Think you've never heard of us? You're probably wrong... it's just our new destination brand name.

The short answer:

The Barrington Coast is on the lower mid north coast of New South Wales Australia, located between Port Stephens and Port Macquarie.

It’s been the destination brand name of MidCoast Council since August 2018 and includes the regions of Great Lakes, Manning Valley, Gloucester and Barrington Tops… from the mountains to the sea.

And it's a tourism brand that's winning awards for visitor servicing and tourism marketing:

  • NSW Tourism Awards 2021: 1 x Gold, 1 x Silver
  • NSW Tourism Awards 2022: 2 Gold
  • Australian Tourism Awards 2022: Silver
NSW Tourism Awards 2022 double Gold

Are you curious about our name?

We get it; you're confused, maybe even a little skeptical, maybe even a little annoyed at another change when you're feeling nostalgic and craving stability.

So here's the deal...

Can you think big picture?

Everything that you’re familiar with has grown: The thin coastal strip that you’ve holidayed on for generations; the cosy country valley with those curious cows; the winding river bend with the perfect campsite; the high forests with waterfalls tumbling into mist; plus those sandy trails beneath the cabbage palms along coastal lake shores.

They’ve all grown up and become part of something bigger than before: the Barrington Coast.

The Barrington Coast on the NSW lower mid north coast stretches more than 75km inland to Barrington Tops.
The Barrington Coast on the NSW lower mid north coast stretches more than 75km inland to Barrington Tops.

No, it’s not named after a rural village (sorry Barrington)

And no, it’s not named after a coastal city (sorry Coffs Coast) and not a cold hard gem (sorry Gold Coast and sorry Sapphire Coast) and not a non-specific position on a map (sorry Central Coast, sorry North Coast and sorry South Coast).

Instead it’s named after the highest point on our vast coastline, world-famous Barrington Tops: famous for world heritage Gondwana wilderness; famous for being the highest point of the country outside the Snowy Mountains; and famous for seeing snow close to the coast.

Yes, that’s about 75km from the sea, did we tell you that we are big, very big?

Fun fact!

The Barrington Coast is almost 3 times the size of metropolitan Sydney! (That's 10,000 square kms vs 3,600 square kms.)

But don't be confused by the area of 'Greater Sydney' (= 12,300 square kms) because that includes the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour!

The Barrington Coast compared to metropolitan Sydney
The Barrington Coast compared to metropolitan Sydney

How big is the Barrington Coast?

The Barrington Coast region spans 10,053 kms² on the lower mid north coast of New South Wales: from world heritage Barrington Tops wilderness to the glittering Pacific Ocean.

And it’s the new tourism destination brand for some very familiar destinations within it: the Great Lakes, Manning Valley, Gloucester and the Barrington Tops plateau.

Greater Sydney vs metropolitan Sydney.
Greater Sydney vs metropolitan Sydney.

Fun fact about MidCoast!

Did you know there's a tourism destination called MidCoast in the USA state of Maine? And if our American friends are reading this... hello to those MidCoast of Maine residents of Brunswick, Bath, Rockland and Belfast!

Visit them here:

No, we're not MidCoast of Maine, USA.
No, we're not MidCoast of Maine, USA.

Why not just Mid North Coast?

Yes, we’re still located on the mid north coast of New South Wales. But there's always been confusion about where our region fits on the north coast because we don’t own the mid north coast name.

From a tourism perspective MidCoast Council is the southernmost local government area of the NSW north coast. (Port Stephens is considered in the Hunter region). And we share the mid north coast subregion with the LGAs of Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey, Nambucca, Bellingen and Coffs Harbour.

Our correct geographic location of lower mid north coast also covers Laurieton, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, South West Rocks, Macksville and Nambucca Heads. Meanwhile the upper mid north coast covers Urunga, Bellingen, Sawtell, Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga.

So how about we use Lower Mid North Coast?

Yuk. That’s a really long and clunky brand name. More importantly, it just doesn't work for websites, social media or any type of digital marketing: it's just too long.

And the question for our target markets would still remain: the mid north coast of where? New South Wales or Queensland or Western Australia? New Zealand or California? And we're not the MidCoast of Maine USA.

So we’re sorry-not-sorry to say that Mid North Coast was not a good brand name for us: It is just misleading for our past customers and for prospective customers too.

This is all about tourism marketing and for tourism marketing purposes, the destination name had to be the [Something] Coast, and preferably one simple word.

The research and strategic analysis conducted for the MidCoast Council Destination Management Plan (November 2017) states the case for a single new brand name and in August 2018 MidCoast Council adopted the recommended tourism destination brand name of Barrington Coast.

Regional Development Australia mid north coast map: this is why we can't be 'Mid North Coast' for tourism marketing.
Regional Development Australia mid north coast map: this is why we can't be 'Mid North Coast' for tourism marketing.

The Sapphire Coast

And for comparison, the last time a new tourism destination brand was created from scratch by a local council was in 1981 when the newly-merged Bega Valley Council created the Sapphire Coast brand name.

They didn't call it the Bermagui Coast, nor the Merimbula Coast, nor the Eden Coast. And not even the Bega Coast.

Instead they had the foresight to create a destination name that's strong and unique for the southern New South Wales coastline that didn’t rely on a town name.

And that's been a raging success story!

A unique identifier for our vast region

Water, water, everywhere...

Our destination positioning statement (yes, that's marketing jargon but it's essential) is inspired by the Aboriginal description of our region - “the place where the leaves touch the waters from the mountains to the sea.” Our longest river is the Manning River and its journey from high in Barrington Tops to the Pacific Ocean at Harrington is 261km plus our destination is very big at 10,053 kms².

So it’s important to include all our region beyond the thin strip of "on the coast" that makes up just 9% of our destination.

The new destination name Barrington Coast is a unique identifier, which no other destination in Australia can own in the marketplace. While it’s a small part of the overall brand strategy, the name provides us with an opportunity to bring increased attention to our region with a clean, uncluttered starting point on Google and other search engines.

In a 21st century era of digital marketing this huge benefit cannot be emphasised enough… it means we didn’t have to buy our way onto the first page of Google search results. This was an immediate saving for ratepayers.

Our new destination name also leverages our two best-known attributes in a perfect marriage: our 191km coastline from Port Stephens to Crowdy Bay with the world famous mountain range of Barrington Tops. Barrington Coast offers the ability to connect and bring to life the stories of all the places within a diverse and vibrant region.

Importantly, Barrington Coast doesn’t replace the use of existing names such as Great Lakes, Manning Valley, Gloucester or Barrington Tops. Instead it provides an umbrella name that sits across all four.

Social media stars

Since the brand name launch over five years ago, we’ve become exceptionally popular on social media. Here’s proof:

  • Facebook followers grew from 59,193 at April 2019 to 91,064 at May 2024 (=54% growth)
  • Instagram followers grew from 14,283 at April 2019 to 58,944 at May 2024 (=313% growth)

So our total social media audience at May 2024 is now 150,000 people.

That gives Barrington Coast the 2nd biggest social media audiences for any tourism destination on the north coast (after Byron Bay).

Now that's impressive for a new destination brand.

PS. And now the Sapphire Coast is our closest competitor on the social media leaderboard at May 2024, with an audience total of 110,000.

So we hope that your confusion becomes curiosity. And we suggest you indulge your curiosity, seek the road less travelled and take delight in the wonders of our region.

Adventure is calling. See where your curiosity can take you in the Barrington Coast.

Instagram: For the curious