The natural resources of the Coffs Coast were enjoyed by traditional owners, the Gumbaynggirr people, known as ‘the sharing people’.
These resources were recognised by European settlers who flocked to the area in the 1800s. Shipbuilders utilising the protected harbour followed (the town was named after shipbuilder John Korff). Then came the timber-getters who profited from the vast forests, and banana farmers who delighted in the region’s rich soil. The Coffs Harbour of today celebrates its history, rich in diverse cultural and heritage offerings, hillside banana farms, and its celebrated temperate climate (deemed the most livable in Australia by the CSIRO).
Nature in the Heart of Town
As the only place in NSW where the Great Dividing Range meets the Pacific Ocean, Coffs Harbour is unique. Much of its appeal lies in the easy access to unspoiled beaches, nature reserves and teeming marine life – much of this just a stone’s throw from the heart of town. Home to the Solitary Islands Marine Park, the city is a coveted destination for divers who come to discover the protected marine life, and a great a jumping-off point for hikers yearning to explore the Coffs Coast hinterland.
The Marina and Jetty Beach
Visiting the stunning Jetty Beach is a perfect start to any exploration of Coffs Harbour. Here, visitors can enjoy a meal at the bustling café and restaurant precinct before strolling past the boats moored at the Coffs Harbour International Marina, along the break wall to Muttonbird Island – an absolute must-do on any Coffs Coast itinerary!
Unspoiled Beaches and Bush Adventures
Park Beach is a popular spot for families who love to swim, kayak and fish where Coffs Creek meets the Pacific Ocean. This beach is also a great place to begin the 10-kilometre Coffs Creek Loop by foot or cycle. On the city’s northern end is the surfing hotspot, Diggers Beach, a gorgeous stretch of sand just a few minutes from the popular Big Banana Fun Park. Close by are the impressive, award-winning Forest Sky Pier, the Gumgali Track with artworks telling the story of Gumgali, the black goanna, and the exciting, fun-filled TreeTops Adventure Park.
Culture and Shopping
Coffs Harbour caters to those wanting to indulge in some retail therapy, offering two large shopping centres, Coffs Central and Park Beach Plaza. Many independent boutiques and lifestyle shops are also popping up along the coast. Along with the region’s many markets, these businesses showcase local artisans and designers, satisfying shoppers on the hunt for hand-made treasures. The city is also full of attractions for culture buffs, including tours, museums, galleries, laneway art, food and festivals, all celebrating this beautiful stretch of coastline and its people.