Coffs Harbour’s historic Jetty (1892) is a great destination any time of day or year, but the atmosphere can be especially magical around sunset. Not to mention when there’s a full moon as well, rising from behind Muttonbird Island.
I dare say that the Jetty at sunset is the top choice for local couples to have their bridal pictures taken, and you’ll see at least one bride and groom there most Saturday afternoons or early evening.
The Coffs Harbour Jetty and Muttonbird Island at dusk and with a full moon
The Coffs Harbour Jetty (which is heritage protected) juts out into the harbour and you’ll get a good look, from many angles depending on where you stop to enjoy the view, at:
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.
Start of short walking track at Look At Me Now Headland
I love spending a few hours in the seaside town of Sawtell. It’s a popular holiday spot, especially in summer, and it’s easy to see why. It’s got:
great natural beauty,
an attractive main beach (Sawtell Beach) tucked in between Boambee and Bonville headlands,
picturesque Boambee and Bonville Creeks to swim, fish or paddle a canoe in, and
a charming main street (First Ave) lined with great old fig trees, boutique shops and galleries and lots of al fresco cafés.
A great way to really enjoy all this beauty, if the weather is nice (which it can be year round), is to go for a stroll around Bonville Headland (also referred to as Sawtell Headland), look at the waves and the surfers, and to take a dip in the ocean, creek or rock pool.
If you’ve got an hour or two to kill and perhaps it’s raining or it’s too hot to be walking around outside, I recommend you pay a visit to Coffs Harbour’s quirky Bunker Cartoon Gallery.
The World War II Bunker has been turned into a fabulous gallery space
It’s a unique and funky little art gallery housed in an authentic, underground WWII bunker. It’s also Australia’s first and only dedicated cartoon gallery and has the largest collection of contemporary cartoons in the Southern Hemisphere (22,000 works and counting).
All cartoons, caricatures and comic strips have been catalogued and are available in folders and as a digital, interactive display for viewing at your leisure.
Exhibitions – both from the gallery’s own collection and other artists – change regularly and include the Bald Archy Prize and Marnie Yeates’ Nature Photography exhibitions.
One activity that is a typical Coffs Harbour thing to do, doesn’t cost any money and NEVER gets boring, is to go for a walk along the North Wall (the northern breakwall along the Coffs Harbour International Marina) and up onto and over Muttonbird Island (and back, of course).
View from the top of Muttonbird Island over Coffs Harbour
Muttonbird Island is unique because:
although it’s an island, you can walk to it because it’s attached to the mainland via the northern breakwall, so it’s very accessible;
it’s a seabird rookery and is home to thousands of muttonbirds (wedge-tailed shearwaters, is what they’re called officially) between August and April;
there’s a paved path over the top to the other side (1km return), giving you unsurpassed 360-degree views from the top back over Coffs Harbour, along the coast, the beaches and the ocean;
there’s a viewing platform at the end from where you can watch for passing humpback whales between May and November;
it’s a Nature Reserve and the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service has put up interpretive signs with interesting information about the shearwaters/muttonbirds and marine life such as the whales.
I live in Coffs Harbour and I love it. I also write web content for a living. I’ve decided to start a website in blog format to write about life in Coffs Harbour and all the great things you can do there.
I’ve only put this site up today (5 Jan 09) so there’s nothing much there yet, but I will be adding lots of content over the next weeks, months and hopefully years.
There’s so much to do in and around Coffs Harbour that nobody around here (or visiting here) should ever have any excuse to say “I’m bored”!
So bear with me while I populate this website with ideas for activities and postings about my own (mostly outdoor) experiences. If you want to be kept up to date with new posts, subscribe to my RSS feed!