Adventures In, On and Around the Water

The allure of the Coffs Coast extends far beyond its pristine shores and blue water. Beneath the tranquil surface lies unparalleled natural beauty and ecological diversity, encapsulated within the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

Here, a tapestry of marine ecosystems thrives, showcasing an intricate balance of tropical, sub-tropical, and temperate marine life. The secret recipe? Warm East Australian currents mingle with the cool south, hosting a marine gala of over 850 fish species and vibrant corals. Dive in and behold the underwater fiesta of anemones and their lively anemonefish—it’s like the ocean’s own dance party.

Dive into the realm of scuba diving and snorkelling, where the Solitary Islands Marine Park’s depths reveal an exquisite array of species. Encounter the grace of stingrays, the tranquillity of turtles, and the majesty of grey nurse sharks amidst a vibrant underwater canvas that captivates and mesmerises.

As the seasons transition, witness the spectacle of nature as migrating whales grace these coastal waters. The Coffs Coast becomes a sanctuary for these gentle giants from June to October. The mesmerising displays of Humpbacks, and their rarer relatives, Southern Right, Sperm, and Minke whales, create a symphony of natural wonder, turning the coastline into an unparalleled vantage point for witnessing their beauty.

For those with an appetite for thrill, an extraordinary opportunity awaits – swim with the magnificent humpback whales. Jetty Dive proudly offers an incredible encounter that brings you face-to-face with these majestic creatures, creating indelible memories.

Beyond these in-the-water marine wonders, the Coffs Coast offers diverse on-the-water opportunities. Fishing enthusiasts can indulge in both tranquil estuarine experiences and exhilarating offshore adventures, while paddleboarders, kayakers, and surfers find their haven amidst the rolling waves and calm waters. Extend your on-the-water exploration with a sail to South Solitary Island and explore its historic 1880-built lighthouse and keeper’s residence on a half-day cruise.

Ready to dive headfirst into the action? Gather your gear because the Coffs Coast’s aquatic adventures are calling your name! From thrilling dives into vibrant underwater landscapes to adrenaline-packed wave-riding escapades, this coastal paradise offers an array of experiences that redefine aquatic excitement and nature’s finest wonders.

So, don’t just dip your toes in—take the plunge and embrace the adventures in, on, and around the water! Let this coastal gem be your passport to an aquatic expedition brimming with thrill, awe, and endless discoveries.

Solitary Islands Marine Park adventure under the water
Scuba diving and snorkelling

With the Solitary Islands Marine Park home to such diverse habitats, there is much to explore and discover beneath the surface. Here, species co-exist in remarkable ways and divers and snorkellers can observe tropical, sub-tropical and temperate species in the same marine environment. Sting rays, turtles, grey nurse sharks, blue gropers and giant cuttlefish are just some of the many marine creatures that divers and snorkellers see regularly. While there are locations suitable for shore dives, most divers prefer to venture offshore to experience the wondrous marine life.

Discover all nine of the dive sites located around South Solitary Island in the ultimate guide, ‘Where Divers In The Know Go’. Find ‘all things big’ at South Solitary, including Grey Nurse Sharks. Giant Cuttlefish, Eagle Rays, countless fish varieties..the list goes on

Jetty Dive Centre runs daily half-day dive and snorkelling trips to the Solitary Islands Marine Park aboard their world-class dive charter boats. If you have never dived before or want to learn to dive, Jetty Dive also offers beginner to specialty and professional courses

Whale Watching

Each year during whale season, which runs from June to October, thousands of whales grace the coastal waters, making the Coffs Coast the ideal location for the whole family to enjoy these inquisitive giants. Humpbacks are most commonly seen, but they are occasionally accompanied by their rarer relatives – Southern Right, Sperm and Minke whales. Humpbacks habitually turn on a show as they surface – slapping their fins, spy-hopping and breaching, making the annual whale migration a wonderful spectacle. Observe these amazing creatures from vantage points such as our vast headlands or better still, book a trip offshore with Whale Watch Experience/Pacific Explorer or Jetty Dive.

A whale watching adventure with Jetty Dive
Swim with the Whales
Swimming with whales

It’s a thrill to see these magnificent mammals from a boat or headland, but to swim underwater with them is something on the bucket list. Coffs Harbour’s own Jetty Dive is one of the very few operators in Australia licenced to offer this activity. They were the first in NSW to deliver a sustainable, eco-focussed and non-invasive experience. Hear the unique sounds and songs of humpbacks and watch these elegant creatures up close and personal – all 40 tonnes of them. For those of you with an adventurous spirit, swimming with whales is a must!


For those who prefer to stay dry, why not grab a rod and head to the Coffs Harbour International Marina? The Coffs Coast is home to a vibrant working harbour, and the jetty makes the ideal base for families to kick off their fishing adventures.
Estuarine species like bream, whiting and flathead can be found at Boambee Creek, and the foreshores of Moonee are also great for young anglers. Korora and Sapphire are recommended for more experienced fishers.
With miles of beaches and headlands a-plenty, it’s easy to find a peaceful patch to throw in a line, but for something a little bit more action-packed, head offshore with one of the charter operators. This section of NSW is considered to have some of the best offshore fishing in the country, with game species such as marlin, tuna, wahoo and mackerel targeted.
Whether you are an experienced angler or a beginner, the Coffs Fishing Guide 2024 is your go-to guide for fishing on the Coffs Coast. Packed with valuable information and local tips from those in the know, the guide will help make your fishing experience the best it can be.

Follow The Fishing Size And Bag Limits And Always Carry A Fishing Permit
Stand Up Paddleboarding Adventures at Moonee Creek
SUPing / Canoeing / Kayaking

You can grab your paddleboard or hire one to explore our beautiful aquamarine waterways from a fresh perspective. This is a terrific family-friendly activity to do while you’re here. Do your own thing or seek out experts for a guided tour. Sea kayaks and canoes are recommended for those with younger kids as they offer more stability than SUPs. Coffs Creek offers lovely, calm waters, with the gorgeous estuaries of Boambee, Moonee, and Red Rock, which are also popular.

Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours runs tours in three locations across the Coffs Coast, and all of the tour guides are Gumbaynggirr people or Aboriginal people who have strong familial ties to Gumbaynggirr country. This ensures that you will receive a 100 per cent authentic cultural experience whilst also enjoying adventure.

C-Change Adventures offers incredible ECO-tours involving kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and yabbying! The ECO-tours run for half-day, full-day or shorter sunset or full moon. For those wanting to do it yourself, C-Change also offers hourly/daily and overnight hire equipment, including free drop-off upstream at Boambee, Bonville and Coffs Creek.


The Coffs Coast is home to a string of golden beaches offering many surf breaks to satisfy any skill level.
Local favourite spots include Arrawarra to the north, with a long right-hand point break, great for longboarders and learners. Nearby, Emerald Beach is one of the more popular beaches for families who love to surf together, and Moonee Beach is best in small southeast swells.
For the more accomplished surfers, Macauleys, closer to town, often delivers high-performance waves, as does Gallows. Sawtell Island is a well-protected break to the south of Coffs. The Coffs region is also home to a number of reputable surf schools for those new to the sport or for those simply wanting to brush up on their moves.

The Coffs Coast has multiple surf schools where you can learn how to hang ten from local experts.
East Coast Surf School offers group classes and private lessons every day of the year from Diggers Beach and even holds surf camps during school holidays.
Solitary Island Surf School offers lessons and group classes from four different locations across the Coffs Coast. Their surfing lessons are delivered by some of the most experienced coaches in Australia with decades of surf coaching experience and even more years of ocean experience.

Surfing Adventures On the Water

Set sail with Whale Watch Experience/Pacific Explorer and dive into Coffs Coast’s aquatic marvels with Dolphin Watching and the captivating Lighthouse Cruise.

When the water warms up, and whales take their leave (December to April), it’s time to join the dolphins in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Hop on a 1.5-hour cruise from Coffs Harbour, skirting Korfs Island and tracing Gallows and Boambee Beaches in search of these playful pals.

Meet the resident pod at Boambee Beach, familiar with Pacific Explorer’s visits. Though sightings are common, it’s nature’s dance—always surprising!

Venture deeper into history every Thursday on the Lighthouse Cruise. Sail to South Solitary Island for a date with the 1880-built lighthouse. It’s one of just two island-based beacons along NSW’s coast. Explore weathered shores, rock formations, and tales shared by former islanders—a peek into life far from today’s hustle.

Weather permitting, sail back, enjoying morning tea amidst the ocean’s tranquillity. Whale Watch Experience/Pacific Explorer‘s Dolphin Watching and Lighthouse Cruise—your ticket to a maritime adventure on the Coffs Coast!