Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is a City on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, approximately two thirds of the way from Sydney to Brisbane.


Coffs is one of the original family holiday destinations on the Australian east coast. Today the city attracts parents and grandparents bringing their children to the same destination they visited as a child, as well as many travellers between Sydney and Brisbane, including backpackers staying for a week or so. Less trendy than Byron Bay, or Noosa the town still had great beaches, a huge variety of accommodation, and a well developed tourist industry that has been one of the mainstays of the community since the 1950's.

Get in

By car

Coffs Harbour is a 530 km drive north of Sydney and 350 km south of Brisbane on the Pacific Highway. As always on the Pacific Highway, take care. The road quality varies dramatically, and there are normally traffic build-ups during peak holiday periods.

By train

After years of financial neglect, line closures and discount airfares, Coffs Harbour (probably along with Dubbo) remains one of the few places in country New South Wales where the train still offers a reasonable service and a competitive price.

It is a nine-hour train ride on NSW Trainlink (132232) from Sydney, but it is a nice view out of the window as the train travels out of Sydney and up via the Central Coast, Newcastle and Kempsey. There is a choice of trains daily, and the trains even arrive and depart at relatively sociable hours during the day. The train station is in the south of the town near the jetty area and is walking distance to the beach and to some accommodation. There are taxis available to get to resorts or the other accommodation around town. Buses also run close by at the jetty village shopping centre.

Some of the trains continue on to Brisbane, which is 6 hours away by rail.

There is also a railway station in the Sawtell that is in the Coffs Harbour vicinity.

By bus

All the coaches travelling the route between Sydney and Brisbane make a stop in Coffs.

By plane

You can fly to Coffs Harbour

The airport is usually referred to by airlines as Coffs Coast and is located about a five minute drive outside the town. There is bus that runs into town from the airport. The service is operated by Sawtell coaches. Please refer to their website for timetable and fares. Taxis can also be hailed to the city centre.

Get around

Buses Busways Sawtell Coaches and Ryans bus service run regular services around the city to make up a local transit network. Buses also run to Nambucca Bellingen and surrounding areas.

Taxis Coffs harbour has a local taxi network that will run you up and down the Coffs Coast.





Harbourside Markets are a craft and produce market featuring handmade and local products only, there is also live music. The markets offer a beautiful setting under shaded trees and only a 5 min walk to the beautiful beaches located at the popular Jetty Foreshores area every Sunday.

Shopping Centres

this shopping centre has had extensive renovations and includes a Kmart in the list of new stores.


There is a group of eateries in the Jetty area, mostly on Harbour Drive. This area is known as having the best eating in Coffs.



The high season in Coffs Harbour is the summer school holidays, from late December until the end of January each year. Some accommodation on the spot is likely to be available even at those times.

In addition to the usual hostel/motel/hotel accommodation, Coffs has a large number of motel-like facilities that call themselves 'holiday apartments'. These are typically large motel-like flats with 2 or 3 bedrooms and some cooking facilities. They are designed to be booked on a week-to-week basis but are often available for shorter bookings.




Coffs also has some of the best beachside resorts in New South Wales. Pacific Bay, Opal Cove and Nautlius are all resort style accommodation near the beach in the Coffs area.

Go next

Continue north up the coast to Byron Bay, or inland follow the spectular Waterfall way through Bellingen to Armidale, or south down to the Forster, and Port Macquarie.

The scenic village towns of Coramba and Nana Glen are a scenic 30 minute drive North-East of the main center of Coffs Harbour. Check out Mountain Ash pottery and gallery in Coramba and the local bakery for the valleys best pies and desserts. Visit the local winery in Nana Glen as well as the Kookaburra Cafe for lunch with its unique tram carriage dining area. Along your drive, be sure to purchase some local produce sold at roadside stalls!

Stay safe

Coffs Harbour is reasonably safe but the main thing is to keep vigilant at night in the CBD also it is unadvisable to walk the park beach area at night near the Hoey Moey Hotel. Toormina is an unadvisable place to be during the night. One should be particularly vigilant to avoid making eye contact, or attempting to interact with KOB Gangs (kids on bikes) at all times, especially in the popular scenic day trip village towns of the Orara Valley region such as Coramba and Nana Glen.

Some Coffs hotels and resorts advertise and are proud of their beachfront settings. However, not all Coffs beaches are patrolled, and paying to be on the beach, and then finding it may not be one that is safe to swim at can be frustrating if that was your plan.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 07, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.