Itineraries & Trails

Tourist drives

Macleay Valley Coast – Bellbrook Scenic Drive

Bellbrook – Slim Dusty Way

The mountainous hinterland region is the true surprise and delight of the Macleay Valley Coast. Within minutes of leaving the beach you can find yourself in the heart of the Australian bush with crystal clear creeks, rocky outcrops, towering eucalypts and the warmth of good old fashioned country hospitality.

Bellbrook is a must for all country music fans and the old mountain village is only about an hour’s scenic drive up river from Kempsey.  It is home to one of Australia’s all-time country music greats, Slim Dusty. Pay a visit to his homestead, near Bellbrook, where you’ll see for yourself the source of his inspiration.

To find Slim Dusty’s childhood home at Nulla Nulla, drive north across the Kempsey Traffic Bridge and veer left at the first set of traffic lights into Belgrave St. Drive across the railway crossing, straight ahead at two roundabouts and veer to the right into River St.

Follow the signs to Bellbrook as River St transitions into Armidale Rd. Just before you reach Bellbrook township, turn right into Nulla Nulla Creek Rd. Slim’s childhood home is about 2km past the bitumen, on the left. Although the home is closed to the public, an interactive display at the front traces his rise to stardom.

Return to the Armidale Rd, turn right towards Bellbrook and wander back in time at this Heritage-listed village.

It’s not hard to see where these musical talents drew their inspiration. This is mountain country at its best. Babbling clear creeks and deep valleys, thick timber forest and the distinctive call of bellbirds, Bellbrook is surrounded by incredible natural beauty.

Cedar cutters and timber getters settled the area, and today their legacy has been lovingly preserved in this historic township which is still dominated by the original timber buildings along the wide main street.  Bellbrook township is heritage listed as it is an excellent example of an early 1900′s timber getting town

The Upper Macleay River offers some of Australia’s best bass fishing, while lovers of the great outdoors also come here to camp, bushwalk, explore the restored timber towns and soak up the natural beauty.

Continue west about 20kms along the Armidale Rd to Blackbird Flat picnic area for a BBQ or a swim in the Macleay River. Stop on the banks of the Macleay River which is the second fastest flowing river in the southern hemisphere when in flood. This picnic area is  suitable for car based camping but no towing or large vehicles past Bellbrook. Blackbird Flat has pit toilets and is pet friendly.

Return to Kempsey back along Armidale Rd.

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