A Week in Coffs Harbour on the Coast of New South Wales

Coffs Harbour is about a five hour drive south of Brisbane on the New South Wales coast. It is not a big town, it has a population of about 45,000 and has a reasonably ordinary looking town centre.

Town centre

Town centreCoffs, as it is known, is where we decided to spend a one-week summer holiday this year. Now I was quite lucky when I was a child, my mother was French, so our family would holiday in France quite a lot, mostly the Mediterranean. But we didn’t always go there, sometimes we had our holidays in England.

Holiday weather in England, even during the summer, could never be guaranteed. I remember one particularly punishing camping holiday in Dorset when the rain and wind just kept on and on and on. I don’t think we lasted the week before packing up and coming home.

That doesn’t much happen in Australia. I’ve been here eight years now and I can’t remember having a summer holiday with bad weather. Even during the Brisbane floods in 2011 when we escaped for one week in Adelaide, the weather there was perfect.

In Coffs Harbour, it was almost a perfect 30°C every day with clear blue skies. Almost. Great for the beaches:

Park Beach

Park Beach was within walking distance of our apartment, this is how it looked on a slightly cloudy Friday evening…

Park BeachPark Beach is also next to Coffs Harbour Creek, a shallower water playground for all kinds of activities. This is how that looked on a sunny Monday evening on the day we arrived…

Coffs Harbour Creek

Coffs Harbour Creek 3

Coffs Harbour CreekHere are some more sunny beaches:

Macaulies Headland

Macaulies Headland

Macaulies HeadlandDiggers Beach

Diggers Beach was being patrolled by lifeguards, so here are our kids swimming between the flags. This is the flag on the right…

Diggers BeachYou can see Elizabeth with her two friends Ruby and Anna wearing the pink, white and blue tops. And this is the flag on the left…

Diggers BeachThe lifeguards, in case you’re wondering, are sitting on a bench on the same raised platform I’m taking these photographs from.

Charlesworth Bay

Too many pebbles and not enough golden sand, but nice views…

Charlesworth Bay

Charlesworth BayTechnically speaking, here are all of these beaches from a distance…

beachesAnd why would I have walked all the way out to the marina to view the beaches from a distance? That’s easy…

beerAnyway, I said we had ‘almost’ perfect weather, here’s what happened on the final day of our holiday when we went to the small town of Sawtell…

Hello Sawtell…just 10 km to the south of Coffs Harbour. Beautiful views looking north…


SawtellBut heading towards us from the south was a quite savage storm…

SawtellSo we spent the Saturday afternoon walking around a shopping mall, which really did remind me of England.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ronny January 25, 2016, 8:28 pm | Link

    Looks very relaxing. thanks for sharing 🙂

    But, don’t misunderstand, it also looks empty of life. Is Coffs Harbour supposed to be a holiday destination ? I expect to see crowded beaches when talking about seaside resorts. Is this kind of “empty” beaches normal or do Australians suffer from economic crisis , or else ?

    • BobinOz January 27, 2016, 3:30 pm | Link

      No, there is no economic crisis here, I think it’s more a case of EVERY coastal town in Australia is potentially a holiday destination. Australia has more beach than it knows what to do with. I think we only have a small number of beaches that can be described as busy, the rest have plenty of room to put down your towel.

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