Visit Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour's relaxed, small-town charm is characterised by a walkable town centre, pristine stretches of beaches, a verdant mountainous landscape and masses of family-friendly fun.
Easy going Coffs is the type of destination that parents and grandparents would’ve visited as children, and now return to with their families.
The coastal city where the sea meets the Great Dividing Ranges is a haven for holidaymakers in the warmer months, yet still manages to turn it on when the weather cools down. It may be a bit to chilly for a dip in the ocean, but Coffs still has plenty tucked up its sleeve during autumn and winter.
There’s nothing more synonymous with Coffs Harbour than the Big Banana. Sure it’s gimmicky but there’s a reason why the theme park has stood the test of time. Don’t just stop and take the obligatory photo; there are a variety of activities behind the 11-metre long structure that will keep the young and young at heart amused all day, all year-round.
Tour the banana planation after which the park takes its name; twist and turn down the toboggan tracks; glide across the ice-skating rink and attempt a hole-in-one at the mini-golf course. The park also features laser tag and an inflatable theme park complete with jumping castles and the world’s largest indoor waterslide. The fun doesn’t stop there. The jam-packed gift store is a destination in its own right as is the lolly store and onsite café. The frozen chocolate covered bananas are a must try!
Another attraction the whole family will love is the Clog Barn, a quaint village featuring clog-making demonstrations and a miniature Dutch town to explore. You can even stay overnight and swim in the clog-shaped pool.
Food and drink
With so much to do, you’re going to keep well nourished and watered. When it comes to food, you’ll find all the usual seaside suspects like local watering holes, RSL clubs, casual cafes and bistros, and of course, fish and chip shops.
Beyond casual takeaways and cafes, the Coffs Coast is a veritable smorgasbord of quality produce from the sea to the ranges. Accommodation with self-catering facilities affords you the opportunity to cook up some of your own meals. There’s no better place to source local ingredients than the monthly Bellingen Community Markets, held on the first Saturday of the month in the laidback town just 30 minutes south of Coffs.
You can easily spend an entire day here perusing the some 250 stalls of not just fresh produce and food, but crafts, flowers, plants and jewellery as well.
In the midst of winter, there’s no better place to warm up than at the Sawtell Chilli Festival on the July 4. A short 15 minute drive south from Coffs is where you can put your tastebuds to the test with chilli eating competitions, sample the very best spicy flavours of Australia’s finest chilli providores, or simply soak up the atmosphere amongst food stalls, rides, entertainment, music and giveaways.
Sports and music
Though many visit Coffs Harbour during winter to simply take a break from everyday stresses, the region also hosts a number of festivals and events that draw the crowds.
From 31 July to 17 August, amateur surfers descend on the Coffs Coast to tackle the waves as part of the Australian Surf Festival. Surfers will go head to head across four events, including the Australian Surfmasters Titles, Longboard Titles, Logger Titles and Bodyboard Titles. Famous Coffs Harbour backpacker hostel, The Hoey Moey, springs to life during the event with a range of live music, artworks and presentations.
Perhaps the coast’s most anticipated event is the Carlton MID Coffs Harbour Gold Cup Day in August. Thousands of keen race-goers frock up and flock to the Coffs Harbour Racing Club for a sundrenched afternoon of bets, races and fashion.