Top things to do Coffs Coast
The Coffs Coast is a popular holiday destination for families and for surfers. Sitting on the NSW Mid North Coast, it's a great stop off area to explore for roadtrippers who are driving the Legendary Pacific Coast touring route. There is much to do in the area, so check out some top tips below.
Dive the Solitary Islands Marine Park
New South Wales' first marine park, the Solitary Islands is rated as one of Australia's top dive spots beyond the amazing Great Barrier Reef. It's a group of small offshore islands stretching 75km from Coffs Harbour northwards. Surrounded by coastal national park on the mainland, the area makes for a great playground in and out of the water.
Cooler currents from the south mix head on with warm tropical waters from the Coral Sea here, creating a truly varied and magical underwater playground. Researchers have found over 550 species of reef fish, 90 species of hard coral and 600 species of molluscs (shelled animals). The threatened grey nurse shark, black cod, turtles, and whales and manta rays also frequent these waters.The islands are close in to the shore, making the fantastic underwater world easily accessible by boat for divers and snorkellers. In summer when the water is at its warmest you can spot tropical species from the Great Barrier reef here.
Visit the iconic Big Banana
Australia likes to create big things! In Queensland there is a huge pineapple, Ballina is home to a giant prawn, and in Tasmania there is a big penguin. Coffs Harbour is home to Australia's famous Big Banana. Aptly situated road side in the heart of what's known as the 'Banana Coast', this larger than life fruity feature offers more than just a photo opportunity for tourists. It's a popular attraction for holiday makers, and has plenty to keep families with children busy. There are rides, a water park with the world's largest inflatable slide, ice skating, banana education movies, a nursery, cafe and gift shop.
Relax and soak up some cafe culture
On a beach holiday, nothing beats heading to a cafe and relaxing when you need a break from the sand. In and around Coffs there are many choices and a vibrant cafe scene. In the centre of Coffs, what used to be the old seventies style cbd pedestrian strip has now been jazzed up into a low speed zone, lined with sails for shade and offering a choice of outdoor cafes. Or soak up the ambience of the jetty strip, a 300 metre long stretch which is the nightlife heart of Coffs down by the jetty. Getting out of town if you drive 10 minutes down the coast you'll find Sawtell, a great little spot for a foodie stop. An atmospheric fig tree lined avenue and a variety of cafes await for a relaxed beachy feast. Or head 35km inland to the gorgeous and arty hinterland village of Bellingen. There's a busy and vibrant cafe scene here, with gourmet coffee and organic treats aplenty.
[Image courtesy of Coffs Coast Marketing, Split Cafe Sawtell]
Explore Dorrigo National Park
Just 60km inland from Coffs Harbour you can explore the wondrous vistas where the Great Escarpment drops away into the world heritage Gondwana Rainforests. The Dorrigo National Park is easily accessible by driving the scenic Rainforest Way and boasts a fantastic rainforest centre to educate and inspire. Take a guided ranger walk, view interactive displays revealing the secrets of the ancient rainforest world, replenish at the cafe and take a stroll over the rainforest canopy on the dramatic skywalk. Exploring the Dorrigo national Park you can discover stunning waterfalls too, like the Crystal Shower Falls which you can stand behind as the water drops or the picturesque cascading Dangar Falls.
[Image courtesy of Wikimedia, Dangar_Falls_Dorrigo.JPG: Siantar]
Get up close with some friendly dolphins
The Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs Harbour is a favourite with kids and adults alike. Here you can get up close to dolphins and seals, and learn all about the amazing marine life of the area. As well as being able to get in the water and interact with the dolphins, this oceanarium also offer marine magic shows where you can see them leaping and playing. There's also fish and penguin feeding, as well as the creekside cafe for relaxing. A true aussie experience awaits you here! During the holiday season you can also view reptile world, with snakes, crocodiles and other reptiles on display in an exciting show.
Tee off on one of the many scenic golf courses
The Coffs Coast region boasts 11 different golf courses, so is a great place to combine a beach holiday with some action on the green. Bonville International Golf Resort is frequently regarded as one of the most beautiful courses in Australia, and boasts a resort hotel. The Novotel Pacific Bay Resort and Opal Cove Resort also have golf courses in gorgeous seaside resort settings. The Coffs Harbour Golf Course is another superb option, conveniently located right in the heart of town and offering a championship 27 hole course.