Your Guide to a Coffs Coast Road Trip
Nambucca Heads to Red Rock
If you're looking to explore a largely undiscovered part of New South Wales, the Coffs Coast is the perfect place. Starting in the mid-north coast town of Nambucca Heads, you'll be greeted with crystal-clear beaches, lush rainforests and a plethora of outdoor activities to keep you busy.
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.
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 Holiday Parks. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.