on the wild side!You’ll find the best bushwalks, from easy to challenging, in the Arakoon and Hat Head National Parks that surround South West Rocks. Tackle the 10-kilometre track from Little Bay to Smoky Cape if you’re after a challenging hike or wander the shorter trails that lead out from the gaol.

Near Crescent Head, you’ll find short headland walks in Limeburners and Goolawah National Parks. Another beautiful rainforest walk sets out from The Pines Picnic Area in Yarriabini National Park and, nearby, there’s a great coastal headland trail around Grassy Head.
Eat and drink!We know how much you have been waiting to have a laugh and reconnect with friends and family over some delicious food and drink after being stuck at home for so long. Luckily our cafes and restaurants are opening back up and are looking forward to having you. Please contact businesses directly to check on their offerings right now.
Escape to the HinterlandGo for a drive West of Kempsey to discover magical views of the mighty Macleay River meandering through ancient valleys, then stop at the Bellbrook Hotel for a beer. Experience real old-fashioned country hospitality in the spectacular natural surrounds.
Walk it outJack Perkins walking track is a short walk that boasts some of the best views in Hat Head National Park, only a short drive from Kempsey.

The track leads downhill through whispering she-oaks where you might catch a glimpse of a magnificent glossy black cockatoo among the branches. Passing through lush rainforest, entwined with liana vines and dotted with cabbage palms, a swamp wallaby may cross your path.
A boardwalk leads down to the picturesque palm-fringed North Smoky Beach, where you can refresh yourself with a swim in the turquoise waves before heading back up the path.

Here for a couple of days and thirsty for more adventure?
Check out the Top 10 Adventure Activities on the Macleay Valley Coast

There are so many experiences that await,
here are just a few to get you started:

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