Coffs Harbour

There is so much more to Coffs Harbour than the Big Banana. It’s a great place for a beach holiday – with glorious stretches of sand galore and a laid-back coastal vibe – and makes a fantastic base to explore the rainforests and waterfalls of the Waterfall Way or the incredible Solitary Islands Marine Park. 



On the water

The beautiful beaches of the Coffs Coast beckon, with the wheelchair-accessible Jetty Beach a convenient and popular place to relax in the sun. Walk the breakwall to Muttonbird Island, a nature reserve that protects a colony of wedge-tailed shearwaters. Offshore, the Solitary Islands Marine Park is a haven for a huge diversity of marine life, with scuba diving trips with Jetty Dive Centre showing the best of the underwater world. This company also runs the first Whale Swims in NSW, an unforgettable experience during the migration season from August to September. 

Couple walking along Coffs Harbour Jetty, Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour Jetty, Coffs Harbour

Outdoor adventures

Just a short drive from Coffs Harbour is Sealy Lookout, where the Forest Sky Pier offers a sensational view over the coastline. In this eco-tourism hub, you’ll also find the Aboriginal-run Nyanggan Gapi café, Treetops Adventures and the Gumgali Track, which tells the story of Gumgali the black goanna through interpretive signage and sculpture. You can also discover more about the local Gumbaynggir culture on a stand-up paddleboard tour with Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggir Adventure Tours

Coffs Harbour also features several wildlife attractions, including the evergreen Coffs Harbour Butterfly House and the Solitary Islands Aquarium, focusing on regional marine species and education. The Coffs Coast Wildlife Sanctuary also makes a great stop for getting up close to marine animals, including dolphins, seals and penguins. For those interested in flora as well as fauna, check out the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, an eco-accredited green oasis in the heart of town where you can amble along a number of discovery walks through coastal forests, rainforests, rare native plants, mangrove forests and a tropical glasshouse.

Visitors walking along the course at Treetops Adventure, Coffs Harbour

Visitors walking along the course at Treetops Adventure, Coffs Harbour

The Big Banana 

For generations, Coffs Harbour has been defined by something big, yellow and very kitsch – the beloved Big Banana. Located on a working banana plantation, the walk-through banana was built in 1964, the first of Australia’s Big Things. Today, it’s part of a fun park with toboggans, mini-golf and a plantation tour; and no trip to Coffs is complete without stopping for a photo opportunity and a chocolate covered banana treat. 

Family taking a selfie in front of The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

When hunger calls 

From pub grub to fresh seafood or sushi, you’ll find it at Coffs Harbour’s ‘eat street’, the Jetty Strip, where you’ll find more than 20 cafes and restaurants. Pop into the retail fish shop of the Coffs Harbour Fisherman’s Co-op for the catch of the day; Supply Speciality Coffee and Bar for a coffee fix and delicious breakfast; or head to the bustling Harbourside Market for fresh regional produce and gourmet food stalls, held in the reserve every Sunday. 

Dessert options at Supply Speciality Coffee and Bar, Coffs Harbour

 Supply Speciality Coffee and Bar, Coffs Harbour

Meanwhile, check out the stylish Mermaid Beach House for excellent Italian, Latitude 30 for a seafood menu with sweeping ocean views, and Dark Arts Cafe & Bar for a little bit of everything - locally roasted coffee, craft beer, wine, live music and comfort food.

Friends enjoying a meal at Mermaid Beach House, Coffs Harbour

Mermaid Beach House, Coffs Harbour - Credit: Mermaid Beach House

Getting there 

Coffs Harbour is a 5hr 40min drive north of Sydney and just over four hours' drive from Brisbane. You can make this a memorable stop on a road trip, as you explore the spectacular NSW North Coast. You can also catch the train from Sydney and the journey takes around nine hours. 

Qantas has direct flights to Coffs Harbour from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; while Rex flies daily from Sydney to Coffs Harbour Monday to Friday with select scheduled flights over the weekend. Link Airways operates direct flights between Coffs Harbour and Brisbane six days a week. Coffs Harbour Airport is 4km from Coffs Harbour’s town centre. 


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