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Coffs: the coast with the most

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Wild About Whales
Coastline view Coffs Coast. Photo: Tony Karacsonyi

Coffs Coast on the mid north coast of NSW has long been known for its beautiful stretches of beaches and coastal national parks from which to view the annual whale migration. From Coffs Coast Regional Park to the north of Coffs Harbour, to Yarriabini National Park further south, there is plenty to see and do in addition to seeing the whales. Here's a few must-do's:

Top walks

Lovers of scenic walks will be impressed by the Solitary Islands coastal walk in Coffs Coast Regional Park - one of the longest and most beautiful walks on the east coast of NSW. The walk links a string of idyllic golden beaches, rocky headlands and lush rainforest along the Coffs Coast.

A visit to Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve is a must when you hit the Coffs Coast. This precious place at Coffs Harbour’s heart is a great place for short walks, and it’s always worth the effort with amazing views - head to Eastern Side Lookout perched above wave-worn rock platforms at the eastern side of the island for unimpeded views of Solitary Islands Marine Park. It's also a great place for watching birds up close as it's one of the only easily accessible places in NSW where the migratory wedge-tailed shearwater nests, and of course you can see the muttonbirds and their burrows.

For a bit of history on the coast, take Dammerels history walk in Moonee Beach Nature Reserve. The walk is a short easy stroll with a superb view out to Solitary Islands – you can learn the history of the Dammerel family who took the job as operators of the signal station there in 1884, learn all about the workings of an historic 19th century lighthouse and watch for wildlife such as eastern grey kangaroos, wallabies, goannas and pythons.

And if rainforests are what you’re after, take the Bundagaree Rainforest Walk in Bongil Bongil National Park. It’s a gentle hike along the coastal fringe of the park with rainforest on one side of the dunes and is a good one for bird watching.

Discovery Tours

Enjoy a journey through time with the Gumbaynggirr People on the Coffs Coast Aboriginal Discovery Program. The program brings the culture of the people to the local community and thousands of visitors to the region each year. Activities include interpretive canoe tours, 4WD tag-along tours, bush tucker tours, whale watching and night birdwatching in eight national parks on the Coffs Coast. Four Aboriginal Discovery rangers will guide you and share the unique cultural significance of Gumbaynggirr Country in a fun and informative way. Tours are available on request, see website for details.

Take the family just north of Coffs Harbour for the Bongil Bongil family mountain bike ride through the Bongil Bongil National Park. Join experienced rangers on a free guided mountain bike ride along unsealed forest trails. The ride takes place on Saturday 3 August and will see you ride through a variety of local coastal forest types where you can learn about the natural heritage of the area – you may even spot a koala.

Head inland and enjoy the views

While on the Coffs Coast you can head inland for a day trip to the Dorrigo National Park which is wonderful for rainforest walks, bird watching, waterfalls and amazing views from the elevated walk with views all the way from the forest to the sea. Great walks here include the Crystal Shower Falls walk and the Lyrebird Link Track.

From Coffs Harbour, travel southwards along the coast where you'll find Yarriabini National Park. The Yarriabini Lookout offers truly amazing views from the top of Mount Yarrahapinni south-east over macadamia farms to the Macleay River estuary and Trial Bay.

For these and many other things to see and do in the National Parks of the Coffs Coast and surrounds visit the NSW national parks website.

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