|Port Macquarie - Coffs Harbour|
|The Coffs Coast|
This middle section of the NSW North Coast includes some of the regionís most unspoilt stretches of coastline. Coffs Harbour, with its resorts, theme parks and wide range of attractions, provides a striking contrast.
From Port Macquarie thereís a scenic alternative to taking the highway north. Instead, cross the Hastings River by car ferry, then follow the Maria River Road to Crescent Head, a legendary surfing area. You can then either rejoin the main road at Kempsey (home of the Akubra hat), or continue through tranquil farmland to reach the highway further north.
Whichever option you take, donít miss the detour to the small town of South West Rocks. In addition to its beautiful beach, this is the home of the dramatically situated Trial Bay Gaol, constructed in the late 1800s. Nearby, lighthouse-capped Smoky Cape provides marvellous views of the coastline.
Back on the highway, Macksville is the location of the famous ĎPub with No Beerí. Beyond here, take another side trip to Nambucca Heads - the fishing is great, and the beaches irresistible. From here itís an easy drive into Coffs Harbour.
Lively Coffs provides a very different experience. In addition to cruises, fishing and hanging out at the beach (particularly north of town), this resort centre offers many attractions. The Big Banana Leisure Park is must, as are the Pet Porpoise Pool, the zoo and the Aquajet Leisure Park (perfect for kids). Quieter activities include visiting Muttonbird Island and the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden. Coffs Harbour is also the perfect base for a variety of excursions - one of the most enjoyable is a trip inland to the attractive town of Bellingen, famed for its arts and crafts, and World Heritage listed Dorrigo National Park.
Where to Stay
Time required: 2-3 days minimum