Everything You Need To Know Before You Go To Coffs Harbour


Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia

So your thinking about stopping in at Coffs Harbour for more than just an hour or so? It’s a good thing, Coffs has a lot to offer and well worth staying overnight or even visiting as a destination all on its own.

After several trips to and through Coffs Harbour, I thought I better put together a collection of some of the things that I think are handy to know before you go to Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales Mid North Coast for the first time.

If you’d like to know what you can do in Coffs Harbour, I’ve picked out my top 5 suggestions here.

WRC Rally Australia - Coffs Harbour

Where is Coffs Harbour?

Coffs Harbour is located on the New South Wales Mid North Coast. It marks roughly the halfway point between Sydney and Brisbane located on the coast along the Pacific Highway. It’s about a 6 hour (500 kilometres) drive North from Sydney or 4 and half hour (400 kilometres) drive South from Brisbane.

Where To Stay in Coffs Harbour?

Being halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, there are plenty of hotels in and around the city of Coffs Harbour. It’s a good midway stopping point for those road-tripping and looking to break up the trip between the two major cities. There are accommodation options, from caravan parks through to fancy resorts, to cover all sorts of different budgets.

If you are looking to stay in Coffs Harbour for a couple of days and really embrace the resort experience then I would recommend either:

Those of you looking to for a quick comfortable overnight stop before getting back on the road, then I would suggest either the Aquajet Motel or the Bentleigh Motor Inn as they are close to the Pacific Highway but also close to dinner options, particularly bistro’s, so you don’t need to get back in the car once you’ve checked in after potentially a long day of driving.

While for families, then the cabins at either the BIG4 Park Beach Holiday Park or the Sapphire Beach Holiday Park are probably your best bet for value and convenience.

Getting To and From Coffs Harbour?

For most people, the best way to get to Coffs Harbour is to drive there. But then again for most people, Coffs Harbour is a short stop on a much longer road trip up or down the Pacific Highway. It’s reasonably located halfway between Sydney and Brisbane and relatively easy drive for the most part and will continue to become an easier drive at the Pacific Highway upgrades get completed.

Having said that, Coffs Harbour is serviced by a variety of other transport options. There is a small regional airport just to the south of the city which is serviced by a couple of Australian airlines including Qantas and Virgin Australia with flights to and from Sydney and Melbourne daily. To find out more visit – https://www.coffsharbourairport.com.au/.

You can also get to Coffs Harbour by train. Coffs Harbour is on the train line that operates between Sydney and Brisbane. There are a few daily XPT rail services operated by NSW TrainLink (former CountryLink) that will get you to Coffs Harbour, but it’ll take you about 9 hours from Sydney to do the trip (3 hours longer than doing the same trip by car). To find out more head over to the rail services website – http://www.nswtrainlink.info/

There are also Coach services operating between Sydney and Brisbane like Greyhound or Premier, which stop in Coffs Harbour. But again it’ll take you significantly longer than if you were driving yourself. To find out more visit http://www.greyhound.com.au/ & http://www.premierms.com.au/

Getting Around Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour can be divided up into a couple of sections. While the main part of the city along the Pacific Highway is relatively easy to walk around. If you’d like to go elsewhere in the city, having a car makes it much easier. Then once you start looking at taking in the major tourist attractions, particularly the National Parks then having a car becomes a requirement.

That said there is a public bus service around Coffs Harbour, but it primarily interlinks the nearby towns. The #365 bus will take you between the middle of town, the jetty and the major shopping centre. To find out more visit the Busway’s website – http://www.busways.com.au/region/coffs_harbour

Where To Find Food/What To Do In The Evenings?

There are two places I recommend heading for a feed or a night out. In the centre of town along the Pacific Highway, you’ll find a good selection of cafes, bars and restaurants to cater to a variety of tastes and budgets. You won’t be stretched to find something to suit what you are looking for in this part of town.

If you are looking for something nicer end of spectrum, with views over the water, then there are also cafes and restaurants in the harbour foreshore area that will be certainly worth checking out.

That completes my tips if you are heading to Coffs Harbour for the first time if you’d also like some of my suggestions of things to do while you are there, check out my top 5 things to do in Coffs Harbour blog post.

Have you been to Coffs Harbour before? Got some tips first-timers might be able to take advantage of? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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