Travel opens your eyes to many wonderful places and regions and we in Australia are lucky enough to be well and truly spoilt for choice. Be it the open desert or outback spaces, the mighty High Country or our stunning coastal expanses, the list of potential favourites is endless. Just like a really good song list or your selection of top movies, favourite destinations can be almost unlimited and varied. However if that special place keeps calling you back year after year and the length of your stays keeps getting longer then I believe you have a winner – your favourite spot.
For me a favourite is a very easy call to make, it’s a small coastal village on the NSW mid North Coast called Hat Head, the why is a little harder to answer. At first it was the quality of fishing that attracted my attention and that remains a key ingredient for sure but over time and many visits it has become the simple solitude and natural beauty of this no frills village and surrounds that now make my annual pilgrimage a real joy.
Hat Head can be found tucked away between Crescent Head to the south, SW Rocks to the north and Kempsey to the west, the new upgraded Pacific Highway does not have a direct exit to the Hat, in fact roads signs that even mention Hat Head are few and only found when you are getting close. The one road into the village is fine and fully sealed but it goes just to the Hat and then stops. SW Rocks and Kempsey are both around 20 – 25 minutes away and as large regional centres will most likely have all that you may need.
The small village of Hat Head located in the lea of the large headland which when viewed from a distance in particular from the sea looks very much like a large bush hat, hence the name. The town is small in every sense, a selection of holiday rental homes and cottages mixed in with the permanent locals, throw in a great caravan park, a bowling club and two small general stores and you are done. Add a surf club that opens in season, a boat ramp and fish cleaning table and couple of tennis courts and kids’ playground and the picture is complete.