Glittering beaches. Famous national parks. Iconic attractions. Unique experiences. And that’s just the beginning.
There is so much to see and do in North Coast NSW, and these 13 things are among the essentials.
From the cheap to the challenging, do yourself a favour and embrace the following.
Tomaree National Park is an Instagram favourite. The essential activity is the climb to Tomaree Head Summit along a 2.2km-long return track. From here, soak up picturesque, panoramic views that magnificently frame Port Stephens and its sensational coastline.
Australia’s collection of big things has a major star along the NSW north coast: Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana. And it's more than just a pretty face: This attraction is home to a fun park boasting an assortment of rides, attractions, and other entertainment.
Gem-rich national parks are dotted throughout North Coast NSW, and this is among the best of them. Dorrigo is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area and is highlighted by an expansive Skywalk lookout and epic Crystal Shower Falls. The park is reached 70km west of Coffs Harbour.
Colourful, creative, interactive. Best described as an ever-growing ‘art gallery’ of graffiti-covered rocks, the V-Wall is a local landmark. And you can get in on the action and keep the tradition alive by painting a rock and leaving your own holiday message.
The epic park features a massive coastal lake system that's well-suited to water leisure alongside brilliant beaches, NSW’s tallest tree, and a succession of jaw-dropping vistas best enjoyed from Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks. Myall Lakes is just 15km southeast of Bulahdelah.
Worimi Conservation Lands feature Australia’s largest sand dune system and are home to NSW’s longest beach. Quad biking and sand boarding are among thrilling activities to enjoy here, while photographers could spend all day composing pretty pics. Definitely one of the best things to do in Port Stephens.
Gripping yarns from the past abound within these walls, or what’s left of them. While the gaol has been reduced to ruins, guided tours breathe life into its history and cover such themes as its role as an internment camp during World War I. As a bonus, the coastal vistas from here are spectacular.
Just south of Coffs Harbour is one of the prettiest golf courses imaginable. Bonville Golf Resort is often likened to having a hit in a national park with lush fairways flanked by towering trees, while wildlife and bird species abound. Best of all, it’s easily accessible for the average golfer and a round won’t blow your entire holiday budget.
This wildlife hospital is committed to conserving koalas, so a visit here is rewarding. Guided tours are full of interest, and of course there are plenty of opportunities to spot these cuddly creatures. Entry is free but a donation is always appreciated.
Brilliant beaches abound along the NSW north coast, and each warrants mention. We’re paying particular attention to Black Head Beach for its easily accessed ocean baths and are throwing in bonus points for the area’s beautiful backdrop of Norfolk pines.
Nearby park: BIG4 Happy Hallidays, Hallidays Point.
Among the region's rich appeal is its blend of vibrant cities and quiet villages for getaways both adventure-packed and relaxing. Harrington is certainly in the latter category. Spotted at the mouth of the Manning River and close to great beaches, this NSW north coast town is irresistible for a laidback, battery-recharging break.
Nearby park: BIG4 Colonial Holiday Park, Harrington.
The NSW coast allows for myriad aquatic fun, and at Forster-Tuncurry it's taken to the extreme. The twin-towns allow easy access to the famed Great Lakes area and are home to inviting strips of sand like One Mile Beach and Main Beach. Whale watching, boating, fishing, diving, swimming, and much more are all enjoyed with ease from these parts.
Planted just 5km south of Port Macquarie’s heart, this pretty park protects a significant slab of coastal rainforest that’s easily admired along an elevated boardwalk. Learn more about Sea Acres at its rainforest centre or join a guided tour to uncover the rich Indigenous connection to the area.