Nambucca River, Barry Ashenhurst / Auscape International

Population 2658

Macksville is a fishing and oyster-farming town on the banks of the Nambucca River. There is an abundance of water-based activities, with picnic areas and riverside parks from which dolphins can often be observed. The town bustles with activities and festivals including the country's second oldest footrace, the Macksville Gift, each November.

Visitor Information

Cnr Pacific Hwy and Riverside Dr, Nambucca Heads; (02) 6568 6954 or 1800 646 587

Nearby national parks

  • Hat Head National Park

    Hat Head National Park, a beautiful stretch of New South Wales' northern coastline, with pristine beaches, rocky headlands and one of...more

  • Dorrigo National Park

    Perched on the edge of the dramatic New England escarpment, Dorrigo National Park, with its high mist-shrouded plateau descending to...more

  • Guy Fawkes River National Park

    Guy Fawkes National Park in the state’s north-east is isolated, extensive and wild. The Guy Fawkes River winds its way through the...more

Nearby towns

  • Nambucca Heads

    Located at the mouth of the Nambucca River, this is a beautiful coastal holiday town. The stunning long white beaches offer perfect...more

  • Urunga

    Urunga is a sleepy, attractive town at the junction of the Bellinger and Kalang rivers and is regarded by locals as one of the best fishing...more

  • Bellingen

    Bellingen is an attractive tree-lined town on the banks of the Bellinger River, surrounded by rich pasturelands. Traditionally serving dairy...more

In Town

Mary Boulton Pioneer Cottage: replica of a pioneer home and farm buildings with horse-drawn vehicles. Open by appt 2–4pm Wed–Sat; River St; (02) 6568 1280.

Hotels: Star Hotel, River St, and Nambucca Hotel, Cooper St, both heritage buildings from late 1800s with many original features; both offer meals and accommodation.

Nambucca MacNuts Factory: macadamia products at wholesale prices; Yarrawonga St.


Bowraville This unspoiled town has much to see with a National Trust–classified main street, the Bowra Folk Museum, Frank Partridge VC Military Museum, Bowra Art Gallery and many craft galleries. There are markets on 3rd Sun each month, regular races at the racecourse and the Bowraville Hinterland Festival each Oct. 16 km NW.

Mt Yarahappini Lookout: the highest point in Nambucca Valley with fabulous 360-degree views, in Yarriabini National Park; 10 km S.

Scotts Head: coastal town with good beaches for surfing, swimming, fishing and dolphin-watching; 18 km SE.

Pub with No Beer: built in 1896, this is the hotel that was made famous in Slim Dusty's song 'The Pub with No Beer', so named because it would often run out of beer before the next quota arrived. It is still largely in its original form and offers meals; 26 km SW.

Bakers Creek Station: old cattle station, now an impressive resort offering horseriding, fishing, rainforest walking, canoeing and picnicking as well as accommodation; (02) 6564 2165; 30 km W.

Local craft: featured in several shops and galleries in the area; leaflet from visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

South-West Rocks 20 km

When it comes to popularity, there are two types of fishing destinations: those that are hot all the time and those that wax and wane depending on the season. South West Rocks is in the first category. For as long as I... Find out more

Coffs Harbour - Fishing Sub-region 49 km

My introduction to fishing north of Sydney was at Coffs Harbour, an area with a diverse range of options. The first time I fished here I was into land-based game and spent most of my time on the ledges of Mutton Bird... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Houseboating on the Macleay River 42 km

Although large chugging houseboats can be an environmental no-no, Macleay River Houseboats at Kempsey are small – designed for just two people – use relatively clean four-stroke petrol motors, have... Find out more

Cycling around Armidale and Coffs Harbour 49 km

A 5-kilometre bicycle track leads from Harris Park in Armidale to the University of New England. Bikes can be hired from Armidale Bicycle Centre or the University’s Sports Union. The 26-kilometre-return ride from... Find out more

Sea Acres Nature Reserve 80 km

This cool coastal forest, 5 kilometres south of Port Macquarie, is great for a stop and a gentle stroll, with lush rainforest extending right down to the beach. There is a 1.5-kilometre wheelchair-accessible boardwalk,... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Bonville Golf Resort 40 km

Bonville is Australia’s most beautiful inland course. Carved from 250 hectares of flooded gums and blackbutt forest, with small pockets of subtropical rainforest, Bonville is often described as Australia’s... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Dangerous Dan’s Butchery

It may seem a little unusual to feature a butcher, but only if you haven’t tasted the sausages. They are heaven. Staff here are a delight and can tell you everything there is to know about their famous product.... Find out more

Short Order Cafe

This local favourite serves excellent coffee – reputed to be the best in town – and cafe fare in relaxed, inviting surroundings. All of the cakes are made on the premises, and the banana bread and the fluffy... Find out more

Campsites around town

Trial Bay Gaol camping area 24 km

This is a spectacular camping area on a sheltered surf beach, accessed via Cardwell St in South West Rocks. It’s well appointed, with coin-operated showers, powered and unpowered sites, electric BBQs, a kiosk and... Find out more

Smoky Cape camping area 29 km

To reach this small campground nestled in the rainforest at Smoky Cape, turn on to Arakoon Rd from South West Rocks Rd and head for Smoky Cape Lighthouse. Bring your own firewood and drinking water. There are plenty of... Find out more

Sawtell Beach Holiday Park 42 km

This well-appointed caravan park is on Lyons Rd, about 8 km south of Coffs Harbour. You’ve got easy access to the beach and a wide range of accommodation options, including powered and unpowered sites, villas and... Find out more

Hungry Gate camping area 43 km

Tucked in behind sand dunes and ringed with heath and woodland, Hungry Gate is an attractive camping area just a hop, skip and jump from the ocean. It’s 5 km south of Hat Head village – follow Hungry Rd off... Find out more

Bindarri camping areas (walk-in and bush camping) 46 km

Walk-in bush camping is possible throughout the park – facilities such as toilets, picnic tables and wood fireplaces are only available at Bindarray and Bangalore picnic areas, so you’ll need to be... Find out more

Blackbird Flat Reserve camping area 55 km

This is a spacious, friendly and free camping area on the banks of the Macleay River. Follow the Kempsey–Armidale Rd from Kempsey. There’s fishing, swimming, mountain-biking and canoeing on offer – and... Find out more

Bush camping areas 55 km

Self-sufficient campers armed with detailed, up-to-date topographic maps can access a number of good spots throughout the forest, either on foot, horseback or mountain-bike.... Find out more

Thungutti Rest Area camping area 56 km

The campground at Thungutti is set amid towering eucalypts and snow gums. Cars have to be parked a short distance from the campsites. There are 18 sites; booking is not essential but fees apply. Firewood is supplied, and... Find out more

Park Entrance Rest Area camping area 58 km

For those with caravans, there’s a basic camping site at Styx River, about 2 km outside the park entrance along Point Lookout Rd. Bush camping is also permitted; you must camp at least 500 m from park facilities.... Find out more

Hyatts Flat camping area 60 km

This has 2WD access in dry weather only, and it’s suitable for self-sufficient campers only as it’s pretty thin on facilities and not officially managed as a camping site. To get here, follow Hardwood Rd from... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Nambucca River Tourist Park 2 km

About 6 km north of Macksville just off the Pacific Highway, this neat, family-owned park is adjacent to the Nambucca River. It is ideal for an overnight stop or a couple of days. Bookings are required in peak periods,... Find out more

White Albatross Holiday Centre 11 km

This is a quality park in a prime position next to a lagoon and near the mouth of the Nambucca River. It boasts a very good restaurant as well as a range of other features. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Stuarts Point Holiday Park 15 km

This is a nicely located beachside park that is very popular during the holidays. It is a lovely quiet spot out of the peak periods. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas... Find out more

BIG4 Trial Bay Eco Tourist Park 25 km

This is a very pleasant park located close to the historic Trial Bay Gaol. The owner operators are keen to please and offer a range of quality facilities. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

Urunga Heads Holiday Park 25 km

On the river estuary at Urunga, this park is an excellent overnight stop. It is far enough off the highway to be quiet and has an excellent outlook, with a shopping centre nearby. The park is busy in peak periods and... Find out more

Sawtell Beach Holiday Park 41 km

This large, spacious park has a wonderful outlook over the ocean and is just a short walk from Sawtell shopping centre. A pool is just across the road. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

Park Beach Holiday Park 50 km

This is a large beachfront council park 4 km from the centre of town and close to the popular jetty precinct. The park boasts a wide range of facilities, including cabins, amenities blocks, a water park and an inground... Find out more

Crescent Head Holiday Park 53 km

This is a large beachside caravan park close to the town centre. Crescent Head is small, making it easy to walk to the shops, the bowling club or the golf club. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length... Find out more

Sapphire Beach Holiday Park 58 km

A lovely, shady beachside park south of Moonee Beach, 9 km north of Coffs Harbour. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas and Easter. Pets are only allowed in the off-peak... Find out more

Moonee Beach Holiday Park 60 km

This popular beachfront caravan park has basic facilities, but does have a tennis court and open grassy sites with views out to sea. Swimming is good, as are the nature walks around the reserve. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Jacaranda Country Lodge

Jacaranda Country Lodge offers comfortable B&B accommodation on 100 hectares of picturesque pastoral countryside. There are 12 comfortable guest rooms, as well as a self-contained two-bedroom cottage. The variety of... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Lily Pily Country House, Bellingen 27 km

The owners of this stylish B&B have spent seven years revegetating and securing wildlife corridors along the riparian zone here, planting some 4000 trees and 2000 reeds, resulting in an increase in bandicoots,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Macksville park area

At Macksville

Just off the highway on the north side of the river.

Gumma Reserve camping area 6 km

T/O at Macksville

Large campground located 7km (partly unsealed) east of the highway via Partridge St, Wills St and Gumma Rd.

Paddys rest area 13 km

39km N of Kempsey (L) or 45km S of Urunga (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Bloodwood Ridge rest area 52 km

111km N of Taree (L)

Just off the highway. For northbound only.

Kundabung rest area 56 km

15km S of Kempsey (L)

Just off the highway. For southbound only.

Woolgoolga rest area 71 km

At Woolgoolga

Just off the highway in the middle of town.

What's on around town

Market: Scout Hall, Partridge St; 4th Sat each month.

Patchwork and Quilt Display: Easter.

Rusty Iron Rally: heritage machinery show; Sept.

Macksville Gift: Nov.

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