This drive starts at Kempsey which is the town which Slim Dusty was born in. Journey into the Upper Macleay where the rolling hills turn to mountains. Take a Willawarrin historic walks brochure with you to learn of the towns pass. See the rolling hills and crystal clear creek at Nulla Nulla as well as the house which Slim Dusty grew up in. A sign at the front of the property enlightens visitors of the musician, press the button to have Slim talk about his memories of living at Melody Ranch. Next place to visit is the Heritage Trust Village of Bellbrook, formerly a timber getting town with historic hotel made from Red Cedar cut from Nulla Nulla. Take a Bellbrook historic walks brochure with you to learn more about the town. Westward 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 known as Blackbird Flat, suitable for car based camping but no towing or large vehicles past Bellbrook. Blackbird Flat has pit toilets and is pet friendly. Continue up the Great Dividing Range to Armidale or return back to Kempsey.
Follow these instructions to enjoy the Slim Dusty Way Scenic Drive:
180kms bitumen and some gravel.
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 accross 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. Continue west about 20kms along the Armidale Rd to Blackbird Flat picnic area for a BBQ or a swim in the Macleay River. Return to Kempsey back along Armidale Rd.
For the latest brochures and drive maps on all drives in the Macleay Valley Coast see our brochure download page.
Other recommended things to do
Anne Kirkpatrick: “why I Love The Macleay Valley Hinterland”
If there’s anyone who can shed … Continued