Best Coffs Harbour Activities

The Butterfly House | Dolphin Conservation Marine Park | Muttonbird Island | The Big Banana | Solitary Islands Aquarium | Dorrigo National Park | The Clog Barn | Forest Sky Pier | Coffs Harbour Jetty | Bongil Bongil National Park

Looking for the best attractions and activities in Coffs Harbour?  We’ve put together our favourite 10 things to do in and around the city – get reading, and start planning your Coffs Harbour itinerary.

The Butterfly House

18 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

If you thought Coffs Harbour was just beaches and bushwalks, think again.  There’s a whole lot more to this nature-focused town than you’d expect, exemplified by attractions like the Butterfly House.

Hundreds of particoloured insects abound in this subtropical sanctuary – although the butterflies aren’t the only creatures on display.  The recently finished Dinosaur Forest is also open to visitor, giving kids big and small the opportunity to get face-to-face with live-sized reptiles that move and roar (including four adorable babies!).

Oh, and to cap things off, there’s also an outdoor maze with butterfly-themed Easter eggs.  Let the kids entertain themselves as you and your partner kick back in the on-site café or browse through the nearby gift shop for a memento.

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

7 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

The Dolphin Marine Conservation Park is exactly what it sounds like – a nature park dedicated to protecting the region’s iconic marine mammals.  Here, you can meet bottlenose dolphins up close through one of three experiences:

  • Meet the Dolphin (a private poolside meet with four people)
  • Shallow Dolphin Experience (play in the water with a dolphin for 20 minutes)
  • The Ultimate Dolphin Experience (dive and swim in deep water with a dolphin for 20 minutes)

Dolphins aren’t the only animal that call the conservation park home, though.  Australian sea lions, freshwater turtles, little blue penguins, peacocks, and green sea turtles are all part of the family, and meeting each of the different species is definitely a unique experience!

If you and the kids love marine wildlife, this is one attraction you don’t want to miss.

Muttonbird Island

12 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

Ah, Muttonbird Island.  A rugged spur of rock and wind-swept vegetation, this tiny island is central to the identity of Coffs Harbour, and for good reason.

It’s one of the only places in New South Wales where you can see the nests of wedge-tailed shearwaters (also known as muttonbirds); all that greenery hides thousands of burrows, where the shearwaters – who spend the winter in South-East Asia – raise their chicks each year.

The island is also a deeply important place for the First Nations Gumbaynggirr people.  Traditionally, the island contained valuable resources for food and survival, and also holds a central role in many stories of the Dreaming.  To learn about First Nations culture and history on Muttonbird Island/Giidany Miirlarl, visit the island’s outdoor learning space.

Muttonbird Island is accessible on foot via a breakwall.  If you decide to visit (and you definitely should), make sure you stick to the paths to avoid damaging shearwater nests.

The Big Banana

5 minutes’ drive from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

If Muttonbird Island is the jewel in Coffs’ crown, the Big Banana is the region’s mascot: bright, showy, and a whole lot of fun.  Built in 1965, it was one of Australia’s first Big Things, helping put Coffs on the map as a serious tourist destination.

The Big Banana isn’t just a giant fruit, either.  It’s surrounded by one of New South Wales’ largest theme parks – a visit here is a whole-day experience.

Choose from 14 different attractions, including laser tag, a water park, tobogganing, reptile exhibits, and (one for the adults) an opal centre.  There are also standard inclusions like an on-site café and gift shop, making it easy to hit ‘Pause’ and enjoy some of the park’s famous banana-themed fare.

Need something to do in Coffs Harbour that the whole family will love?  The Big Banana is it.

Solitary Islands Aquarium

2 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

If ‘aquarium’ makes you envisage fingerprint-smeared Perspex and gaudy infographics, think again.  Solitary Islands Aquarium is a serious, education-focused facility run by Southern Cross University – and the species on display are truly worth the visit.

With everything from spiky sea urchins and sinister anemones to slow-moving octopi and enthralling lionfish, there’s plenty to see here.  The aquarium is designed to showcase the unique environments of the Solitary Islands, so, if you don’t want to get wet at the Solitary Islands Marine Park, visiting SIA is a great alternative.

There’s also plenty of interactive exhibits, including ‘touch tanks’, microscope displays, theme-based talks, family-friendly activities and games, and guided tours.  It’s the perfect place for the kids to learn about nature in a safe and controlled setting – and you’re guaranteed to lay eyes on the most exciting sea creatures in Coffs.

Dorrigo National Park

1 hour 7 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

dorrigo waterfall

Mist-threaded forest.  Towering, fern-hung trees.  Vast stretches of ancient forest.

This is Dorrigo National Park, a fragment of the Gondwana rainforests that once covered much of eastern Australia.  When you walk through Dorrigo, you’re struck by two things: the cool temperature, and the dripping, verdant greenery.  This isn’t your dry, outback bushland – everything is covered in moss and ferns, and there’s dozens of hidden streams and spectacular waterfalls waiting to be discovered.

Dorrigo is also home to a huge array of native wildlife.  Red-necked pademelons, ring-tailed possums, lyrebirds, and over 190 other species of birds, reptiles and mammals all live in the national park, so there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll get to see something exciting.

You’ve also got options when it comes to walking: traditional bushwalk, or Skywalk through the trees? The Skywalk is a short, accessible boardwalk that culminates in a spectacular lookout. The park also features a number of other boardwalks, as well as dozens of regular hikes with lots of waterfalls and swimming holes.

The Clog Barn

5 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

OK, so it’s probably not what you were expecting: a Dutch-themed caravan park in the middle of the New South Wales coastline.  That juxtaposition, though, is what makes the Clog Barn so refreshing.

Dutch-born owner Tom Hartsuyker has done an excellent job of replicating the authentic feel of an Old World atmosphere – from the half-timbered, white-daubed reception hall to the Clog Barn itself, this is a place that screams of Holland.  The three star attractions are:

  • Big Oma’s Coffee House (great coffee, and even better Dutch food)
  • An intricately detailed model Dutch village
  • The Clog Barn, replete with hand-crafted wooden clogs and unique souvenirs

While the park is a great, family-friendly attraction all year round, it’s particularly good over winter – warm up with Dutch cuisine, and take the time to really absorb the authentic atmosphere Tom has created.

Forest Sky Pier

12 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

forest sky pier
The Forest Sky Pier is a one-trick pony, but it’s a trick that will take your breath away.  Located on the Sealy Lookout, this cantilever platform towers over the surrounding forest, providing visitors with panoramic views of Coffs Harbour and the surrounding coastline.

The whole thing is fully wheelchair-accessible, and can be accessed directly from the Sealy Lookout carpark.  Other nearby attractions include Treetops Adventure Coffs Harbour, Gumgali Track, and the now-deceased Vincent Tree.

Coffs Harbour Jetty

11 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

coffs harbour jetty
Love the feeling of cool ocean breezes?  Feel like casting a line off a pier with the kids?  Want to take a photo on or under a genuine Coffs icon?  If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, you should probably make Coffs Harbour Jetty part of your itinerary.

The jetty was built from 1890 to 1892, and was key to the town’s logging exports.  Over the next century, the original underwent expansion and improvement, before being closed due to safety issues in 1990.  A restoration effort was launched in 1992, though, and the jetty was saved at a total cost of $3.8 million.

Now, it’s the perfect place to fish, watch the sun rise, and enjoy Coffs’ spectacular ocean views.  We recommend visiting either in the early morning or late afternoon – sip a coffee from the Galley, or have a barbecue in the park adjacent to Jetty Beach.

Bongil Bongil National Park

24 minutes from Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour

Where Dorrigo offers an otherworldly experience beneath mist-hung foliage, Bongil Bongil National Park is more familiar: mostly dry bushland that crowds close to rivers and beaches, with plenty of space for swimming, kayaking and fishing.

Koalas, flying foxes, and slow-moving monitors all call Bongil Bongil home.  The park hosts one of the largest koala populations in New South Wales, and also features over 165 species of different birds, which are best experienced via the highly popular Bundagaree Rainforest Walk.  Other popular tracks include the Eastern Peninsula Track and the Thomas Ridge Road Circuit.

Feeling inspired by the Coffs Harbour activities and attractions in this article?  It’s time to start putting together your itinerary.  Check out the perfect Coffs Harbour itinerary composed by one Club Wyndham Coffs Harbour’s own guests.

Read The Itinerary

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