Coffs Harbour gets mixed reviews from the local Aussies, some have fond memories from their childhood of visiting this sleepy seaside city, others looked at me in bewilderment when I told them I spent 6 weeks there, they’d reply with “but weren’t you bored? There is nothing in Coffs, most people just pass through.” Being a small town girl from a place by the sea preferring quieter places, I fell in love with this city, it felt like a home away from home, it felt like a dream because it sits along some incredible beaches and nature reserves so you can never be bored when being so close to nature. No longer staying there, I do really miss everything about it.

Ideally situated half-way between Sydney and Brisbane, Coffs is a popular stop off point for people doing the Sydney to Brisbane road trip, but for those looking to spend a week or two in the region it is big enough and has something for everyone.

There are some great nearby beaches, towns, and National Parks. Even the drive into Coffs is pretty; with giant trees towering over you, hugging the azure skies and breathing in the fresh sea air, a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Photo by Joshua Cook

Yoga Studios

Nestled in the heart of Coffs Harbour are some lovely yoga studios. Melting Pot Yoga’s  ‘sankalpa’ is to literally become the ‘Melting Pot’ of creative ideas, hands & hearts,  providing a space for an alchemy of yoga, events and a diverse range of workshops to emerge. They offer a range of classes that also include Pilates and recovery management. One Conscious Breath Yoga Studio is a welcoming and friendly sanctuary, a place to come and take time away from your busy life and practice some nourishing Yoga, they also provide private yoga sessions and essential oil workshops. Terra Flow Yoga was founded on the idea of restoration, a place to go for body, mind, and soul. The word “terra” means from earth, which connects us to grounding and stabilizing energies, and the world “flow” is the foundational movement they focus on in their Vinyasa-based yoga practices. As well as Yoga, Terra also offer Barre, Aerial, Nidra and Reiki Healing.

Where to Stay

The Clog Barn Enjoy a piece of Holland whilst in Coffs. This is a quirky place to stay with its Dutch inspired decor, offering self contained cabins suitable for up to 7 people, plus powered sites for caravans & motor-homes and camping sites. Also includes its own model village and cafe that makes the tastiest pancakes!

YHA Backpackers Resort Mid way between Sydney and Brisbane, the purpose-built Coffs Harbour YHA hostel provides a laid back and safe atmosphere and is located in the hub of the jetty area, across the road from the harbour, beaches and restaurants.

Pacific Bay Resort is surrounded by mountains and gardens, this modern beachfront resort with a lagoon lies 5 km from Coffs Harbour Marina and 3.9 km from the Big Banana amusement park. This is a 4 star modern lodging with 3 pools, a golf course and kids club.

Eat & Drink

Coffs Harbour Fishermen’s Cooperative Has been operating on the foreshores of Coffs Harbour since 1950 and it offers the best fish and chips for miles. Those of you who love seafood will delight in the variety their menu has to offer from traditional fish & chips, calamari, prawns, fish cocktails, salt & pepper squid, grilled fish, battered fish and more. Each day there is a Specials Board indicating the daily catch in seafood.

This is a great place to sit and watch the fisheries coming and going, and after hiking up MuttonBird Island. The views of the ocean are stunning.

Big Oma’s Coffee House Is situated at The Clog Barn complex and is next door to the model village. Come here for the most gigantic, most delicious pancakes and crepes you’ve ever tasted! They open from 8am daily, serving a hearty breakfast and lunch menu or traditional Dutch cuisine. They are Vegetarian friendly.

Shearwater Restaurant Sits along the side of the creek, giving you fantastic views of the river and the fish play in the clear water as you dine. This is a wonderful place to stop for brunch after a morning walking around the Botanical Gardens. This is certainly one of Coff’s best places for a quiet and relaxing lunch and caters to Veggies, Vegans, Pescatarians and meat eaters alike. Also includes Gluten free options too.

Recreation

Coffs Harbour has some spectacular beaches such as Korora Bay and Emerald Beach. With Emerald being my favourite because situated on the rocky edge grows a blessing tree with Hindu prayer flags blowing in the wind, people come here to add their own charms and totems to the tree, myself included. I crafted six small dream catchers to hang upon its branches whilst singing a Shiva mantra. After walking upon Emerald beach, take a stroll up on to Look at Me Now Headland and take in the breathtaking views of the sea whilst encountering wild kangaroos! To finish the day, head out to MuttonBird Island to watch the sunset and if you are visiting Coffs between the months of June until October, you might glimpse humpback whales that pass through at that time of year. Outdoor activities like Kayaking, Surfing and zip lining are also fun options!

Photo by Joshua Cook

The Big Banana fun park is a great day out for the entire family. Water slides, mini golf, laser tag and ice skating are just a few fun activities you can do at this amusement park. Don’t forget to have your picture taken with the giant yellow banana at the front entrance!

If you are a lover of all things botanical and quiet, do spend some time in the Botanical gardens as well, before having lunch at Shearwater restaurant soon after.

Photo by Joshua Cook

For day trips exploring just outside of Coffs, visit the little boho town called Beligen before traveling to Dorrigo National park to marvel at Dangar Falls and the Skywalk lookout.

With all it has to offer, Coffs Harbour will capture your heart, making you wish that you could stay and just have one more day in paradise.

Photo by Joshua Cook

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