Hat Head is a coastal town on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, just north of Crescent Head and west of Kempsey. It's not large, and is somewhat isolated, but still manages to draw holiday-makers each year.
Activities at Hat Head centre around the natural environment, and the water in particular. Hat Head Beach is one example and offers the familiar beach fun holidayers will be familiar with from many other towns along the coast. That means swimming near the town and beach fishing and driving further away.
From the beach towards Hat Head
Korogoro Creek is another source of fun and has drawn me back to Hat Head when I've been staying at nearby Crescent Head. The calm, clear water here is good for fishing, paddleboarding and kayaking, while the section up near the bridge can be particularly beautiful.
Due to the creek, the town is split into two parts. One side has little more than a few streets, but its side of the river has the best good fishing spots (in m opinion).
The other side of town has Hat Head Caravan Park and the bare minimum facilities that the town offers. These include its few shops and a picnic space along the creek.
Surrounding the town on all sides is Hat Head National Park, which has a variety of walking tracks and lookouts. It also has camping grounds at both ends.
At overcast day, Kemp's Corner felt like another world
Also in the National Park is Smokey Cape Lighthouse, which boasts its own Bed and Breakfast. However, the attraction is closer to South West Rocks, at the other end of the beach, than Hat Head. But along with the lighthouse, it has great views (Captain Cook's Lookout is located at the base, from which it's possible to spot a whale or two from May to October) so it's worth the extra travel.
Also at South West Rocks is Trail Bay Gaol. It was established in 1876 but seems to have spent more time abandoned than it has in use. Today it is one of the area's more popular tourist attractions.
Relics from that gaol's past are on display in its museum
Where: On the Mid North Coast of NSW
When: Since most activities take place outside, the warmer months are best
Cost: The area caters for most budgets, with camping, a holiday park and rental accommodation