Harrington (pop. app. 1600), surrounded by river, ocean and Crowdy Bay National Park, is ideally situated, just 13km off the Pacific Highway at the Northern mouth of the Manning River — a beautiful section of the NSW Holiday Coast midway between Port Macquarie and Forster, just 320 km North of Sydney.
Harrington offers ideal recreation activities, with the breakwall, beaches, headland, boat harbour and river.
Clean, unpolluted and unspoilt, Harrington offers the ideal destination to get away from it all!
In 1770 Captain Cook, while sailing up the eastern coast of NSW, noted that he sighted smoke from numerous campfires, but at the time he actually failed to see the mouth of the Manning River. It was not until 1818 that a fast flowing opening to the sea halted a surveyor by the name of John Oxley, who was travelling down the coast on foot, with surf crashing onto a sandbar. Not realising that this, and a wide inlet beyond, was the northern mouth of a river, he named the area Harrington Inlet after a British Earl.
The sandbar has influenced Harrington's maritime history. After many attempts it was crossed and the river surveyed in 1827, and with this survey and reports of rich country suitable for tropical crops, settlers arrived.
Harrington and the unpredictable bar at the entrance to the Manning River became the key to not only the area's survival, but also the lives and fortunes of many residents and traders in the Manning Valley. Vessels have foundered or been wrecked and many lives lost whilst attempting to enter or leave the river.
By the early 1920's power-fishing boats came into force and the fisherman at Crowdy Head started sending the fish to Sydney on the newly laid railway. The harbour was upgraded with protective sea walls, wharves, a Co-operative and a slipway. By the mid 1950's Crowdy became more accessible, more people arrived and the little fishing village reformed its school which was originally opened in1902. The first land auctions in Crowdy Head were held in 1958.