- /ˈkɛmpsi/ (say 'kempsee)
a town and shire on the north coast of NSW, on the Macleay River.
The Kempsey district is in territory traditionally inhabited by the Dhangadi people. European exploration dates from the 1820s. Kempsey began in 1836 beside the punt over the Macleay River as a private village and port to serve squatters and cedar-cutters. The government town was officially laid out on the north bank in 1856 and became the port and administrative centre for the Macleay valley. A large housing-commission estate was built in the 1950s at a time of general rapid growth. Today Kempsey's wide river flats support poplar plantations and the town is the location of the Akubra hat factory. Recent decades have seen its rapid growth as a resort and retirement centre.
Australian English dictionary. 2014.
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