Odd + Quirky Facts on… Macleay Valley

Captain Cook named Smoky Cape in 1770 due to the smoke emitted by fires on the headland. The hills were an important meeting place for local indigenous tribes and the fires were likely to have been created from such a gathering.


Kempsey has been home to Akubra since 1974. The town holds the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people wearing Akubra hats (1,912 people in 2012).

The Macleay Valley has over 100,000 hectares of National Parks, State Forests, wetlands and rainforest.

Slim Dusty
Image of Slim Dusty at his childhood home by C John Elliott

Australia’s King of Country, Slim Dusty was born in Nulla Nulla Creek in 1927. His childhood home, ‘Homewood’ is now heritage-listed.

Founder of Milo, Tom Mayne on his 90th birthday. Image courtesy of Nestle

Milo was first developed in Smithtown in 1934 and is still produced here. These days Milo can be found in 40 countries worldwide.

Kempsey Courthouse
Courthouse image by Kristy Forche-Baird

Kempsey’s National Heritage Courthouse was used for scenes in the movie, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. The film was adapted from a book by renowned Aussie author Thomas Kenneally – who grew up in Kempsey.