Back on the Pacific Highway, COFFS HARBOUR – or "Coffs'' – is beautifully set at a point where the mountains of the Great Dividing Range fall into the South Pacific Ocean, and boasts glorious expanses of white sand to the north. The town is a lot of fun, with more activities than you can shake a stick at – in particular, the Solitary Islands, just offshore, are notable for diving, with fringing coral reefs, a plethora of fish, and migrating whales between late May and late November.
The CBD and shopping mall, clustered around the western end of Harbour Drive and Grafton Street, is where the major shops and services are located. A charming creek walk and cycle trail begins on nearby Coffs Street and winds its way down the creek's southern bank to the sea.The boat-filled marina, with its adjacent Jetty Beach and historic pier, is unquestionably the nicest part of town, and perfect for a pre-dinner sunset stroll.
Over Coffs Creek from the marina, Park Beach is a decent stretch of sand, as is Boambee Beach to the south and Digger's Beach around the headland to the north. Little Digger's Beach, to the north again, is the spot to get rid of your white bits.
A fifteen-minute walk from the marina, the Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve, offers fantastic views back over Coffs Harbour, its beaches and the Great Dividing Ranges beyond. Thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters, or muttonbirds, travel to the island from Southeast Asia each year to breed (Aug– April). Partially visible to the north are the five islands and several islets making up the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve, the largest such preserved area in New South Wales; the mingling of tropical and temperate waters means that there's a huge variety of sealife.