Outsiders Club
Paragliding in Nambucca Heads

Your Guide to a Coffs Coast Road Trip

Be captivated by Coffs

Explore the captivating Coffs Coast, a hidden gem on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Begin your journey in Nambucca Heads, where crystal-clear beaches and lush rainforests await.

Continue to Macksville, known for its charming cafes and fresh seafood, before reaching Coffs Harbour. Here, you'll find a range of activities, from whale watching to exploring the World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park.

Don't miss the iconic Big Banana Fun Park for family fun. The Solitary Islands Marine Park offers exceptional snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, rounding out your adventure.

Nambucca Heads to Red Rock

From Nambucca Heads, head north towards Red Rock for a surreal experience like no other. Along the way, there are plenty of attractions to discover, including stunning national parks, vibrant coastal towns, and some of the best surf spots in New South Wales.


One idea is to start off your road trip at Macksville – a charming small town on the Nambucca River with an abundance of cafes, galleries, and boutique shops to explore. Macksville is not only famous for its sporting history but fishing and oysters. So be sure to stop by for some delicious fresh seafood before continuingyour journey.


Nambucca Heads

Drive: 14min

Next is Nambucca Heads, whereyou'll find stunning beaches, thick rainforests and picturesque waterfalls that can be explored by foot or on the nearby cycling trail. The Main Beach in particular is a great spot to soak up some sun in peace and quiet. Shelly Beach is another beach in the area known for its surfing break and secluded rainforest location.

While enjoying the sun, be sure to check out the local seafood restaurants and cafes, which offer fresh seafood dishes while overlooking the crystal-clear waters. The Nambucca River is also a great spot for kayaking and fishing.

To enjoy the Nambucca Heads area completely, stay a night at a caravan park owned by Reflections Holidays. Close to the coastal creek reserve, you can experience serene views and vibes at Reflections caravan parks. You never know you may even spot a dolphin or two.


Coffs Harbour

Drive: 38min

The largest city and namesake of the Coffs Coast, Coffs Harbour is a must-see destination for all travellers. From here you can go whale watching, visit some of the east coast’s best beaches or head inland to World Heritage-listed Dorrigo National Park for breathtaking views of the rainforest and waterfalls.

The Skywalk lookout at Dorrigo National Park is worth the trip itself. 70m long yet soaring 21m above the rainforest, the views from the lookout are guaranteed to be some of the most impressive you'll ever see. You can see the rainforest canopy and hinterland towns on the horizon from the Dorrigo National Park Skywalk.

There's also great food to enjoy at Coffs Harbour. From fine-dining restaurants to local eateries, the jetty strip on Harbour Drive is packed with food options. Seafood such as oysters, prawns and crabs are especially popular.

Coffs Harbour is also known for its Big Banana Fun Park, where families can enjoy laser tag, a toboggan ride down a mountain, mini golf, ice skating, and a giant waterslide. 

For a stay right intown enjoy Reflection Holidays’ Coffs Harbour Park or for a little more quiet take a short 10-minute drive from Coffs Harbour to find a veritable nature’s paradise at Moonee Beach Holiday Park.


Solidary Islands Marine Park

Extending along the coast from Coffs Harbour to Sandon River 75km north, the Solitary Islands Marine Park stretches along the northeast coast of New South Wales. You'll find some of the region's best snorkelling and scuba diving experiences here. The sea life is abundant with a variety of colourful fish, dolphins, turtles and more.

The Solitary Islands Marine Park is also home to some of the best beaches and lagoons in the area. Spend your time exploring Woolgoolga, Emerald Beach, and all of the other gorgeous sandy beaches in between. You can also spend a lazy day fishing, kayaking, or sailing on one of the many crystal-clear bays in the area.


Grafton to Red Rock

Drive: 58min

Continue your road trip to Grafton in New South Wales’s Clarence Valley, where you can explore its rich colonial heritage. The city is known for its beautiful Jacaranda trees that line the streets during springtime, as well as its many museums and galleries.From Coffs, take the Pacific Highway for an easy trip, or choose to detour through Orara Way to be treated to the fresh air and natural beauty of the Australian bush.

In summer, nothing beats a swim in the cool waters of the Clarence River or trying your hand at paddling, hiking, camping or even 4WD touring in the surrounding state forests and national parks.

Red Rock is the perfect spot to end your road trip. This small, sleepy fishing village is located on the northern tip of Red Cliff Point and offers a stunning beachside backdrop for swimming, surfing and soaking up some sunshine. From Red Rock, you can explore the Corindi River and walk along Red Rock Beach.

The Coffs Coast is filled with travel-friendly destinations with much to see and do. Start your own journey along the Coffs Coast and explore its stunning landscapes, picturesque towns and vibrant cities. Make the most of camping sites on your way and remember to book pet-friendly accommodation (for park/beach stays) if you are bringing your animal best friend with you.

Be sure to make the most of this wonderful region and have an amazing time on your road trip through NSW with our itinerary.


Coffs Coast Hinterland

Head inland to the Coffs Coast hinterland for an outback experience like no other. Here you'll be surrounded by rolling hills, lush green valleys, and a variety of wildlife. Spend your time exploring the local wineries, sampling some of the locally produced cheeses and produce, or just admiring the stunning scenery. Upper Orara is just a 15-minute drive from Coffs Harbour.

Frequently asked questions

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How many days do you need in Coffs Harbour?

A minimum of two days is recommended to explore the highlights of Coffs Harbour. This will give you enough time to visit popular attractions such as the Big Banana Fun Park, Ulidarra National Park and it’s Forest Sky Pier, and the many surrounding beaches. You can also take some day trips from Coffs Harbour to nearby towns such as Nambucca Heads and Grafton.

What's better Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour?

Both Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour offer great holiday experiences. However, the activities offered in each location are quite different. If you're looking for a relaxing coastal or outback getaway with plenty of cultural and outdoor adventures to enjoy, then using Coffs Harbour as your base may be the better option to explore the surrounding region.

What town is half way between Sydney and Coffs Harbour?

The town of Port Macquarie is roughly half way between Sydney and Coffs Harbour. It's a popular holiday destination for those looking to explore the New South Wales coast and is home to attractions such as Billabong Zoo, Koala Hospital and Port Macquarie Observatory. Stay at Bony Hills Holiday Park, only 20 minutes from the city, for a chance to unwind and reconnect on your trip.

What is the stop between Coffs Harbour and Newcastle?

The ideal stop between Coffs Harbour and Newcastle is the town of Port Macquarie. It'slocated approximately 222 kilometres from both cities and offers plenty of attractions, activities and accommodation options for travellers.Stay at Bonny Hills Holiday Park only a short 20-minute drive away. North Haven Holiday Park is also under half an hour’s drive from Port Macquarie.