Coffs Harbour, a coastal city, is situated on the Northern Coast of New South Wales, at the furthest southern point of Solitary Islands Marine Park. Coffs Harbour, which is in the center of the breathtaking Coffs Coast, is a great destination for family vacations and one-of-a-kind experiences.
In Coffs Harbour, where tropical and temperate currents converge, there is a lush, diverse ecosystem that will astound its ecotourists. There are various things to do in Coffs Harbour for its tourists.
12 Things to Do in Coffs Harbour
In Coffs Harbour, there are many interesting things to discover. The attractions in this beachfront city are plentiful, ranging from whale watching and bushwalking to the famous Big Banana, gorgeous beaches, a marine reserve, and more. Let’s take a look at the top 12 things to do in Coffs Harbour.
1. Visit the Big Banana Fun Park
Among the things to do in Coffs Harbour, you could visit the very famous tourist attraction, The Big Banana Fun Park. The Big Banana, built-in 1964 and now a Coffs Harbour Coast landmark, was one of the country’s first “Big Things.”
It is an interesting place to visit, especially if you are with kids, as the place has many waterslides at the water park and ice skating, which kids can enjoy. Enjoy the nearby banana plantation or take the kids to the amusement park for a day of fun.
The 43-foot (13-meter) long banana sculpture from the road can be seen. The Big Banana is likely to be a hit if you stop by for a snap or remain for the day. The massive size of the horizontally lying fruit would be an amazing sight for the visitors.
The Big Banana Park is one of the best destinations to go on a day trip with your family and friends when looking for things to do in Coffs Harbour. A pathway runs through the inside of the banana building, which is hollow. Ride down the toboggan chute overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or play a round of mini-golf on the 36-hole course with your buddies.
2. View Wildlife from Muttonbird Island
Your trip to Coffs Harbour isn’t complete if you haven’t visited the Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve. Muttonbird Island provides spectacular views of the sea, and the viewpoint positioned just above the ocean is an excellent place for animal viewing. Turtles, stingrays, dolphins, and humpback whales are all regular visitors to the island.
You can watch them if you visit Muttonbird Island in season, that is, May to October. The migratory wedge-tailed shearwater only nests in a few easily accessible locations in New South Wales, including Muttonbird Island, making it an excellent place to observe birds up close.
It is also a significant Aboriginal location that is home to diverse cultural resources and stories about the Dreaming. The Solitary Islands may be seen magnificently from the Eastern overlook.
The Muttonbird Island works as a two-in-one place as it provides for both nature and wildlife viewing. The distance from the nearby car park to the island’s farthest overlook, where the turtles can be spotted, is a 2.2 kilometers round trip, and all your effort will be worthwhile because of the breathtaking vistas. You should add watching the dolphins and humpback whales at Muttonbird Island to your list of things to do in Coffs Harbour.
3. Take in The Scenery From Sealy Lookout.
Another one of the things to do in Coffs harbor is to visit the Forest Sky Pier. Just a short distance from Pacific Highway at Coffs Harbour, the Forest Sky Pier at Niigi Niigi/Sealy Lookout is located in a flora reserve in Orara East State Forest, one of the magnificent state forests of the Coffs Coast.
The Forest Sky Pier at Sealy Lookout provides a breathtaking panorama over Coffs Harbour, the Solitary Islands Marine Park, different beaches, and distant mountain ranges. It also stands above a plethora of huge ferns, which you can see from above.
The trip up the mountain from Coffs is a 20-minute, lovely trip with fantastic views that go through banana plantations and lush woodland. There are one- to three-hour walking trails in the forest, as well as picnic tables and restrooms.
While you’re at the viewpoint, stop by Nyanggan Gapi café for a coffee, visit Coffs Treetops, or take a 500-meter walk down the road to the magnificent Gumgali Track.
Gumgali Track uses sculpture, art, and sound to tell the local Gumbaynggirr ranger’s narrative of Gumgali the black goanna. Sealy Lookout’s Forest Sky Pier is a New South Wales gold award-winning tourist destination.
4. Enjoy a Great Surf at Emerald Beach
Emerald Beach is a local surfing destination located near Look-at-me-now Headland, 20 kilometers from Coffs Harbour. A family vacation would be fantastic there.
It has a calmer ambiance than other beaches on the Coffs Coast, and it’s an excellent place to swim. The beach also caters to surfers, featuring a great beach break and a southern left-hand reef wave. It offers both a southern left-hand reef break and a great beach break for surfers.
5. Go for a Trip to the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park
The Coffs Coast region’s major attraction is the two daily presentations with dolphins. Among the best things to do in Coffs Harbour is to visit the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in New South Wales. It is the only zoological park where visitors can meet up close and personal with dolphins, making it a thrilling and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
For those aged six and up, wonderful dolphin swimming experiences and the possibility to swim with dolphins are available. This is an incredible opportunity to witness some of nature’s most beautiful species. There is tremendous emphasis on conservation and improving lifestyle patterns, which adds to the impact of the visit.
6. Have a Learning Experience at the Solitary Islands Aquarium
Through teaching and science, the Solitary Islands Aquarium provides a vital community resource, helping in increasing knowledge and respect for the marine environment.
The focus of their organization is on regional species, asset administration, and protection. A visit to the Aquarium, which is located close to the Pacific Bay Resort complex, will be a wonderful and enlightening experience for visitors of all ages.
The Solitary Islands Aquarium allows you to plunge into aquariums, guided tours, and interactive displays and discover the unique marine ecosystem of the Coffs Coast. Definitely, an experience to be added to the list of things to do in Coffs Harbour.
7. Relax at the Moonee beach
Moonee Beach Nature Reserve provides chances for strolling, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and whale watching. This Reserve is home to the unusual and distinctive, including pandanus trees, patches of coastal rainforest, and endangered bats that hibernate in seaside caves.
There are various things to see here and do in this beautiful section of New South Wales. At Look At Me Now Headland and the open cliffs of Bare Bluff, endangered and rare plant groups flourish. You can take your fishing rod, surfboard, diving gear, or snorkeling gear to enjoy the beach or the more protected estuary, which is part of the Solitary Islands Marine Park and perfect for children and the whole family.
Picnicking, hiking, canoeing, birding, and seasonal whale viewing are all popular activities at Moonee. Keep your binoculars handy to view white-bellied sea eagles, ospreys, and Brahminy kites hunting along the shore.
8. Enjoy a Scenic Picnic at Boambee Beach
In Coffs Harbour, there are many scenic picnic places, but the Boambee Headland Lookout is one of the best. There are several picnic tables that all face the stunning Boambee Beach, along with spectacular views in all directions. There’s no need to limit how much you take along with you because you can go for a jetty drive up to it.
It also provides an excellent viewpoint for witnessing the yearly Humpback whale migration between May and October. If there are any calming or relaxing things to do in Coffs Harbour, it is to visit the beautiful Boambee Beach.
9. Take a Dip at Promised Land
The Promised Land Bellingen in the Coffs Harbour region is surrounded by lush rainforest that has amazing natural rock pools and a crystal clear stream. This can be found on Never Never Creek near the town of Bellingen in northern New South Wales.
It would hardly take 30 minutes to go from Coffs Harbour to the town of Bellingen and 15 minutes from Bellingen town to Promised Land Bellingen. The Promised Land boasts several natural swimming holes where you can chill, huge rocks in the middle of the stream where you may sunbathe, and a few rope swings dotted throughout the trees if you’re looking for some excitement.
You can locate a parallel tunnel of trees just over the edge of the main swimming hole, where the stream flows straight under the canopy overhead. There is a large pebbly space on the side of the swimming pool where you may hang out if you just want to sunbathe between swimming sessions or even if you want to have a picnic.
The apt time to visit here would be mid-morning and mid-afternoon as there is an ample amount of sunshine to warm up Never Never Creek’s natural swimming hole.
10. Go Bird Watching at Dorrigo National Park
Despite being about an hour away from Coffs Harbour, Dorrigo National Park feels miles away. The Australian Gondwana Rainforests World Heritage Area includes this National Park, and it is a home to stunning scenery that has been sculpted over millions of years. This is one of those things to do in Coffs Harbour that should not be missed out at any cost.
The park’s many forest ecosystems provide a haven for a wide range of birds and animals. Red-necked pademelons, the colorful wompoo fruit-dove, or the magnificent regent bowerbird could all be seen here.
A wonderful day trip from Coffs Harbour may include Bird watching, relaxing at a picturesque picnic and Barbeque locations, discovering hidden waterfalls and jungle hikes, and being astounded by the views from the elevated path that looks all the way from the forest to the sea.
11. Witness Rare Australian Species at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden
The North Coast Regional Botanic Gardens in Coffs Harbour are the most stunning in northern News South Wales.
The vast gardens, which stretch over 20 hectares and are located in the township’s center, can be reached from Harbour Drive, the main street, by turning onto Hardacre Street just before the Hogbin Drive roundabout, which is just one kilometer from the heart of Coffs Harbour.
The North Coast Regional Botanic Garden was established in 1988. It occupied 20 hectares of Crown Land and is surrounded on three sides by Coffs Creek, a large tidal estuary that is covered with mangroves. The garden is a calm, pleasant display of flora and color with spacious walking pathways, benches, and shaded rest spots. It has abundant Parking, and entry is free.
The garden has plantations of rare and endangered Australian species, Australian rainforest species, and exotic plants from other sub-tropical parts of the world. It also has a stretch of natural forest and mangroves. The garden also features a charming Japanese garden centered around a lake. The Garden gates are accessible daily throughout the year from 9 am to 5 pm.
12. Watch Beautiful Butterflies in Butterfly House
Another amazing thing to do in Coffs Harbour is going to the award-winning butterfly house. The Butterfly House allows visitors to wander through a subtropical indoor rainforest while surrounded by hundreds of real Australian butterflies.
You can learn about the beautiful colours and patterns that butterflies display when they fly, court, mate, consume nectar, or rest in the sun. There’s an outdoor Alice in wonderland maze area where you can hunt for clues to answer the quiz that is played in the butterfly house.
Since 2019, the Butterfly House has added several new features, such as a living dinosaur show that takes place twice daily, where visitors can meet and greet four baby dinosaurs, stroll through a dinosaur forest, and visit the dinosaur laboratory, where new dinosaurs are hatched and discover flying fairies.
In the bug room, there are a variety of fascinating insects, such as spiders and scorpions. You can also indulge in delicious prepared morning or afternoon teas or light meals in the café, which offers an excellent location for relaxation.
Between 10:00 and 14:00, when they are most active, is the best time to visit to observe these colorful butterflies. Regardless of how the Butterfly House amuses you, you will enjoy every minute of it since it will take you to a world of enchantment and dreams.
So now that you know the different things to do in Coffs Harbour, don’t just sit back; pack your bags and plan your next trip to Coffs Harbour as soon as possible. Do check them out when you visit but make sure to do the things mentioned above for an unforgettable trip. It is best to go there with your family and kids because the Coffs Harbour experience would be merrier with more people to share it with.