Coffs Harbour waterfall


Coffs Harbour is known for its stunning scenery and laid-back atmosphere, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy them without spending too much money.

From exploring spectacular viewpoints to having a picnic near the beach, read on to learn about our list of the top five free things to do in Coffs Harbour.

Mention Coffs Harbour to most people and they’ll immediately state The Big Banana. 

Which is fair enough too. 

It has been such an icon in this area for nearly 50 years, alongside the stunning coastline. 

The region thrives on being a tourist destination and certainly business’s need to make a dollar or two.

Coffs Harbour offers things that cost you, such as offshore diving and fishing, jumping out of planes right down to zip lining and a theme park.

Alongside those activities, there's also an interesting handful of FREE experiences to whet your appetite too. 



This is a go-to place for many locals and tourists alike. 

The old timber jetty dates back to 1892 when it was built to ship timber out.

Timber was cut from the hinterland to bring supplies and passengers into the area. 

Today it’s a lengthy 500 metres long and is open to the public to enjoy the stroll to the end.

If you’re game, try some jetty jumping into the tropical clear water or maybe some light fishing off the sides.

The jetty is like a jewel in the Coffs crown.

Nearby the marina is another popular place to relax as you wander past hundreds of boats moored up.

In addition, admire the huge array of fish swimming under the timber walkway.

There’s a ‘no fishing’ policy there, so it’s a great place to see plenty of marine life.

The walk along the marina leads to Mutton Bird Island.

Here you’ll need to be a little bit fit to tackle the pathway to the top and over the other side.

With breathtaking views in every direction, it’s a favourite for photographers all year round.

During whale season it’s the go to place for locals and sea lovers.

You won’t be disappointed in spending a day around the jetty area too.

With cafes and the local seafood co-op for a refresh before heading to the beach for a cool wash off.

Coffs Harbour Jetty and the Marina


If you want the best view of the Coffs Coast for your photo album.

Sealy Lookout is your spot.

Sealy Lookout offers stunning coastal and hinterland views for as far as the eye can see.

A 10-minute drive out of Coffs Harbour winding through banana plantations into the Orara East State Forest.

You’ll be amazed with jaw dropping views to the top of the mountain.

Open during daylight hours it’s the perfect place to unwind with a stroll out along the platform above the dense rainforest below.

There are a few short walks into the forest nearby where you might be greeted with some local Lyrebirds. 

You may even be lucky enough to see east coast koalas, goanna’s and much more!

Don’t forget to bring a picnic basket to enjoy the serenity away from the hustle of the coast.

Just down the road there’s an adventure walk along the Gumgali Track to Korora lookout.

Not only will you be presented with more stunning views, but you can also experience the Gumbaynggirr story of Gumgali.

With the black goanna in a sculpture, art along the way and its sound.

The area has received a gold award for a tourist attraction, so you know you won’t be disappointed.

Sealy Lookout at Coffs Harbour


Opened in 1988 the botanical gardens cover more than 50 acres and are located on the original refuse dump for the area.

These days the gardens thrive in the rich soil where micro systems work well with each other.

There’s 5 km of walkways meandering past Coffs Creek on three sides.

It’s wheelchair friendly and there’s a cafe run by volunteers to spoil yourself after exploring the gardens.

It’s a great place to take the kids so they can let some steam off on the grassy areas.

They can also discover the sensory gardens and look for eels and ducks in the ponds located around the area.

It’s easy to spend hours exploring the most beautiful gardens on the north coast with areas that contain flora from countries around the world.

Then there’s the koi ponds but most of all the time away from everyday life getting lost in a plant world.

It’s hard to believe that the Coffs Botanical Gardens are right in the heart of town.



Covering more than 60 km along the stunning coastline this walk can be done over several days.

From Sawtell in the South right up to the beautiful Red Rock in the North.

The beauty of this trek is that it can be done at your own leisure from any point along the way.

Meandering over headlands and along beaches the crystal-clear water always puts on a spectacular show.

Often, you’ll see kangaroos basking in the sun along the way, not doing much else but just taking notice of what’s going on around them. 

Maybe grab a selfie with a roo from a distance, spot dolphins and turtles or just be in awe of the surroundings.

The path will lead you through pristine coastal rainforest pockets where bush turkeys never stop scratching looking for a feed.

Then other times the signs point you through the outskirts of coastal villages.

This is the perfect place to stop and enjoy some fresh produce, if you didn’t bring a packed lunch in your ‘North Storm® backpack’. - Grab yours here ;)

Along the way there’s history boards and beaches covered in seashells.

Plus, you’ll be enticed to cool off in the creeks that you pass over.

Alternatively you can swim safely too at one of the patrolled beaches.

No matter what section you decide to tackle, you’ll be left with the sweet smell of salt air in your lungs, plus an amazing journey experience.



There’s a lot to be said about the coastal fringe, but it lies within the shadows of the Great Dividing Range.

Where along the region the mountains come right down to meet the sea.

This phenomenon allows for some great 4 wheel driving in the hills where tracks crisscross in every direction.

Throughout the area there are plenty of hinterland walks to magical type places where palms and gums reach for the sunlight.

Yet down at your feet, there’s delicate ferns and moss loving the cool shade.

Easy to get to, there’s protected Tallowwood Trees estimated to be 800 years old.

Along with old Blackbutt Trees standing strong and over 50 metres tall, through to Ancient Red Cedar trees.

With the mountains giving a buffer between the plateau and the coast.

This allows for some dramatic rock formations where waterfalls have carved their mark over thousands of years.

You will find more than a handful of stunning falls pouring down from the hinterland at any one given time.

So there’s always somewhere to cool off on those hot summer days.

Even when the temperatures are high, the creeks with their crystal-clear water are often cold, very cold but they give instant relief from the heat.

Little villages in the Coffs Hinterland offer perfect getaway experiences and some of the best food for miles. 

They are always happy to offer advice where the locals' secret spots are.

But only if you ask nicely. ;)



There is no shortage of places to stay on the Coffs Coast, where all options are catered for.

Those wanting a stunning stay can spend up and experience one of many beach-side resorts.

Beautiful B&B’s right through to mount side mansions that have views up and down the Coffs Coast line.

For the budgeted minded folk, there’s plenty of motels in various locations to suit any budget.

In addition, the campers are definitely not forgotten.

There’s an array of destinations to be explored on the coastal fringe.

Then in the hinterland with beachside camps, stunning river gorge sites through the usual caravan parks and showgrounds.

Lastly, we hope you enjoyed our 5 best free things to do in Coffs Harbour. 

Words by: Kev Smith - WoolgoolgaOffroad 

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