Ask a local: Jetty Dive
Tara Davey works as assistant manager at Jetty Dive, an advanced eco-certified, family-run business on the Coffs Coast. Read on to learn about Tara’s favourite things to see and do in the region.
Why is the Coffs Coast such a special place?
The scenery is gorgeous – it has a beautiful coastline, with so many different headlands to see it from, but we’ve also got a view of the mountains on the other side. There are some great spots, like Gallows Headlands, where you can see out to the ocean as well us up into the hills of Coramba and Dorrigo.
On your dive trips, guests head out to the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Can you tell me why this is such an excellent underwater site?
It’s the perfect blend of tropical and subtropical marine environments – there's not many places where you get a blend of tropical fish, such as anemone fish like blue tangs, alongside cold-water creatures like grey nurse sharks, hammerhead sharks, and even whale sharks. I once saw a school of around 100 hammerheads going by! It's the perfect spot to see the whales migrating; mothers and calves.
Jetty Dive offers a swimming with whales experience – that sounds amazing!
Seeing a giant humpback underneath you in the water, and then watching it disappear – it's a feeling I can’t describe; it humbles you. Because of their colouring, they camouflage in the water – from the top, they blend into the dark, deep water, and if you see them from below, their light colouring blends with the sunlight. They are playful, they often watch us to see what we are doing.
Jetty Dive is ECO Certified in Advanced Ecotourism – can you tell me what that means?
It’s a program from Ecotourism Australia and shows that we’re the real deal when it comes to our sustainability practises. It is a six-month process of documenting not only everything we are doing to protect the environment, but also what we are striving for, including protecting the marine park, which is a sanctuary zone, reusing and mending all our equipment, and using solar panels to better our carbon neutrality.
The council went through the process too, along with five other local businesses, and now the Coffs Coast has ECO Destination Certification — the first in NSW. What does this say about the region?
It means the whole community protects the natural environment, including protecting our national treasures like the Gondwana Rainforests, honour our cultural heritage, as well as managing water, waste and renewable resources.
Do you have a favourite beach on the Coffs Coast?
I love Gallows Beach – it’s a popular surf beach and although I’m not a surfer myself, the lookout there is the most beautiful, calming place to be. There are a few headlands either side which you can walk up. It’s very grounding.
Where would you recommend a bushwalk or nature spot to go to?
I love the Coffs Creek Walk; there’s a boardwalk that travels around and through the creek. If you go down to the promenade in Coffs Harbour, you can walk out on the deck and look out over the creek, which is spectacular at sunset.
Where do you go for breakfast?
Twenty46, which is near the shop, so I’m lucky enough to get coffee there every day – the food is delicious, and the staff are lovely.
What about in the evenings?
It has to be Indian Flavour, on the jetty strip – I love the chicken korma and garlic naan.