The village of Clarence Town is the only major urban population centre in the Clarence Town Planning District. Clarence Town is located 55km north of Newcastle, 32km north of Maitland and 27km north of Raymond Terrace.
The district was first settled by white settlers following the visit of Lieutenant Colonel Paterson, who travelled up the river now known as the Williams River from its junction with the Hunter at Raymond Terrace to the termination of navigable waters just above the present site of Clarence Town in 1801.
The town of Dungog is the principal urban settlement in the Dungog Planning District. Dungog is located 244km north of Sydney, 79km north of Newcastle and 55km north of Maitland.
The Gringai tribe resided in the general Dungog area prior to the first white settlement in the early 1800’s. The first white men in the area were thought to be searching for lost stock. They were followed by timber getters, attracted by the magnificent cedar trees in the area’s hills.
Gresford and East Gresford are two small settlements separated by 2 km. They make an obvious base for an exploration of the area to the north where you will find lovely Allynbrook, Lostock Dam, Mt Allyn and the mountainous terrain of Chichester State Forest and Barrington Tops.
East Gresford, on the main road to Maitland, is 196 km north of Sydney and 39 km north of Maitland.
The village of Paterson is the largest urban centre in Paterson Planning District, and the earliest recorded settlement in the Dungog Shire. Paterson is located 61 km north of Newcastle and 19 km north of Maitland, and is situated on the Paterson River below its confluence with the Allyn.
In the early 1800’s Susannah Ward surrendered 90 acres of her estate for the purpose of establishing a town, and the settlers petitioned the Government for a wharf, which became the focal point around which Paterson grew.
Vacy, 9 km north of Paterson, and located 184 km north of Sydney and 27 km north of Maitland, appears a very small collection of residences on the roadside in the middle of nowhere. To the west is Mt George (452 m), to the north is Mt Breckin and looming over the town to the south is Mt Johnstone (341 m).
Vacy came into existence around 1828 as a private township established by the Cory family. John Cory Sr came out from England with his sons Edward and John Jr in 1823 and they soon received grants in the area.