The Coffs Harbour Visitors Information Centre is located at the corner of Rose Ave and Marcia St, tel: (02) 6652 1522 or, toll-free, 1800 025 650.
The marina off the end of High St is a departure point for fishing charters, whale-watching cruises from May to September and scuba-diving cruises to the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve though there is also one based at Mullaway. The town beaches, south to north, are Boambee Beach (which extends south to Sawtell), Jetty Beach and Park Beach. Further north are Diggers Beach, Campbells Beach, Mid Sapphire Beach, Moonee Beach, Shelly Beach, Emerald Beach, Fiddamans Beach and Sandys Beach. The next stop is Woolgoolga, north of which are more beaches before the land becomes National Park.
Moonee Beach, 10 km north of the Big Banana, is a large beach with a small settlement and a foreshore lined with pine trees. It has good facilities. Emerald Beach (17 km north of the Big Banana) is also attractive, though Sandy Beach (a further 2 km north, on the other side of Bare Bluff) used to quieter and more secluded but has undergone much development in the last decade.
The Coffs Harbour Historical Museum at 191 High St, near the Earle St corner (east of the Mall), is open Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 1.30 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. It has Aboriginal artefacts (mostly large and carefully-crafted pebble tools), cedar-getters' implements, mining and farming relics and the lantern from the South Solitary Island Lighthouse, made of brass and hand-cut prism glass, which was in use from 1880 to 1975. On the latter date the lighthouse was automated, tel: (02) 6652 5794.
The North Coast Regional Botanic Garden in Hardacre St (off High St on the northern side) covers 20 ha and displays both native and exotic flora with rainforest areas and prolific birdlife. Covering 19ha, Coffs Creek loops around three quarters of it. There are various self-guided walks and admission is free though donations are gratefully accepted.
* Map and guidebook. * Hiking boots;
* Shorts with many pockets;
* Fleece type jacket. * Lip balm;
* Band-aids. * Camera and lots of films!
* Extra batteries;
* Lens 210 mm. None ... :-)
I loved it. A vehicle pulled up. Out popped a canoe. Two children went paddling around the park, now part of the river.
While I was watching, reflecting on the joys of youth, along came a local man of Indian descent who needed transport home.
Thus it was that he ended up in the canoe paddling home along the road. It's path was easy enough to follow, just keep the telegraph poles on your right and disappear into the bush.
Such is life in rural Australia.
And I have to admit that I had a wry smile on my face when I was categorizing this effort and put a tick in the box marked "Other family travel".
Gold mining looks like hard work ! the seams of gold are in veins of quartz, holes had to be dug into the rock to enable the tunnel to be blasted with dynamite, if the miner couldnt afford dynamite the entire tunnel ad to be dug out with hammer and chisel, all this with no guarantee that a rich vein of gold would be found, add to that the fact that he was working in dark, damp conditions it makes one realise what a chronic sickness "gold fever" really is
in 1923 George Ellis sank a 65ft shaft, then tunneled out 40ft from the bottom of it, in one year he removed 8 tonne of rock from the mine which gave only 3 1/2 ounces of gold valued at just over A$26, thats only 50 cents per week before expenses
While away your afternoon in the Tavern
This could also go in the restaurant tips area but you don't have to have a meal to enjoy this venue. Apart from some great food and sweets, well stocked bar and child entertainment, they often have a small group playing for your entertainment too.
To-day, there was a four piece funky, come regae type group playing, that looked set for the whole afternoon. Lovely.
We had our $10 choice of 10 meals, lunch plus a glass of wine and the most gorgeous chocolate cake topped off with a beautiful cappucino to-day.
What more could you want? Oh yes, when we had finished eating the frilled lizzards came out of the turtle and eel filled creek to clean up the floor. Amazing.