Best Kept Food & Drink Secrets for the Macleay Valley Coast

Sam and Amanda Preston | Kempsey

Owners of Kempsey’s own Bucket Brewery, Sam and Amanda Preston have watched the Macleay Valley food and drink scene blossom since they were kids growing up in Kempsey.

Here, the knowledgeable couple share some of their preferred places to eat and drink in their home region:

1. Visit Bucket Brewery!

Visit Bucket Brewery! Yes, this is a shameless plug, but our own venue provides regular live music and food events in Kempsey and, outside of these events, welcomes visitors with a large variety of beers – all brewed on site. Patrons can get up close to the brewing process and enjoy a beer amongst the tanks or outside overlooking the Macleay River.

2. The Seabreeze Hotel in South West Rocks

The Seabreeze Hotel in South West Rocks is an impressive pub that lives up to its name. This place has an unbeatable location overlooking Horseshoe Bay and is one of the best venues in the Macleay to catch live music.

3. Pandanus is a nice little bar hidden out the back of a dress shop of the same name in Creso

Pandanus is a nice little bar hidden out the back of a dress shop of the same name in Creso. Serves excellent food, wine, cocktails and – of course – our beer!

4. The deck of the Garden Bar & Restaurant overlooks the Macleay River & the Frederickton

The deck of the Garden Bar & Restaurant overlooks the Macleay River and the Frederickton – a view definitely worthy of enjoying with a beer! Add to this their amazing food (and live music on Sundays) and you can stay here for hours.

5. Our pick for delicious pizza in South West Rocks is the Pilot Station Pizza

Our pick for delicious pizza in South West Rocks is the Pilot Station Pizza. It’s run by a local family who are very active in the community and provide awesome service.

6. For something a bit different, we like to drive up-river & do some bass fishing

For something a bit different, we like to drive up-river and do some bass fishing, finishing the day off with a beer at the Bellbrook Hotel. It’s a classic old-fashioned country pub with a great atmosphere.

7. If you organise it right, you can enjoy an eight-kilometre walk from the Lighthouse to Trial Bay in South West Rocks

If you organise it right, you can enjoy an eight-kilometre walk from the Lighthouse to Trial Bay in South West Rocks and reward yourself with a beer and really good food at the Trial Bay Kiosk.

8. The architecturally designed surf club in Crescent Head often holds Sunday Sipping Sessions

The architecturally designed surf club in Crescent Head often holds Sunday Sipping Sessions with amazing surroundings and a view to match. You can sip while you watch the surf or the punters floating in the creek. Pretty good way to spend a Sunday arvo.

9. The Gladstone Hotel can always be relied upon to provide good food & regular live music

The Gladstone Hotel can always be relied upon to provide good food and regular live music. The charming historic village of Gladstone on the lower Macleay is always worth a visit.

10. We often find a nice variety of live music acts playing at the Great Northern Hotel in Kempsey

We often find a nice variety of live music acts playing at the Great Northern Hotel in Kempsey. It’s always worth checking out their lineup.

11. Another fun day trip we like to take is out to the Eungai Creek Buffalo Farm Café

Another fun day trip we like to take is out to the Eungai Creek Buffalo Farm Café. Overlooking paddocks filled with buffalo while enjoying lunch is a pretty cool thing to do – especially with kids.

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