Coffs Harbour, New South Wales

Serenity Bay, Coffs Harbour Coast, NSW. © Destination NSW

Coffs Harbour, New South Wales

Located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, the subtropical climate, tranquil rainforests and clean uncrowded beaches of Coffs Harbour make it one of the most popular family holiday destinations on the New South Wales north coast.

The traditional owners of the Coffs Harbour region are the Gumbaynggirr people. Their nation stretches from the Nambucca River in the south to around the Clarence River in the north and to the Great Dividing Range in the west.

Start your exploration of Coffs Harbour with a short drive up to Sealy Lookout in Bruxner Park, northwest of the city, where you’ll enjoy superb views of the city and beaches below from the Forest Sky Pier.

Stroll along the historic old timber jetty and the foreshore promenade in town. Buy fish and chips from the Fishermen's Co-op at the adjacent marina and watch the fishing boats unload their fresh catch. From here, you can walk from the mainland to Muttonbird Island, where there are spectacular 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, islands, marina and mountains.

Coffs Harbour offers plenty of fun activities for all ages. Children will especially love the Big Banana, Butterfly House, Pet Porpoise Pool, Coffs Harbour Zoo and the National Marine Science Centre Aquarium.

If you’re seeking action and adventure, you can learn to surf, swim or paddle-board in clear calm waters, or go kayaking or white-water rafting on the rapids of the Nymboida River. You can take a 4WD tour along forest tracks or explore the countryside on horseback, mountain bike or an exciting beach buggy ride.

The Coffs Coast is also renowned for its excellent fishing. Cast a line from the beach or jetty, or join a fishing charter for a deep-sea fishing adventure.

Soar over the beaches and mountains of the Great Dividing Range on a scenic helicopter flight, or try the thrill of tandem skydiving over the beach.

Warm waters and a rich variety of marine life make Coffs Harbour a delight for scuba divers and snorkellers. South Solitary Island Marine Park is an excellent spot for both beginners and experienced divers. Between May and November watch humpback whales from a headland or lookout, or join a whale-watching cruise for a closer look. You can see dolphins surfing the waves all year round.

If you prefer a slower pace, Coffs Harbour also features many scenic drives, galleries, historic buildings and heritage sites. A series of arts and culture trails link the main towns and attractions. Head into the Coffs Harbour hinterland and along the coastal villages of the northern beaches. There are many national parks, reserves and marine parks surrounding Coffs Harbour where you can enjoy a nature stroll or a longer bush walk. Easy walking tracks start at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre.

Coffs Harbour is located 540 kilometres north of Sydney and approximately 400 kilometres south of Brisbane or 320 kilometres south of the Gold Coast.
Trains operate daily from Sydney and Brisbane and daily flights connect Coffs Harbour with Sydney and other Australian capital cities.

More Australian Ideas