It hardly needs to be noted that North Coast beaches are both bountiful and brilliant – and claiming a decent patch of sand is paramount when visiting these parts. Capture the essence of the region at the likes of Port Stephens – an area with a whopping 20-plus beaches – Forster, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, and South West Rocks.
Naturally, swimming and surfing opportunities abound, but a wide assortment of incredible water-based experiences are offered.
Again Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour, and South West Rocks come to attention when nominating whale-watching hotspots. These destinations also appeal to divers. Port Stephens–Great Lakes Marine Park and Solitary Islands Marine Park, north of Coffs Harbour, teem with marine life, coral, and much more. South West Rocks’ Fish Rock Cave is highly regarded.
Many national parks earn attention. New England National Park and neighbouring Dorrigo National Park – accessed from Bellingen and Coffs Harbour – both form part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. They teem with treasure, including gushing waterfalls, and a stroll along the Skywalk at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre will take your breath away.
Part of the Port Stephens area, Myall Lakes National Park features a mammoth coastal lake system that suits more water adventures. Ebor Falls is a highlight within Guy Fawkes River National Park, reached from Dorrigo.
Head slightly inland to Taree and be besieged by more incredible scenery within the Manning River Valley. Taking a scenic drive around these parts is extremely rewarding.
Another highlight of the North Coast region is Bonville Golf Resort, south of Coffs Harbour. It features one of the prettiest golf courses on the planet and regularly picks up awards.
The nearby Coffs Harbour Butterfly House and the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital are among leading family attractions.