If you feel like you need a break from Coffs Harbour or just fancy a change why not try one of these Coffs Harbour Excursions. You may want to spend just a couple of hours in some of these places, a half or full day or even go for an overnight stay.
The lovely little seaside town of Sawtell, only about 10km from Coffs Harbour, is well worth a visit for a few hours. There is a cycle path all the way from Coffs Harbour to Sawtell which is fairly flat and is off the road for most of the way. On the way there you should take the detour to the lookout just beyond Boambee Creek which has great views of the long surf beaches on either side of the headland. It is a wonderful sight to see the waves breaking along the beach for miles in both directions.
The main street of Sawtell has some huge fig trees down the middle of it which provide lots of shade for the many cafes and restaurants on both sides of the road.
Cafe Annabel does great smoothies and milkshakes and has a good range of snack food. They have internet access with a reduced price if you use your own laptop. There is also a great little cafe next to the SLSC overlooking the main Sawtell beach which serves a good variety of breakfast dishes and lunch dishes such as burgers, steak sandwiches, fish and chips and salads and lovely smoothies.
If you continue just beyond the town there is a turnoff to another lookout with great ocean views to beaches on both sides of the rocky headland. Beyond this is the bowling green and swimming pool and next to that is a nice caravan park.
Woolgoolga is another small seaside town which is worth a short visit. It is located 25km north of Coffs Harbour on the Pacific Highway and is a smaller and less developed resort than Coffs Harbour. As you enter the town you will see the impressive Guru Nanak Temple which is a Sikh place of worship on the hill. There is also a building beyond that called the Raj Mahal which looks a bit like a temple but is a shop and restaurant.
There is a lovely sheltered beach just off the main street which has a grassy area behind it with BBQs and picnic tables. If you continue through the town you get to the point where you will have great views of the Solitary Islands Marine Park. If you are there between May/June and September/October you may be lucky enough to see whales from this point.
Back in the town there are a few cafes and restaurants along the main street where you can stop for morning coffee or lunch.
For me an absolute must of all of these Coffs Harbour excursions is a visit to the pretty little town of Bellingen. Bellingen lies on the banks of the Bellinger River about 15km inland from Uranga and 40km south west of Coffs Harbour and is perfect for a half day trip from Coffs Harbour or even to spend a couple of nights if you are looking for a relaxed spot.
You can make this into a full day trip by continuing on from Bellingen to Gleniffer which itself is no more than a few houses, a church and a community hall but beyond that there is an 11km loop road called The Promised Land Loop which is definitely well named. It is unsealed in places but it is a beautiful drive with great views of the mountains and some lovely crossings of the Never Never Creek which has very clear water. We sat by the creek which was such a peaceful and idyllic spot and had our picnic lunch. We drove back via Valery but I wouldn’t recommend that route as the road is unsealed and was in a very poor condition when we used it. Better to drive back through Bellingen the way you came.
Dorrigo National Park
Another must is Dorrigo National Park which is about an hours drive from Coffs Harbour along the Waterfall Way. This can be done as a day trip from Coffs Harbour but I would recommend staying at least one night. The Waterfall Way is a beautiful route through wonderful scenery and, as its name suggests, past many fabulous waterfalls.
Dorrigo National Park is home to stunning rainforest and is one of the most accessible national parks in Australia. Being on the edge of an escarpment means that there are lots of lookouts with wonderful views and plenty of waterfalls.