Nambucca Valley (map) is a local government area noted for its scenery and surf. The traditional inhabitants were the Gumbaynggir and (or) Dainggatti people. The name derives from a Gumbaynggir term meaning 'entrance to the waters'.

While Europeans reached the Nambucca River by 1818 in search of escaped convicts, the region was not formerly noted till 1820 when explorer John Oxley surveyed the estuary. Cedar-getting began on the Nambucca River by 1842. The first settler was a man named Lane who established a ferry service across the river. By the 1860s cedar-getting was joined by the cultivation of maize. In the 1880s the area grew rapidly; a wharf, school, sawmills and hotel were established. By 1885 the village of Nambucca had been proclaimed; local government was established in 1915.

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