7 unexpected outdoor adventures on the Coffs Coast

Where there is a stunning landscape, adventure follows naturally - and nowhere do the thrills come more scenically than along the Coffs Coast.

Destination NSW

Destination NSW

Dec 2022 -
min read

Explore ancient rainforest  

Drive the Waterfall Way from Bellingen to the mist-filled Dorrigo National Park, an ancient Gondwana rainforest where waterfalls tumble. For sensational views, stroll the elevated Skywalk through the canopy; or head to the forest floor to explore other wonderful trails such as the Wonga Walk to Crystal Shower Falls. You can book guided tours at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre and get great tips and advice on planning your visit to the park.  

The Nymboida river runs through the heart of Nymboi-Binderay National Park, a spectacular setting for bushwalkers, with unmarked trails through Tallowwood Trees and Coachwood Rainforest. Keep an eye out for threated species, such as the Powerful Owl and Stuttering Frog, as well as koalas and kookaburras.

On the coast, Bongil Bongil National Park is home to wild beaches, mountain bike tracks and a is popular spot for fishing. Bushwalkers can enjoy several scenic trails including Bluff Loop Walking Track and Bundagaree Rainforest Walk, which offer diverse scenery and beautiful views.

Aerial view of Dorrigo Skywalk, Dorrigo

Dorrigo Skywalk, Dorrigo 

Go horse riding on the beach

Ride a horse along Boambee Beach with HWH Stables. Rather explore the hinterland? The riding school features Orara Valley rainforest and river trails all year round, suitable to all levels of riders from absolute beginners to the more experienced. Valery Trails Horse Riding also offers beach rides on the Coffs Coast, as well as riding lessons and a fantastic kids' camp in the holidays.  

HWH Stables Riding School and Trail Rides - Credit: Larissa Darraugh

HWH Stables Riding School and Trail Rides - Credit: Larissa Darraugh

Get on & below the water  

Nymboi-Binderay National Park is a popular destination for white water rafting and kayaking. Nymboida River Canoes, Exodus Adventures and Nymboida Camping & Canoeing all offer exciting tours on the river, with the latter also offering accommodation.  

Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours is an Aboriginal-run operator offering SUP and kayak tours in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. During the tour, your guide will tell you about the local Aboriginal people and you will have the opportunity to try bush tucker.  

The aquatic world of the Solitary Islands Marine Park is an underwater wonderland, which you can explore with Jetty Dive scuba tours. This company also offers whale watching during migration season, as well as swimming with humpback whales in August and September. 

Bellingen Canoe Adventures tour the Bellinger River, offering tours for beginners as well as whitewater, sunset and full moon tours along the magical river.  

Get lost in botanic gardens 

Discover the only eco-certified garden in NSW at Botanic Garden Coffs Harbour. Covering 20 hectares, the garden is a unique mix of natural coastal forests, rainforests, mangroves, rare native plants, international plants and beautiful flowers. A fantastic spot for a walk or a picnic and the gardens are also wheelchair and stroller accessible.  

Aerial view of the Botanic Garden Coffs Harbour

Botanic Garden Coffs Harbour (North Coast Regional Botanic Garden), Coffs Harbour 

Throw in a line

There is excellent fishing all year round in the Coffs region. From trout fishing in Dorrigo to deep sea fishing off the Coffs Coast, there are plenty of opportunites to cast a line. Take a trip with Coffs Harbour Fishing Charter and you’ll have the chance to catch mahi mahi, marlin and yellow fin tuna. No experience is required, and all fishing gear is provided. If you have your own gear, there are lots of great beach fishing spots including Bongil Bongil National Par near Sawtell. 

The scenic Bellingen River, Fernmount

Bellingen River, Fernmount

Marvel at the views 

A short drive from Coffs Harbour, through banana plantations and beautiful forest is the Forest Sky Pier at Niigi Niigi. Located within a flora reserve in Orara East State Forest, the lookout offers magnificent coastal views over the city of Coffs Harbour and up and down the coastline.  

There are walking tracks through the rainforest, ranging from one to three hours as well as Coffs Treetops Adventure nearby. Or head down the road to the Gumgali Track, an interactive walk which shares the Gumbaynggirr story of Gumgali the black goanna, in sculpture, art and sound. The track ends with another beautiful view at Korora Lookout. 

Scenic views over Coffs Harbour from Forest Sky Pier, Niigi Niigi, Coffs Harbour

Sealy Lookout, Coffs Harbour 

Adrenaline starters 

Thrill seekers will get a rush with Coffs Skydivers on a tandem jump above the spectacular coast or a scenic flight with Precision Helicopters. Take a fun bush survival course with Bushcraft Survival Australia, and learn how to forage for water and food, how to construct a shelter and discover Aboriginal cooking methods. 

Shared bike paths wind through rainforest wilderness, with mountain bike trails including the Orara East State Forest near Coffs Harbour and the Woolgoolga Coastal Loop. Woolgoolga also hosts a three-day mountain bike festival, Woolgoolga MTB Festival. Prefer your two wheels with a bit of extra power? Take a tour of the hinterland and its charming villages on a Harley with A1 Coffs Coast Tours.

4WD enthusiasts can drive their vehicles onto the beach at Bongil Bongil National Park near Sawtell. Or take the Orara Escarpment 4WD touring route from Coffs Harbour through remote eucalypt forests and subtropical rainforests with spectacular waterfalls and idyllic picnic and swimming spots along the way. 

Flying along Park Beach in a Precision Helicopter - R22, Coffs Harbour

Flying along Park Beach in with  Precision Helicopters, Coffs Harbour

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