Things to Do in Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour is home to reef and game fishing, white-water rafting and stunning rainforests waiting to be explored. Beautiful pristine beaches are linked by impressive headlands and all offer magical coastline views.
From the Pacific Ocean to lush subtropical rainforests, there are plenty of outdoor activities such as bushwalking, horse riding, scuba diving, swimming, surfing and snorkelling. Coffs has great shopping, restaurants and favourite attractions like the famous Big Banana, Pet Porpoise Pool, Butterfly House, go-karting and more.
Where is it and how do you get there?
Coffs Harbour is approximately 550 kilometres north of Sydney.
The Casino XPT and the Brisbane XPT both run daily from Sydney and stop at Coffs Harbour.
To check times, use the booking form on the left.
Local bus operators run regular daily services throughout the region. There are also taxis, car hire services and bus tours to nearby attractions.
What to do and see
A visit to Coffs Harbour is not complete without a dip in the ocean. Close to the CBD are the popular Park Beach, Boambee Beach and Jetty Beach with its breakwall providing calm swimming conditions. Just a short drive away are more beaches - Diggers, Campbells, Mid Sapphire, Moonee, Shelley, Emerald, Fiddamans and Sandy Beach. These beaches have great surfing conditions and some have shaded areas.
Between late May and early November, thousands of humpback whales migrate north to breed in warmer waters. Catch a cruise from the Coffs Harbour International Marina for a few hours of whale watching out at sea and get a close look at these amazing creatures while at the same time usually seeing a few playful dolphins. In addition, you can enjoy a dolphin watching cruise throughout summer and all year round visitors are able to play with dolphins at the Pet Porpoise Pool.
Snorkelling is possible in many locations along the expansive coastline and superb dive sites are just a short boat ride away. Swim along side a wide variety of creatures including turtles, tropical fish and the endemic banded anemone fish (Nemo).
If you get excited about boats and fishing, Coffs Harbour is the right destination for you. Head out to one of the best fishing spots on a chartered boat or try your luck with beach and rock fishing. Impress your family and friends by throwing a freshly caught bream or whiting on the barbecue.
Explore the ocean, rivers and creeks around Coffs Harbour by kayak or canoe. Paddle around the unique environment of Solitary Island Marine Park, the largest marine protected area in NSW, or glide across calm waters in Coffs Creek.
For the adventurous, ride the wild rapids while white-water rafting on the Nymboida River in the Coffs Coast hinterland, one of Australia's top white-water rafting rivers. Then try out surf rafting where you join a group on an inflatable rubber raft and surf the ocean swell.
Down the highway at Bonville, there is the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House, Maze and Tearooms where visitors walk amongst hundreds of butterflies in an indoor subtropical rainforest setting.
Hire a car or catch a bus tour and travel through Bellinger Valley to the spectacular Dorrigo National Park encompassing 11,732 hectares. This World Heritage listed national park has an abundance of wildlife including numerous birds that you can experience close up. Visit the Rainforest Centre and take a walk on the Scenic Skywalk which overlooks the valley.
If you love nature, there are several nearby national parks to see. There’s Bindarri National Park with many spectacular waterfalls, Bongil Bongil National Park featuring unspoilt beaches and one of the state's largest koala populations, and Guy Fawkes River National Park which is regarded as a biodiversity hotspot. At the New England National Park, in the evenings, you are likely to see kangaroos, wallabies, several species of gliders and possums and the spotted-tailed quoll.
No visit to Coffs Harbour is complete without a stroll to and short climb over Muttonbird Island. Home to thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters, also known as muttonbirds, the island is a protected Nature Reserve.
If golf is your thing, enjoy a round at the acclaimed Bonville International Golf Resort, consistently voted as the most beautiful golf course in Australia.
For those who crave a little culture, visit the many galleries and museums. The Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery hosts travelling exhibitions as well as works by local and regional artists. The Coffs Harbour Regional Museum features a large collection of existing and new items of historical significance from the local region. The Bunker Cartoon Gallery, located in a restored WW2 underground bunker, is a funky gallery featuring the largest private collection of contemporary cartoons in the Southern Hemisphere. Surfing enthusiasts will enjoy the Legends Surf Museum where surfing traditions are celebrated.
Whether you've worked up an appetite by lying on the beach or completing a vigorous bushwalk, there are a great range of restaurants from funky cosmopolitan-style cafés and bistros to wineries and markets where you can dine on superlative seafood and fresh produce ripened in the warm subtropical sunshine.