Kempsey, New South Wales facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Kempsey
NSW
Population: 10,374
Postcode: 2440
Elevation: 2.3 m (8 ft)
Mayor: Liz Cambell
Location: 345 km (214 mi) from Sydney
LGA: Kempsey Shire
Region: Mid North Coast
Parish: All Saints Catholic Parish
State District: Oxley
Federal Division: Cowper
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
38 °C
100 °F
1 °C
34 °F
1,220.5 mm
48.1 in

Kempsey is a town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia and is the council seat for Kempsey Shire. It is located 15 kilometres inland from the coast of the Pacific Ocean where the Pacific Highway and the North Coast railway line cross the Macleay River. It is roughly 345 kilometres north of Sydney.

Kempsey history

European settlement

Enoch William Rudder is credited with founding the settlement. He arrived from Birmingham in 1834 and bought land on the southern bank of the river in 1836, at what was then the limit of authorized settlement (the boundary of County Macquarie). He was initially attracted by red cedar cutting opportunities but planned also to profit by selling parts of his land. He had riverside blocks surveyed and established a private town, with the first blocks sold in November 1836. He called it Kempsey because the surrounding areas reminded him of the Kempsey Valley in Worcestershire. The collapse in red cedar prices in the early 1840s nearly led to the failure of the town.

The main (and most flood-prone) part of Kempsey was founded by John Verge, sub-dividing a grant on the flood-plain opposite Rudder's settlement. In 1854, a government town was surveyed at West Kempsey and government facilities moved there when it became clear that no town would form around the police station and courthouse at Belgrave Falls. Rudder's settlement was renamed East Kempsey.

Kempsey initially flourished as a centre for logging and sawmilling. Large reserves of Australian red cedar Toona australis, sold in Britain and the USA (as 'Indian mahogany') were extracted down until the 1920s, and with greater difficulty until the 1960s, by which time the resource was effectively exhausted. Dairying was the major industry in the area until the 1960s, with a Nestlé Milo factory at nearby Smithtown, and several cheese and butter factories.

Climate

Climate data for Kempsey (Kempsey Wide Street, 1882–2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 43.0
(109.4)
46.4
(115.5)
39.5
(103.1)
36.5
(97.7)
31.0
(87.8)
27.5
(81.5)
28.2
(82.8)
34.5
(94.1)
36.1
(97)
39.9
(103.8)
42.6
(108.7)
41.0
(105.8)
46.4
(115.5)
Average high °C (°F) 29.2
(84.6)
28.8
(83.8)
27.8
(82)
25.5
(77.9)
22.6
(72.7)
20.0
(68)
19.7
(67.5)
21.3
(70.3)
24.0
(75.2)
25.6
(78.1)
27.1
(80.8)
28.5
(83.3)
25.0
(77)
Average low °C (°F) 17.7
(63.9)
17.9
(64.2)
16.6
(61.9)
13.3
(55.9)
9.7
(49.5)
7.1
(44.8)
5.7
(42.3)
6.3
(43.3)
9.0
(48.2)
11.8
(53.2)
14.4
(57.9)
16.6
(61.9)
12.2
(54)
Record low °C (°F) 8.3
(46.9)
11.0
(51.8)
6.6
(43.9)
4.5
(40.1)
1.0
(33.8)
-1.8
(28.8)
-1.6
(29.1)
-1.5
(29.3)
0.9
(33.6)
2.8
(37)
4.5
(40.1)
7.4
(45.3)
-1.8
(28.8)
Rainfall mm (inches) 133.1
(5.24)
158.1
(6.224)
151.4
(5.961)
115.3
(4.539)
91.6
(3.606)
99.4
(3.913)
65.2
(2.567)
62.6
(2.465)
55.4
(2.181)
78.0
(3.071)
95.3
(3.752)
110.0
(4.331)
1,217.2
(47.921)
Humidity 60 62 62 60 58 56 53 49 53 55 59 59 57
Avg. precipitation days 11.0 11.6 12.8 10.1 8.8 7.7 6.7 6.5 6.7 8.7 9.8 10.8 111.2
Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Floods

Geographically, Kempsey stretches out around a long loop of the Macleay River at the top of the flood-plain. It is famous for its floods. The 1949 flood was particularly destructive, having washed a large part of the town centre away when the railway viaduct which was acting as a dam-wall due to a build-up of debris against the railway bridge gave way. The area most affected by this flood is now the site of playing fields. The shire council has a policy of buying up land in areas designated as flood plains and many houses have been transported to higher ground in recent years. Other major floods occurred in 1949, 1950, 1963, 2001, 2009, 2013.

Facilities

Government buildings such as the council chambers, library and several offices - are located west of the North Coast Railway line in West Kempsey. This area is not subject to the flooding that the CBD occasionally sees and is seen as a second business district with a variety of businesses and banking facilities. Opened in July 2004, the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, a minimum to medium prison for 500 male and female inmates, is located in Aldavilla, approximately 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) west of Kempsey. There is plans to add extra housing for more inmates by 2020.

Transport

Until a new 14.5 kilometre bypass opened on 27 March 2013, the Pacific Highway passed through Kempsey. The new bypass included a 3.2 kilometre Macleay River Bridge, the longest bridge in Australia.

Kempsey railway station is located on the North Coast line providing a connection to Sydney and Brisbane.


Kempsey, New South Wales Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.