Welcome to the Nambucca Valley
Discover why locals and regular visitors call this paradise!
The Nambucca Valley marks the gateway to subtropical Australia and basks in the best measured climate of our vast continent. Summer maximum temperatures hover in the high 20s and on the rare occasions when the mercury nudges 32 degrees Celsius cooling sea breezes often provide welcome relief. Winter nights can be brisk but the days are mild. Ocean temperatures remain around 20 degrees all year - realistically it is possible to surf on all but the bleakest winter days.
The clean, uncrowded beaches of Scotts Head, Nambucca Heads and Valla Beach have been a magnet, drawing families back to this holiday destination year after year – some for decades! Others are just now discovering the safe surfing conditions with waves to suit all levels, and the long wide beaches of squeaky-clean sand.
Fishing is a popular and rewarding recreation in the Nambucca. Choose from deep sea, beach, rock, estuary or freshwater angling. Boat hire operators, bait and tackle suppliers, staff at the Visitor Information Centre or fellow fishermen can advise where the best spots are located. And when you do catch the big one, make sure you register it in the ‘Fish of the Month/ Year’ competition!
The Nambucca River system begins its journey in the rainforests of the Great Dividing Range. The river winds its way through rolling hills and fertile farmland to the heritage town of Macksville where it joins other tributaries. These inland waterways are ideal for canoes and small craft. Water enthusiasts will pass through the breeding grounds of the famous Nambucca River oyster during the final stretch of river between Macksville and Nambucca Heads. The river is also a popular playground for water and jet ski-ing, sailboarding and sailing. The other arm of the river system, Warrell Creek, runs parallel to the coast from Nambucca Heads to Scotts Head before turning inland. This river is an angler and birdwatcher’s paradise. Boat ramps are located at Nambucca Heads, Macksville, Gumma and Scotts Head. Small craft can be launched at many locations up-river.
THINGS TO DO!
Golf, lawn bowls and many other sports can be enjoyed throughout the year. The challenging Nambucca Heads Island Golf Course is among Australia’s most picturesque and the courses at Bowraville and Macksville would be among the friendliest. Bowlers will enjoy a game at Scotts Head, Macksville, Bowraville or Nambucca Heads.
Bushwalkers and birdwatchers can join local groups on regular treks through forests, national parks, nature reserves and rural roads. There is even an area of rainforest complete with walking tracks in the centre of Nambucca Heads.
River boardwalks and pathways at Nambucca Heads and Macksville provide easy, level walking surfaces. Take some time out to ponder and appreciate the views and atmosphere on one of the many seats strategically placed throughout the Nambucca Valley towns.
Nambucca’s history and heritage are well documented in museums at Nambucca Heads, Bowraville and Macksville. Many buildings from the early 1900s have been restored to their former glory. These include Bowraville Theatre and heritage hotels in Bowraville, Macksville and Taylors Arm. Signposted river boardwalks tell a fascinating story of logging and ship building days for those visitors who love a good yarn.
ARTs and CRAFTS!
The Nambucca atmosphere awakens many artistic talents. Galleries and shops featuring various works by talented locals are scattered throughout the shire. The V-Wall breakwater at Nambucca Heads is a colourful outdoor art gallery documenting sometimes decades of repeat family holidays and special occasions. Feel free to add your own ‘postcard’! Vibrant mosaics and murals at Scotts Head, Nambucca Heads, Bowraville and Yarriabini National Park brighten the streets and reserves. To experience the natural beauty, cultural richness and idyllic lifestyle of the area it is best to leave the highway and explore the network of secondary roads and even some unsealed back roads.
The tiny villages of Eungai Rail and Eungai Creek mark the Nambucca Shire’s southern boundary. Eco-tourism has replaced the timber industry - a drive through the forest and Ngambaa Nature Reserve will provide spectacular views and surprise encounters with fauna including wallabies, echidnas, goannas and other reptiles.
PLACES TO STAY!
Your accommodation options are many – from camping ground tent sites to luxury units, country resorts, waterside cabins and river houseboats. The friendly staff at the Nambucca Valley Visitor Information Centre can help you find the place to suit your needs and budget.
Some of our events are a little unusual. You might like to enjoy a country race meeting at Bowraville Racecourse, listen to the huffing, puffing and chugging of old tractors at the Rusty Iron Rally, or admire the gleaming, colourful Hot Rods that converge on Valla Beach every October long weekend.
AWAY FROM THE ‘BIG’ SMOKE!
Scotts Head has been a popular destination for families and surfers for many years. Main Beach is safe for all ages and offers good waves, clean sandy stretches and accessible headlands. The caravan park is also a day recreation area with children’s playground, picnic tables and gas barbeques.
Yarriabini National Park with The Pines picnic area and Mt Yarrahapinni Lookout is only minutes from Scotts Head, providing welcome relief when you are beached-out!
The river town of Macksville is the perfect place for motorists to break their journey– just turn off the highway and relax in the parks on either side of the river or around the billabong at the southern end of town. Better still; drive a few kilometres to the peaceful riverside picnic spots at Gumma or Talarm. Macksville is renowned for its food – delicious macadamia nut products, award-winning sausages, hamburgers too big to get your mouth around, chocolates, delicious ice creams and old-fashioned lollies. The heritage of the area is evident in the Pioneer Cottage and two turn-of-the-century hotels.
The village of Taylors Arm is reputed to be the location of the famous Slim Dusty song, Pub With No Beer. But don’t be fooled – there’s plenty of cold beer on tap! Soak up the picturesque countryside from the wide verandahs and learn about the early timber and farming industries from the many photographs and artefacts decorating the walls.
The wide peaceful streets of the heritage town of Bowraville were built for bullock teams. Many buildings survive in renovated splendour from the town’s heyday in the early 1900s. Bowraville’s Folk Museum is recognised as one of the best in Australia; another must-see is the Frank Partridge VC Military Museum displaying the history of Australian Armed Forces. Cafes, galleries, antiques and collectables - plus friendly locals who enjoy a chat - make historic Bowraville a place to remember.
This sublime unspoilt town is perched above the Nambucca River estuary and offers picturesque views from many vantage points. It is undoubtedly a town with something for everyone: beaches and river lure anglers, surfers, swimmers and boaters; restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, clubs and taverns entice the hungry and give the feeling of eating in a postcard! The history of early settlement is shown in photographs and artefacts at the Headland Museum. Galleries and a public art show display many local talents - visitors are invited to leave their artistic mark on the massive boulders that make up the V-Wall breakwater. If you want to get physical there’s golf, bowls and tennis plus a gym and indoor sports centre – or miles of walking tracks along the river and through the pristine Gordon Park rainforest.
Valla Beach offers an immense expanse of unspoilt beach just a couple of minutes off the Pacific Highway on the northern side of Nambucca Heads. It is the perfect hideaway – long sweeping beaches and breathtaking views will ensure you make a return visit. West of the highway is highly productive Valla Rural. Here the tasty macadamia nut has replaced the red cedar of yesteryear.
Further afield you will discover some localities with weird-sounding names – Congarinni, location of superb wetlands; Missabotti, the link between Bowraville and Bellingen; Burrapine, Thumb Creek and Girralong nestling at the edge of New England National Park, plus many more.
For more information on these or many other activities in the area please call into the
Nambucca Valley Visitor Information Centre where the friendly staff will give you all the information
you need to make your holiday memorable!