Halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, Coffs Harbour offers family-friendly holiday parks flanked by rainforest-clad hills.
Beyond soaking up the sun on one of the many beaches, a Coffs Harbour camping holiday offers a number of thrills: riding river rapids, sea kayaking, learning to surf, whale watching, and mountain biking in the rainforest surrounding the town. Of course, no trip to Coffs Harbour is complete without a choc-coated frozen banana on a stick from the Big Banana, Australia’s oldest super-sized roadside attraction, which also has an ice-skating rink, toboggan rides, and a giant waterslide. Hipcampers have just as much choice when it comes to deciding where to stay—a handful of family-friendly holiday parks sit in and around Coffs Harbour and the Coffs Coast, as do dozens of camping sites in the surrounding national parks.
Enjoy lush subtropical rainforest and thundering waterfalls in this mountaintop town 65 kilometres west of Coffs Harbour. There are several good walking tracks in Dorrigo National Park, which is also home to the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre. The Skywalk canopy boardwalk has spectacular views of the coast and is a highlight of any visit.
This 200-kilometre-long scenic driving route winds up over the Great Dividing Range from Bellingen through the rainforest to Dorrigo and across the New England high country to Armidale. It lives up to its name, with many stunning waterfalls along the route and dozens of wilderness campsites and walking tracks in the national parks along the way.
Coffs Harbour is the main centre for whitewater rafting on the NSW North Coast and offers some of the best whitewater in Australia. The main action is on the Nymboida River, which tumbles through the state forests and national parks west of Coffs.
Surrounded by rainforest and green farmlands in the Bellinger River valley, Bellingen offers great shopping, restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries along its historic main street. The town also hosts a number of music, arts, and literary festivals throughout the year.
You’ll need to book your caravan park campsite well ahead of time for summer and Easter school holidays, but the Coffs Coast is good to visit year-round. Summer is the wettest time of year, and although the water may be a bit chilly for swimming in winter, May through November brings whale watching season.
- The Jetty area is Coffs Harbour’s best eating precinct, with lots of restaurants and cafes. For good-value fish and chips straight from the sea, head to the fish co-op beside the breakwall. - Area operators can organise tours to safely swim with humpback whales during August and September. - Explore the creeks and rivers of the Coffs Coast by kayak or stand-up paddleboard.