What to do in winter on the Macleay Valley Coast

What is there to do in a coastal region when the weather turns chilly? The answer is – plenty!


Winter on the Macleay Valley Coast is all about soaking up fresh air during the day and snuggling up by the fire at night.

Opener: Hat Head above Korogoro Creek.


winter on the Macleay Valley coast
Winter is the perfect time to hit the trails.


The great outdoors

With clear blue skies and crisp mornings, winter is the perfect time to pull on your hiking boots and hit the trails. Start with the circumnavigation of Korogoro Point on “The Hat” Walking Track. This 4-kilometre trek offers spectacular coastal views and encounters with native wildlife. Don’t forget your binoculars! Winter is whale watching season, so there’s plenty of opportunities to spot these gentle giants making their way along the shore. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, as well as kangaroos hopping through the bush.

For a shorter but equally beautiful stroll, head to the Jack Perkins walking track near Smoky Cape picnic area. Boasting some of the most panoramic vistas in Hat Head National Park – not to mention lush rainforest flora, and sightings of swamp wallabies and glossy black cockatoos – this trail is a nature lover’s dream. The track opens up to heathland, where a boardwalk leads down to the picturesque palm-fringed North Smoky Beach. Have a dip if you’re feeling brave!


Winter on the Macleay Valley Coast: Young people relaxing by the campfire at Waves Campground in Crescent Head. Image: Destination NSW.

Sleep under the stars

It’s a local’s secret that winter is the best time to go camping on the Macleay Valley Coast. Enjoy clear starry nights snuggled up around the campfire with marshmallows or a hot choccy in hand – and no pesky mosquitoes in sight!

For the ultimate outdoor adventure, pitch your tent at Waves Campground in Crescent Head. Set within unique and unspoiled bushland, this campground is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Delicate Nobby Beach is just across the road and offers many great spots for fishing, swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving or just relaxing. Keen surfers can hit any of the nearby breaks and spend their days exploring pristine beaches. With professional and friendly staff, an on-site cafe with barista-made coffee and treats, a camp kitchen, hot showers, laundry and washing-up facilities, Waves certainly feels like a home away from home.

If roughing it isn’t your style but you are keen on the location, opt for a cosy night in one of the other nearby accommodation options such as Crescent Moon or the Big Hill Beach Cottages.


Winter on the Macleay Valley Coast: The cedar barrel sauna at The Gallery Farm. Image: The Gallery Farm.

Awesome accommodation

For a more luxurious escape, book a stay at The Gallery Farm. Tucked away in the Collombatti foothills, this farm retreat offers a beautifully designed one-bedroom guest cottage with breath-taking views. The major drawcard is a sauna housed in a red cedar barrel and a plunge pool with views of the surrounding scenery. From relaxing on the terrace with a glass of local wine to steaming your troubles away in the sauna, The Gallery Farm is sure to be a memorable stay.

For a truly immersive experience in nature, head to Nulla Nulla Blacksmiths Farm in Bellbrook. This idyllic retreat combines sustainable farming practices with boutique accommodation. Here, you can book in for a massage, order an organic vegetable box or even try a yoga class. As night falls, warm yourself up by the pot belly stove – and make sure to look up! The expansive night skies are considered some of the clearest in Australia, with brilliant views of the Milky Way.


Winter on the Macleay Valley Coast: Grab some pub grub at the Bellbrook Hotel.

Perfect pub grub

No trip to the Macleay Valley Coast would be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Head to the Heritage Hotel of Gladstone in the charming village of Gladstone, with the best beer and live music in the valley. Enjoy soaking up the winter sun on the upstairs veranda or cosy up inside with some classic pub feeds like chicken parmigiana, burgers, fish and chips and more.

Make your way upriver to the Bellbrook Hotel for more hearty pub grub and a taste of true Aussie hospitality. This delightful country pub has views of the river, and a menu full of favourites to keep the whole family happy. From Korean chicken wings to a selection of mouth-watering burgers, this historic pub is sure to satisfy your appetite after a day of adventure.

Enjoyed reading about winter on the Macleay Valley Coast? For more to explore in this delightful part of the world, click here!


Travel to the Macleay Valley Coast

Rex flies to Port Macquarie, and from there it’s a short 40-minute drive to the heart of the Macleay Valley Coast. Book your flights here and check out the Rex route map below!

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