10 best things to do in Coffs Harbour

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  • Post last modified:June 24, 2024
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Some seem to think Coffs Harbour’s only attraction is that famous Big Banana. They, in fact, couldn’t be more wrong. Make the most of your Coffs Harbour visit with this enticing cocktail of things to do.

1. Absorb the view at impressive Sealy Lookout

Climb the hills surrounding Coffs Harbour for jaw-dropping vistas. The most impressive spot is Sealy Lookout, a 15-minute drive from Coffs Harbour in Orara East State Forest.

Here, Forest Sky Pier shoots out 21m from the escarpment, allowing for unobstructed views. Standing 15m above the trees, admire how Coffs Harbour unfurls all the way from the hillside fruit plantations to the Pacific Ocean.

There are picnic tables and a cute cafe too, but the limited opening hours can be hard to time.

Woman in green dress who holds her child on Forest Sky Pier overlooking Coffs Harbour on a cloudy day
Gaze out across Coffs Harbour from Sealy Lookout.

2. Get your adrenaline pumping with Treetops Adventure

The action is on at Treetops Adventure, conveniently located only 400m down the road from Sealy Lookout. In the lush environment, over 90 aerial challenges are waiting to be tackled. With a zipline course for every skill level, from newbie to ninja, the whole family can relish the experience.

People tackling challenging courses at Treetops Adventure in Coffs Harbour
Take on elevated forest courses.

3. Snack on newly harvested produce

As you ascend the roads toward Sealy Lookout, you’ll find an array of plantations lining the road. Stop at a roadside stall to pick up some newly harvested produce. While the availability depends on the season, bananas and avocados are likely finds.

Tip: Cash is king out here.

Stall loaded with bags of bananas at fruit plantation in Coffs Harbour
Just-picked fruit, anyone?

4. Find inspiration in the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House

Journey through the compact Coffs Harbour Butterfly House, accommodating hundreds of colourful butterflies. Improve your knowledge about these enchanting insects and be amazed as they flutter around you in their tranquil rainforest home. A maze, dinosaur show, cafe and shop complete the friendly outing.

5. Blend lazing, swimming and walking at Jetty Beach

Lay out a towel and reward yourself with a day under the sun on Jetty Beach. Sheltered by a breakwall and Muttonbird Island to the north and another breakwall to the south, it offers a tranquil setting that swimmers of any level can enjoy.

Adding to the landscape, the 1892 Coffs Harbour Jetty splits the beach in two and invites you to take a walk. While strolling the pier, keep your eyes peeled for marine wildlife — dolphins and turtles regularly show up.

People sunbaking and swimming in front of a blue surfboard lying on the Jetty Beach sand
Recharge on idyllic Jetty Beach.

6. Indulge in fresh seafood at Coffs Harbour Fishermen’s Co-op

A local institution, Fishermen’s Co-op provides fresh seafood right at the marina; sometimes it’s just hours between catch and serving. Try the signature fish and chips with one of the many dip sauces on offer, or choose from a wide range of seafood to cook for yourself later.

Craving dessert? Turn to the adjacent Eric & Deb’s Homemade Ice Cream for delicious scoops.

Fishermen’s Co-op providing newly caught seafood in Coffs Harbour
Power up at Coffs Harbour’s marina.

7. Venture to the end of Muttonbird Island

Up for a thrilling quest? Embark on a small but no less rewarding venture to Muttonbird Island, named after the thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters (or muttonbirds) that dwell here between August and April.

Start at the marina and follow Coffs Harbour Marina Walkway along the breakwater to soon be islandside. There, make the short but steep ascent to the island’s top, where a lookout features sweeping views of Coffs Harbour. Then continue to the Eastern Side Lookout, a superb spot to watch humpback whales from June to October, before returning.

When you’re back at the marina, filled with new impressions and a loaded camera roll, you have put just over 2 km behind you.

Group of girls walking on the breakwater to Muttonbird Island
Easily stroll over to Muttonbird Island.

8. Appreciate the variety of North Coast Regional Botanic Garden

Nestled in the heart of Coffs Harbour, these gardens encompass a mix of natural coastal forest and planted gardens fringed by Coffs Creek. Admire the variety as you take a discovery walk through the park, exploring sections with plants from different corners of the globe. If you have time, consider the 8.5km Coffs Creek Walk, venturing beyond the botanic gardens.

9. Scan for kangaroos at Look At Me Now Headland

Uncover the coastline past Coffs Harbour for more awe-inspiring scenery. A 20-minute drive north, the amusingly named Look At Me Now Headland magnificently overlooks Serenity Bay to the north and Moonee Beach to the south.

Take the 1.6km loop around the headland to find a hopping bonus feature, eastern grey kangaroos chilling on the grass-covered slopes — surprisingly comfortable with curious humans around. High above, majestic feathered wildlife, including ospreys, brahminy kites and white-bellied sea eagles rule.

Visiting between June and October? Then, you also may be able to spot spouting humpback whales.

10. Be amazed by the renowned Big Banana

Roadside giants are scattered all across Australia, but Coffs Harbour has one of the very best. Be dazzled by the iconic 1964 Big Banana statue, unmissable from the Pacific Highway, encouraging some 1 million visitors to stop by every year.

If you want to extend the experience beyond a photo, visit the souvenir shop for quirky banana-themed trinkets and the cafe for a chocolate-coated banana (both free to enter). Alternatively, enjoy a full day at the park behind the statue, The Big Banana Fun Park, offering all from a plantation tour to a toboggan, water park, ice skating and laser tag.

Although there’s much more to Coffs Harbour than the Big Banana, you can’t deny that this is banana land.

People lining up for a photo at the iconic Big Banana statue in Coffs Harbour
Don’t miss that famous Big Banana.

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