Making memories on the Coffs Coast
New South Wales
The Coffs Coast is a destination for both the young and the young at heart, with an abundance of pristine beaches, adventure activities and wildlife encounters. Perhaps this explains why, in an age dominated by globalisation and overseas holidays, it not only remains a favourite holiday hotspot, but an Australian icon too, writes Natarsha Brown.
The Coffs Coast is family holidays how they used to be; parents and grandparents continue to flock back to its nostalgic shores with younger generations, trying to capture and share the down-to-earth comfort and charm of the area that permeates their own childhood memories.
Family Activities along the Coffs Coast
Host to 90 kilometres of beaches, marine reserves and balmy, subtropical weather,
Coffs Coast can feel like New South Wales’ very own endless summer.
Most beaches are
family friendly, with features like playgrounds, beach showers, shaded areas and
barbecues for cooking up a tasty lunch. With a string of fine breaks surrounded by
unspoilt national parks, it is also an idyllic place to catch a wave.
programme with the friendly Lee Winkler’s Surf School operates out of Coffs Harbour,
Sawtell and Woolgoolga. Lee himself has been a professional surfer for 15 years,
carving barrels against the likes of Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning. SurfGroms is
broken into two programmes: MiniGrom for children aged five to eight years and
SuperGrom for those nine to 12, so there is a difficulty level suited to each
individual Kelly Slater-in-training.
Considered one of the best places on the east coast of Australia to witness the
annual migration of humpback whales, Coffs is truly a once-in-a-lifetime whale
watching experience, with its picturesque backdrop of golden beaches and
Operating daily from June to October, Jetty Dive tours get
up close and personal to these enigmatic creatures of the deep, tracking them from
the shallow waters of Coffs Harbour to the beautiful Solitary Islands Marine Park.
South of Coffs Harbour you’ll find an endless collection of seaside villages.
Long-time favourite ‘Sunny Sawtell’ is as charmingly pretty as they come. Take an
eco-tour, go kayaking on Boambee Creek or Bonville Creek, or learn to stand-up paddle
board with C Change Adventures.
Award-winning tour guide Matthew Sparrius has been
paddling since he was four and has taken over 1700 customers on tours since 2010.
Further south is peaceful Mylestom, known to locals as North Beach, which is a holiday
haven for the littlies ensconced between the Bellinger River and a rolling surf
beach. A netted tidal pool offers a protected swimming area, shady picnic area,
sand dunes and a ‘shipwreck’ to explore.
If you would like to linger longer at the southern beaches,
Sawtell Beach Holiday
Park is surrounded by natural bushland, brimming with birdlife and the town
a short stroll away. The award-winning park offers an array of accommodation options
to suit everyone’s needs including Ocean Villas, Summer Breeze Accessible Villas,
Studio Cabins, and over 250 camping sites.
What to do on the Coffs Coast
Home to lush mountain escarpments, national parks that race down to the edge of the
sea and quaint small towns, the Coffs Coast is a sort of Promised Land.
bushland, beaches and resort grounds of Coffs Harbour on land and in style by
learning to ride a Segway with Time Out Adventures.
After a day in the sun, enjoy the
Action Zone Xtreme; walk on water with Ozbubbles; score a slam dunk on the bungee
challenge; or race one another on the Adventure Rush giant obstacle course.
While it may be the epitome of tourism kitsch, the Big Banana was one of Australia’s
first ‘big icons’ and a family snap in front of the ripe fruit was a tradition decades
before taking a ‘selfie’ was even a thing.
However, there is a lot more to this
cultural beacon than getting your photo taken while eating chocolate-coated bananas
(even though that is reason enough to stop on its own) with ice-skating, toboggan
rides, laser tag, a candy kitchen, Max’s Mini Golf and water park.
If you want to sleep in town, Park Beach Holiday Park
is located right on Coffs
Harbour’s popular surf and swimming beach and offers both cabin and camping options.
Catering for all members of the family, the park features a resort pool, barbecues,
a children’s playground, a modern camp kitchen, jumping pillow, Wi-Fi, and Kids’ Club
activities are held in the school holidays.
Outdoor Family Activities on the Coffs Coast
With over 11 national parks and 37 state forests, the Coffs Coast is a nature lover’s
A day trip through the lush dairy country of bohemian Bellinger Valley,
along the roads of Waterfall Way and finally arriving at the heritage-listed Dorrigo
, is the perfect way to witness the diversity and history of the area.
Walk amongst the treetops at one of the region’s most popular attractions,
Skywalk, elevated 21 metres above the rainforest canopy and offering views all the
way to the Pacific Ocean.
Having had your fill of creatures of the sea, make your way to the unhurried town
of Bonville, famous for two things: the nearby Bongil Bongil National Park and
the beloved Butterfly House.
The indoor rainforest gives kids an ‘Alice
In Wonderland’ moment, as they are surrounded by hundreds of colourful creatures
fluttering, feasting on nectar and mistaking them for a flower... landing right
on their fingertips.