Set on the banks of the Macleay River and only about 17km from the coast, Kempsey is a busy commercial centre in the Macleay Valley region. It’s located about 430km north of Sydney, between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.

Kempsey is a thriving river town and famous as the birthplace of country music legend Slim Dusty and Akubra Hats, Australia’s iconic hat brand. You can immerse yourself in nature and wander along the banks of the mighty Macleay River, dine at one of the many quality local restaurants or cafés, or discover native plants and experience local Aboriginal culture in the Wigay Aboriginal Cultural Park.

In Kempsey you can enjoy the best of country living while still having easy access to beautiful beaches and larger regional centres.

Living and working in the Kempsey area

The Kempsey area is well connected by road, rail and air.

Google Maps: Kempsey, NSW.


Kempsey is located 430km north of Sydney on the Pacific Highway (4.5-hour drive) and a similar distance from Brisbane (490km, 5.5-hour drive).

Coach services including Greyhound and Premier Motor Service travelling from Sydney stop in Kempsey along the Pacific Highway.


NSW Trainlink operates 3-4 services per day between Kempsey and Sydney in each direction (6-hour journey).


Both Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie (to the north and south of Kempsey respectively) have an airport, serviced by Qantaslink and Virgin Australia.

Schools in this area are dedicated to the delivery of quality learning and play a key role in the local community.

To learn more about local clubs, sporting teams and personal interest groups, refer to the community service directory, maintained with the support of Kempsey Shire Council.

  • Telstra has strong 5G and 4G service coverage in Kempsey, with Optus and Vodafone offering 4G bandwidth.
  • Check availability of NBN at your address here.


Kempsey has an excellent country CBD with plenty of great shops, op-shops, cafes and retailers. You’ll also find Kempsey Central shopping centre on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Belgrave Street.

You can access this useful guide for more tips on shopping hotspots in the surrounding region.


Kempsey offers a good range of dining options, including:

For up to date listings, please refer to:

More information

For more information please contact EdConnect.

  • Existing employees of the department, phone 1300 32 32 32 (select option 3) or log an online enquiry.
  • New applicants to the department, phone 1300 30 04 98.

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