Coffs Harbour

Fishing fleet, Ken Stepnell / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 47710

Coffs Harbour, a subtropical holiday town on Coffs Coast, is known for its banana plantations (and the iconic Big Banana) and for its great fishing. The combination of great weather, stunning hinterland forests, sandy beaches and a growing cosmopolitan centre make it a popular spot for tourists seeking fun and relaxation.

Visitor Information

Corner Pacific Hwy and McLean St, Coffs Harbour; (02) 6648 4990 or 1300 369 070

Nearby national parks

  • Dorrigo National Park

    Perched on the edge of the dramatic New England escarpment, Dorrigo National Park, with its high mist-shrouded plateau descending to...more

  • Yuraygir National Park

    Yuraygir National Park protects the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in New South Wales, a glorious sweep of beaches backed by...more

  • Hat Head National Park

    Hat Head National Park, a beautiful stretch of New South Wales' northern coastline, with pristine beaches, rocky headlands and one of...more

Nearby towns

  • Woolgoolga

    'Woopi' (as it is affectionately known to locals) is a charming and relaxed seaside town with a significant Sikh population. Punjabi...more

  • Urunga

    Urunga is a sleepy, attractive town at the junction of the Bellinger and Kalang rivers and is regarded by locals as one of the best fishing...more

  • Bellingen

    Bellingen is an attractive tree-lined town on the banks of the Bellinger River, surrounded by rich pasturelands. Traditionally serving dairy...more

In Town

Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve Visitors can get an up-close look at the life cycle of one of Australia's most interesting migratory birds. The wedge-tailed shearwaters (muttonbirds) fly thousands of kilometres from South-East Asia each August, with large numbers settling at Muttonbird Island to breed. A walking trail winds through the burrows of the birds, which can be seen Aug–Apr. Muttonbird Island is also a vantage point for whale-watching June–Nov and is a great place for fishing and picnics. Access is via a 500 m walk along the sea wall from the harbour.

Bunker Cartoon Gallery: largest private collection of cartoons in the Southern Hemisphere, housed in a WW II bunker; City Hill; (02) 6651 7343.

Legends Surf Museum: displays of classic photography, videos and equipment; Gaudrons Rd; (02) 6653 6536.

Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery: varied program of contemporary art exhibitions; Cnr Coff and Duke sts;

(02) 6648 4863. 10am–4pm Tue–Sat.

Coffs Harbour International Marina: departure point for fishing charters, scuba diving and whale-watching trips (June–Nov); Marina Dr; (02) 6651 4222.

North Coast Regional Botanical Gardens: rainforest, mangrove boardwalks, herbarium and diverse birdlife; Hardacre St; (02) 6648 4188.

Pet Porpoise Pool: performing dolphins and seals with research and nursery facilities; Orlando St; (02) 6659 1900; open 9am–4pm every day.

Self-guide walks: include Jetty Walk and Coffs Creek Walk; maps from visitor centre.


Big Banana Large banana-shaped landmark with displays on the banana industry, giant water slides and toboggan rides; 351 Pacific Hwy; (02) 6652 4355; open 9am–4.30pm every day; 4 km N.

Bindarri National Park Not for the unseasoned bushwalker, Bindarri National Park is a largely untouched forest without facilities, but amazing views reward those who make the effort. The headwaters of the Urumbilum River form breathtaking waterfalls in a remote and rugged setting. Pockets of old-growth forest are scattered across the plateau and rich rainforest protects the steeper slopes. While there are no campgrounds, backpack camping is allowed and there are bushwalking trails to follow; (02) 6652 0900; 20 km W.

Clog Barn: Dutch village with clog-making; Pacific Hwy; (02) 6652 4633; 2 km N.

Bruxner Park Flora Reserve: dense tropical jungle area of vines, ferns and orchids with bushwalking trails, picnic area and Sealy Lookout; Korora; Bruxner Park Rd, Korora; (02) 6652 8900; 9 km NW.

Butterfly House: enclosed subtropical garden with live native and exotic butterflies; 5 Strouds Rd, Bonville; (02) 6653 4766; open 9am–4pm daily; 9 km S.

Adventure tours: include whitewater rafting, canoeing, reef-fishing, diving, horseriding through rainforest, surf rafting, skydiving, helicopter flights, go-karting and surf schools; see visitor centre for brochures and bookings.

Fishing spots near town

Coffs Harbour - Fishing Sub-region 3 km

My introduction to fishing north of Sydney was at Coffs Harbour, an area with a diverse range of options. The first time I fished here I was into land-based game and spent most of my time on the ledges of Mutton Bird... Find out more

South-West Rocks 64 km

When it comes to popularity, there are two types of fishing destinations: those that are hot all the time and those that wax and wane depending on the season. South West Rocks is in the first category. For as long as I... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Bush-tucker tasting - Macksville 49 km

Sample some Australian bushfoods at Valley of the Mist near Macksville, a farm dedicated to sustainable methods. You will taste bush fruits, nuts, herbs and condiments and have a tour of the farm. You can also take a... Find out more

Houseboating on the Macleay River 91 km

Although large chugging houseboats can be an environmental no-no, Macleay River Houseboats at Kempsey are small – designed for just two people – use relatively clean four-stroke petrol motors, have... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Bonville Golf Resort 10 km

Bonville is Australia’s most beautiful inland course. Carved from 250 hectares of flooded gums and blackbutt forest, with small pockets of subtropical rainforest, Bonville is often described as Australia’s... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Fiasco Ristorante + Bar

Experience the best northern Italian cuisine on the central coast at Caffe Fiasco. The proprietors are passionate about sharing their heritage and utilising the best local produce for their culinary creations, such as... Find out more

Ocean Front Brasserie

Overlooking the jetty and one of the coast’s best surfing spots, the Coffs Harbour Deep Sea Fishing Club’s brasserie more than lives up to its name, with panoramic oceanfront views. Order a seafood platter... Find out more

Shearwater Restaurant

Perched overlooking Coffs Creek, it’s easy to see why this venue is so popular for weddings. Shearwater’s picturesque location and contemporary cuisine provide the perfect combination for a festive occasion.... Find out more

Campsites around town

Sawtell Beach Holiday Park 8 km

This well-appointed caravan park is on Lyons Rd, about 8 km south of Coffs Harbour. You’ve got easy access to the beach and a wide range of accommodation options, including powered and unpowered sites, villas and... Find out more

Bush camping areas 10 km

Self-sufficient campers armed with detailed, up-to-date topographic maps can access a number of good spots throughout the forest, either on foot, horseback or mountain-bike.... Find out more

Bindarri camping areas (walk-in and bush camping) 18 km

Walk-in bush camping is possible throughout the park – facilities such as toilets, picnic tables and wood fireplaces are only available at Bindarray and Bangalore picnic areas, so you’ll need to be... Find out more

Station Creek camping area 40 km

This is a popular spot in peak periods, positioned by a peaceful creek with access through the sand dunes to the beach. Bring a canoe and go for a paddle, or set out on the Corkwood and Scribbly Gum Walk (1.5 km, 1 hr... Find out more

The Junction camping area 41 km

Take the Black Mountain Rd south from Nymboida, Glenreagh or Lowanna and turn onto Junction Rd, a 1.4 km unsealed road suitable for 4WDs only – unless you’re prepared to walk or paddle in. Once there,... Find out more

Pebbly Beach camping area 41 km

This is a top spot in a bay north of Station Creek Beach, with 60 campsites surrounded by banksias and horse-tail she-oaks. Sites are large and spread out behind the beach. There is a pleasant walk north to Freshwater... Find out more

Platypus Flat camping area 42 km

Perched on the banks of the Nymboida River, just off Moonpar Forest Dr, Platypus Flat provides tent sites in a grassy clearing beneath blue gums and river oaks, a short walk from your car. There are fabulous swimming... Find out more

Cod Hole picnic and camping area 44 km

This is a popular spot for picnickers and whitewater rafters, located at the end of Cod Hole Rd via Moses Rock Rd, off Moonpar Forest Dr. Take a relaxing dip in the river, launch your kayak or stop in for a picnic midway... Find out more

Boorkoom camping area 55 km

In the southern section of Yuraygir National Park, small and secluded Boorkoom is north of Wooli near Diggers Camp. The 10 campsites here aren’t suitable for caravans or camper trailers; access is via the unsealed... Find out more

Diggers Headland Reserve Camping Ground 56 km

There are up to 26 camping sites here, tucked in among coastal banksias, only a stone’s throw from the beach. To get here, follow Diggers Camp Rd off Wooli Rd, about 12 km north of Wooli. It’s a pretty basic... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Park Beach Holiday Park 2 km

This is a large beachfront council park 4 km from the centre of town and close to the popular jetty precinct. The park boasts a wide range of facilities, including cabins, amenities blocks, a water park and an inground... Find out more

Sapphire Beach Holiday Park 8 km

A lovely, shady beachside park south of Moonee Beach, 9 km north of Coffs Harbour. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas and Easter. Pets are only allowed in the off-peak... Find out more

Sawtell Beach Holiday Park 9 km

This large, spacious park has a wonderful outlook over the ocean and is just a short walk from Sawtell shopping centre. A pool is just across the road. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay... Find out more

Moonee Beach Holiday Park 10 km

This popular beachfront caravan park has basic facilities, but does have a tennis court and open grassy sites with views out to sea. Swimming is good, as are the nature walks around the reserve. Bookings are required in... Find out more

Big4 Emerald Beach Holiday Park 16 km

This is a quality park with comprehensive facilities and excellent amenities. It is located in a picturesque beachside location, with good access to the Pacific Highway. Swimming, surfing and fishing are all popular... Find out more

Woolgoolga Beach Caravan Park 22 km

This popular beachfront park is 100 metres from the centre of town, next to the surf club with views out to sea. There are good amenities but no unpowered sites. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length... Find out more

Urunga Heads Holiday Park 24 km

On the river estuary at Urunga, this park is an excellent overnight stop. It is far enough off the highway to be quiet and has an excellent outlook, with a shopping centre nearby. The park is busy in peak periods and... Find out more

NRMA Darlington Beach Resort & Holiday Park 29 km

This popular park has very good quality facilities. It offers absolute beach frontage, a restaurant, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, outdoor bowling area and archery range. Bookings are required in peak periods... Find out more

The Lorikeet Tourist Park 29 km

This wonderful park has excellent facilities, including a games room and tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. It is easily accessible from the highway, with good access to long stretches of beach. Bookings are... Find out more

White Albatross Holiday Centre 40 km

This is a quality park in a prime position next to a lagoon and near the mouth of the Nambucca River. It boasts a very good restaurant as well as a range of other features. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Breakfree Aanuka Beach

This resort is an award-winning oasis with absolute beachfront status on secluded Diggers Beach, surrounded by hectares of lush bushland. There is a wide variety of contemporary accommodation options, including studios,... Find out more

Sante Fe Luxury B&B

Sante Fe has mastered the fine art of casual elegance with individually themed guest suites in three distinctive styles nestled on 2.5 hectares of property that includes a 13-metre saltwater pool, a huge lagoon and a... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Lily Pily Country House, Bellingen 30 km

The owners of this stylish B&B have spent seven years revegetating and securing wildlife corridors along the riparian zone here, planting some 4000 trees and 2000 reeds, resulting in an increase in bandicoots,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Woolgoolga rest area 22 km

At Woolgoolga

Just off the highway in the middle of town.

Halfway Creek rest area 40 km

26km N of Woolgoolga (R) or 34km S of Grafton (L)

Large grassed area just off the highway behind the roadhouse.

Gumma Reserve camping area 47 km

T/O at Macksville

Large campground located 7km (partly unsealed) east of the highway via Partridge St, Wills St and Gumma Rd.

Macksville park area 49 km

At Macksville

Just off the highway on the north side of the river.

Glenugie Creek rest area 58 km

45km N of Woolgoolga (L) or 15km S of Grafton (R)

Just off the highway behind a few trees.

Paddys rest area 62 km

39km N of Kempsey (L) or 45km S of Urunga (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

McPhillips Creek rest area 62 km

50km N of Woolgoolga (R) or 10km S of Grafton (L)

Just off the highway behind a few trees.

Maclean park area 92 km

At Maclean

Small area on the riverbank just off the highway at Ferry Park Café.

Lollback rest area 96 km

115km E of Glen Innes (R) or 45km W of Grafton (L)

Just off the highway with good views over the Mann River.

What's on around town

Growers market: Harbour Dr; Thurs Nov–Mar.

Market: jetty, Harbour Dr; Sun.

Uptown Market: Vernon St; Sun.

Pittwater and Coffs Harbour Offshore Series: yachting; Jan.

Sawtell Chilli Festival: July.

International Buskers and Comedy Festival: Sept–Oct.

Food and Wine Festival: Oct.

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