One of the most popular ‘eat streets’ in Coffs Harbour is what the locals call the ‘Jetty Strip’. What makes it so popular is the wide variety of restaurants and cafés to choose from and the laid-back vibe due to its proximity to the beach and harbour. There are so many choices that you can just go there and make a last-minute decision what and where you want to eat.
Below is a complete list of all the eateries along and close to the Coffs Harbour Jetty Strip of restaurants. I’ve listed each of their specialties, their phone numbers and a link to their website, if they have one, or Facebook page. There are more than 20 cafés and restaurants all together in the one area.
Sometimes you feel like a walk on the beach, but other times you like to go somewhere where there are more trees, more birds and there’s more shade. But you don’t always want to make a daytrip out of it by driving to a National Park somewhere. At those times, the Coffs Creek Walk is ideal!
The Coffs Creek Walk is right in town but nicely hidden away between the trees, and I can guarantee you’ll feel far away from it all. It’s a real bushwalk through the forested fringes of Coffs Creek, with several boardwalk sections across wetland areas and mangroves.
Reasons to do the Coffs Creek Walk – or sections of it:
The Coffs Creek Walk is a real bush walk right in the middle of Coffs
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.
The rock pool on Bonville Headland, Sawtell
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).
Muttonbird Island is unique because:
View from the top of Muttonbird Island over Coffs Harbour
- 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.