About 15km north of Coffs Harbour is a village called Emerald Beach. It’s in a very pretty location and worth a visit even just to respond to the southern headland’s ‘call’… “Look At Me Now” is its name. And go and look at it you should, in my opinion.
To get there, drive north from Coffs Harbour, take the Emerald Beach turnoff from the Highway onto Fiddaman Road and turn right at Dammerel Crescent to the carpark at the foot of the headland.
Look At Me Now Headland is part of Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. There’s a short walking trail that takes you up and around the headland, which is a significant Aboriginal site.
At the start of the walking trail, there’s a National Parks & Wildlife Services information panel with plenty of interesting facts about the Aboriginal heritage and the flora and fauna of the area.
You can first take the 100m side track to Moonee Lookout for expansive views south over Moonee Beach Nature Reserve and out onto Mount Coramba in the western distance.
Back on the main paved walkway over the headland, you’ll get amazing views over the Pacific Ocean, South Solitary Island with its heritage lighthouse (still working but now automatically operated), usually deserted Moonee Beach to the south and the village of Emerald Beach to the north.
Don’t be startled if you see a bunch of Eastern Grey Kangaroos grazing or lazing around the headland – they actually live there and as long as you leave them be, they’ll hardly take any notice of you. I’ve taken lots of kangaroo photos there because, being so out in the open and up on the headland, they make a great contrast with the blue sky or ocean behind them.
Between May and November, there’s also a good chance you’ll spot migrating humpback whales from here.
You can return to the carpark the same way you came or take the stairs down onto Shelley Beach and at about two-thirds of the length of the beach, take the track leading back to the other side of the carpark (that’s a 700m circuit in all, according to the info panel).
There are two very nice restaurants, a general store and an art gallery on Fiddamans Road, in case you were looking at staying on in Emerald Beach a while longer.