Located about two-thirds of the way between Sydney and Brisbane, Coffs Harbour was one of the original tourist destinations on Australia’s east coast. Today, the harbor is just as popular among folks coming to New South Wales for vacation, though, admittedly, it is not as trendy as Byron Bay. Still, Coffs Harbour has a bevy of sandy beaches, clear water, and a slew of activities – both on water and on land – to partake in. Because of its wide variety of attractions, Coffs’ is excellent for people who are free to roam around on their vacations, or do not want to be tied down with a specific agenda of things to do.
The Big Banana
The area’s greatest tourist attraction is the Big Banana. This roadside attraction features New South Wales’ first 3 story high inflatable waterslide, an ice skating rink, toboggan rides, a café, and candy-making kitchen. The banana first appeared in 1964, when its creator, named John Landi, wanted to find a way to entice passersby to visit his roadside stall. Fifty years later, the banana is still catching the attention of drivers. To reach the Big Banana, you will need to get a car from a car rental.
Fun Activities in the Ocean
Another reason to consider car rental is to visit all of the wonderful beaches located in Coffs Harbour. Park Beach is the most popular beach in the harbor for sunbathing and surfing purposes. There is another small beach located at the mouth of Coffs Creek, which is popular with both fishermen and families swimming with small children. Other aquatic opportunities available to the water-inclined tourist in Coffs Harbour include scuba diving. The best snorkeling spot in the region, and one of the most interesting spots to scuba dive in New South Wales, is in the marine park located in the water off the coast of the Solitary Islands. Another potential option is a dolphin or whale watching cruise – the best months to go on one of these guided water tours is in September or October, when whales are spotted more easily because they swim close to the surface during this time of year.
Shopping in the Markets
For shoppers, Coffs Harbour has plenty of options available, including markets and shopping malls. The main markets in town are the Jetty Market, Growers Market, Parkbeach Markets, and Harbourside Markets. The Jetty and Growers markets are primarily for fresh produce, crafts, and artwork. Harbourside and Park beach have these things, too, but are more densely populated, mainly because live music is played at various times throughout the day at both locations. The Promeade shopping area is where Coffs’ upscale shops and fine-dining restaurants are located.
Take a Trip to Nana Glen or Coramba
If roaming around outside of Coffs is more your style, consider taking a trip to scenic villages in the area, like Coramba and Nana Glen. Each village is approximately 30 minutes outside of Coffs Harbour. Coramba has a pottery making shop that is popular among art enthusiasts, while the local bakery is said to offer the region’s best pies and cakes. Nana Glen, on the other hand, has a winery that consistently produces some of the highest rated wines in Australia.