Coffs Harbour

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Coffs Harbour
New South Wales
Coffs harbour.jpg
Coffs Harbour jetty and harbour, including Muttonbird Island, looking north
Australia New South Wales relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Coffs Harbour
Coordinates 30°18′08″S153°07′08″E / 30.30222°S 153.11889°E / -30.30222; 153.11889 Coordinates: 30°18′08″S153°07′08″E / 30.30222°S 153.11889°E / -30.30222; 153.11889
Population71,822 (2018) [1]  (25th)
 • Density142.081/km2 (367.99/sq mi)
1987 (city) [2]
Postcode(s) 2450
Elevation21 m (69 ft) [3]
Area505.5 km2 (195.2 sq mi)
LGA(s) City of Coffs Harbour
County Fitzroy
State electorate(s) Coffs Harbour
Federal Division(s) Cowper
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
23.4 °C
74 °F
14.0 °C
57 °F
1,699.0 mm
66.9 in
Panoramic view of the Coffs Harbour marina, NSW Australia, from Muttonbird Island Coffs Harbour Marina Panorama.JPG
Panoramic view of the Coffs Harbour marina, NSW Australia, from Muttonbird Island

Coffs Harbour is a city on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, 540 km (340 mi) north of Sydney, and 390 km (240 mi) south of Brisbane. It is one of the largest urban centres on the North Coast, with an estimated population of 71,822 in 2018. [1]

Mid North Coast Region in New South Wales, Australia

The Mid North Coast is a country region in the north-east of the state of New South Wales, Australia. The region covers the mid to north coast of the state, beginning at Seal Rocks, 275 km (171 mi) north of Sydney, and extending as far north as Woolgoolga, 562 km (349 mi) north of Sydney, a distance of roughly 400 km (250 mi).

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.


Coffs Harbour's economy was once based mainly on bananas, now being superseded by blueberries as well as tourism and fishing. The wider region is known as the Bananacoast. [4]

The city has a campus of Southern Cross University, a public and a private hospital, [5] several radio stations, and three major shopping centres. Coffs Harbour is near numerous national parks, including a marine national park.

Southern Cross University university in Australia

Southern Cross University (SCU) is an Australian public university, with campuses at Lismore and Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales, and at the southern end of the Gold Coast in Queensland.

National park Park used for conservation purposes of animal life and plants

A national park is a park in use for conservation purposes. Often it is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently, there is a common idea: the conservation of 'wild nature' for posterity and as a symbol of national pride.

There are regular passenger flights each day to Sydney and Melbourne departing from Coffs Harbour Airport. [6] Coffs Harbour is also accessible by road, by NSW TrainLink, and by regular bus services. [7]

Sydney State capital of New South Wales and most populous city in Australia and Oceania

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 2,080.5 km2 (803.3 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of approximately 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Coffs Harbour Airport airport serving Coffs Harbour, Australia

Coffs Harbour Airport: is the only airport located in and serving the regional centre of Coffs Harbour, Australia. The airport is located near Boambee, south of Coffs Harbour. Coffs Harbour Regional Airport is one of the largest and busiest regional airports in New South Wales, handling numerous types of aircraft. The airport is currently serviced by four airlines QantasLink, Virgin Australia, Tigerair and Fly Corporate. Coffs Harbour is one of the only regional airports in New South Wales to have an Air Traffic Control tower. The airport has the capacity to handle any aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 767. Coffs Harbour airport is located right at the doorstep of the Pacific Highway which links all of Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas to the airport.


Coffs Harbour is a regional city along the Pacific Highway between Newcastle and the Gold Coast. It has become a major service centre for those living between South West Rocks in the south and Grafton to the north.

Pacific Highway (Australia) highway in New South Wales and Queensland

The Pacific Highway is a 790-kilometre-long (490 mi) national highway and major transport route along the central east coast of Australia, with the majority of it being part of Australia's national route 1.

Newcastle, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas. It is the hub of the Greater Newcastle area which includes most parts of the local government areas of City of Newcastle, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland and Port Stephens Council.

Gold Coast, Queensland City in Queensland, Australia

The Gold Coast is a coastal city in the Australian state of Queensland, approximately 66 kilometres (41 mi) south-southeast of the state capital Brisbane and immediately north of the border with New South Wales. With a census-estimated 2016 population of 569,997, the Gold Coast is the sixth-largest city in Australia, making it the largest non-capital city, and Queensland's second-largest city.

Sawtell, 10 km south along Hogbin Drive from the city has become a satellite suburb of Coffs Harbour; it is increasingly referred to as being part of the city instead of its own entity as a town.

Sawtell, New South Wales Suburb of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia

Sawtell is a coastal village near Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales, Australia.

The surrounding region is dominated by coastal resorts and apartments with hinterland hills and mountains covered by forests, banana plantations, and other farms. It is the only place in New South Wales where the Great Dividing Range meets the Pacific Ocean.

The Bananacoast Community Credit Union (BCU) is headquartered in Coffs Harbour.

The greater Coffs Harbour city is broken up into several suburb and precinct areas including:

The city is surrounded by outlying towns which are referred to by locals as suburbs of the Coffs Coast Region:


Looking west from Moonee Street after a shower of rain - Coffs Harbour, NSW, 1922 Looking west from Moonee Street after a shower of rain - Coffs Harbour, NSW, 1922.jpg
Looking west from Moonee Street after a shower of rain – Coffs Harbour, NSW, 1922
The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour Big Banana Coffs.jpg
The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour

The traditional owners of the Coffs Harbour region are the Gumbaynggirr people, who have occupied this land for thousands of years, forming one of the largest coastal Aboriginal Nations in New South Wales. Their Nation stretches from the Nambucca River in the south to around the Clarence River in the north and to the Great Dividing Range in the west. Their history is a long and fascinating one, which is remembered by the people and imprinted on the very land itself. [8]

By the early 1900s, the Coffs Harbour area had become an important timber production centre. Before the opening of the North Coast railway line, the only way to transport large items of heavy but low value, such as timber, was by coastal shipping. This meant sawmillers on the North Coast were dependent on jetties either in rivers or off beaches for exporting their timber. Timber tramways were constructed to connect the timber-getting areas, the sawmills and jetties built into the ocean at Coffs Harbour. [9]


Coffs Harbour owes its name to John Korff, who named the area Korff's Harbour when he was forced to take shelter from a storm in the area in 1847. [10] The name was accidentally changed by the surveyor for the crown when he reserved land in the area during 1861.

Heritage listings

Coffs Harbour has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


According to the 2016 Census [12] the population of the suburb of Coffs Harbour is 25,752. This is an increase from 24,581 in 2011. 52.5% of the population is female in contrast to the national average of 50.7%. The average age is 43, which is higher than the national average of 38. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 5.6% of the population.

75.5% of residents reported being born in Australia; higher than the national average of 66.7%. Other than Australia the most common countries of birth are England (3.2%), New Zealand (1.3%), Myanmar (1.1%), India (0.9%) and Germany (0.5%). 62.2% of residents also reported both their parents being born in Australia, considerably higher than the national average of 47.3%. 82.1% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Punjabi 0.9%, Chin Haka 0.5%, Arabic 0.4%, Spanish 0.4% and Dari 0.4%.

The top religious response in Coffs Harbour are Catholic 20.0%, Anglican 17.9% and Presbyterian and Reformed 3.9%. 29.3% declared no religion and 11.1% did not submit a response.


Coffs Harbour has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa according to the Köppen climate classification system) with marked seasonality of rainfall. The city is relatively sunny, receiving 122.1 clear days annually, higher than Brisbane and Cairns. Summers are warm, wet and humid. Winters are mild, pleasant and drier.

Climate data for Coffs Harbour (Coffs Harbour Meteorological Office, 1943–2015)
Record high °C (°F)43.3
Average high °C (°F)27.0
Average low °C (°F)19.5
Record low °C (°F)11.0
Average rainfall mm (inches)187.5
Average precipitation days15.015.016.612.511.610.
Average afternoon relative humidity (%)69716965625954535763656863
Mean monthly sunshine hours 235.6204.4220.1216.0207.7198.0223.2257.3255.0251.1237.0244.92,750.3
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [13]


Inside The Bunker Cartoon Gallery Coffs Harbour The Bunker Cartoon Gallery Coffs Harbour.JPG
Inside The Bunker Cartoon Gallery Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour was the hub for a thriving banana industry. One of the biggest attractions is the Big Banana, one of the first of Australia's Big Things (it celebrated its 40th birthday in 2005), with the World's Largest Banana celebrating the region's best known export. There is also a popular underwater diving spot on a small natural reef.[ vague ]

The Coffs Harbour Jetty is an historically important timber wharf where coastal shipping once moved the timber from the hinterland. The jetty area is the subject of current planning[ when? ] by Council and consultants to develop a cultural precinct and rejuvenated residential area.

Nearby, the Solitary Islands Marine Park preserves a diverse underwater ecosystem that mirrors the terrestrial biodiversity, covering the southern limit of northern tropical species and the northern limits of the southern temperate species. Muttonbird Island is accessible by walking along the breakwater from the harbour, with the nature reserve protecting a significant wedge-tailed shearwater breeding site. The Muttonbird Island footpath leads to a viewing platform where whales are often spotted between June and November.

There are many national parks, reserves and marine parks surrounding the city, including:

The town's water supply comes from the nearby Orara River at Cochranes Pool and is supplemented by the Nymboida River. The city hosts the Coffs Harbour Regional Botanic Garden.


Coffs Harbour is home to the Coffs Harbour Education Campus (CHEC) which is a partnership between the Southern Cross University, TAFE and the Coffs Harbour Senior College. Other universities include the University of New South Wales Rural Clinical School located on the Coffs Harbour Health Campus. Australian Catholic University, Rural Education (REZ). Local state and private high schools include Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Orara, Toormina, John Paul College, Coffs Harbour Christian Community, Bishop Druitt College and the Coffs Harbour Senior College.

Primary schools include; Boambee, Bonville, Coffs Harbour Public, Coramba, Corindi, Crossmaglen, Karangi, Kororo, Lowanna, Mullaway, Nana Glen, Narranga, Upper Orara, Sandy Beach, Sawtell, Toormina, Tyalla, Ulong, William Bayldon and Woolgoolga Public School. Private primary schools in the area include; Mary Help of Christians, St Augustine's and St Francis Xavier's.

Defunct primary schools

Other schools

Special schools are public schools designed for children or youth with chronic disabilities or who for other reasons cannot be accommodated in the comprehensive school system. Coffs Harbour Learning Centre is available for these students.

Cultural facilities and libraries







Although the Pacific Highway cuts through the centre of the city, much attention has recently[ when? ] been focused on obtaining state government commitment to determining the routes of proposed highway deviations at a number of places including Bonville, the North Boambee Valley to the west of Coffs Harbour and north of Arrawarra to Wells Crossing.

Local media



Of the three main networks, NBN produces an evening news bulletin combining regional, national and international news, every night at 6:00pm on Channel 9. Prime7 News produces a mid north coast bulletin presented from its Canberra studios weeknights at 6:00pm. WIN Television produces and airs 90-second news updates, throughout the day, broadcast from its Wollongong studios.



  • 106.3 Triple M – Part of Southern Cross Austereo, Triple M is heavily focused on the local Coffs Coast region, as well as shows such as Moffee For Breakfast, The Ray Hadley Morning Show, Arvos with Whitey and plays adult hits. The station was formerly known as 2CS FM until 15 December 2016
  • Hit 105.5 – Part of Southern Cross Austereo, Hit 105.5 has a local Coffs Harbour Breakfast Show called the A.B & Ben Show.

Began in 1997 as a third commercial license for the Coffs Coast. The station was formerly known as Star FM until 15 December 2016.

  • 2HC 639 AM – Music, news, talk format. Part of the Broadcast Operations Group's Super Network continuously relaying programs from 2SM in Sydney except for a local program broadcast from Coffs Harbour between 12 pm and 3 pm weekdays. The station was purchased by Bill Caralis in 2005.



  • CHY FM 104.1
  • Racing Radio 107.1 FM
  • 2AIR FM 107.9
  • Freedom FM 94.1


  • RawFM 88.0 FM




Beaumonts, Busways, Forest Coach Lines, Newcombe and Sahdras all run service throughout Coffs Harbour and the surrounding areas. The various long-distance coach services which run along the east coast also stop at Coffs Harbour.

Forest Coach Lines runs frequent buses to the northern suburbs of Coffs Harbour and some less frequent services to Grafton.

Most of the Beaumonts buses in 2011 were bought by Newcombe, originally Beaumonts bus service ran in the Orara Valley carrying high school and primary school students from the city of Coffs Harbour to their rural homes.


Coffs Harbour is serviced by NSW TrainLink. Three northbound and three southbound XPT trains stop at Coffs Harbour station each day.

Preceding station  TfNSW T.svg NSW TrainLink  Following station
towards  Grafton, Casino or Brisbane
NSW TrainLink North Coast
towards  Sydney


Local taxis are run by Coffs Coast Taxi & Hire Car Service.

Air travel

Coffs Harbour Airport is regularly serviced by Fly Corporate, [18] Qantas, Tigerair and Virgin Australia. The passenger terminal is accessible via Hogbin Drive.

The Coffs Harbour Aero Club on Aviation Drive supports private pilots. Flying lessons and discovery flights, as well as airwork and charter flights are available from the club, which is also working closely with local high schools to provide flying training for students.

Flying lessons and discovery flights, as well as airwork and charter flights are available from Coffs Coast Aviation Centre, which is also working closely with local high schools to provide flying training for students.


The city has four clubs in the Country Rugby League of NSW's Group 2 rugby league competition; Coffs Harbour Comets, Sawtell Panthers, Woolgoolga Seahorses, and Orara Valley Axemen. All clubs offer entries in age groups ranging from under 7s to first grade. The Sawtell Panthers are the current champions[ when? ] in first grade and under 18s, and Woolgoolga Seahorses were runners up to the Port Macquarie Sharks in reserve grade.

There is a local Australian rules football competition with two clubs in the city; Coffs Harbour and Sawtell Saints.

There is also a men's and women's soccer league, two rugby union clubs (Coffs Harlequins and Southern Cross University), junior and senior basketball competitions and the representative Coffs Suns, field hockey and netball competitions.

In 2001, Coffs Harbour hosted the Oceania region's qualification matches for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. One these matches played at Coffs Harbour was the Australia 31–0 American Samoa game, which set a new world record for international association football's biggest ever win. [19]

Pacific Bay Resort hosted 'Camp Wallaby' throughout the 2000s, in which the Wallabies called Coffs Harbour home.

The 2007 and 2013 City vs Country Rugby League representative fixtures were held in Coffs Harbour.

The city is home to the Coffs Harbour International Stadium, which has hosted FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and a Women's 2008 Beijing Olympics Qualification fixtures for the Matildas in soccer as well as some National Rugby League (NRL) pre-season fixtures and domestic one day cricket matches. Coffs Harbour is also known for a great place to skydive due to the hinterland views where The Great Dividing Range meets the sea.

The region has hosted international rallying through the 1970s through to the early 1980s. After that time, the events became part of the Australian Rally Championship and NSW Rally Championships. In 2010, it was announced that Coffs Harbour would be the host city for 2011 Rally Australia, a round of the FIA World Rally Championship. The rally used roads from the neighbouring Bellingen, and Nambucca Shires in addition to Coffs Harbour. The rally returned permanently to Coffs Harbour in 2013. In 2016, the rally will be run in November with a Super special Stage at the Coffs Jetty.[ needs update ]

Coffs Harbour is home to three locally grown sporting events attracting thousands of competitors each year: the Coffs Harbour Triathlon (bcu Coffs Tri), the Coffs Harbour running festival and the Coffs Ocean Swims, all raising money to local children's charities. Since its conception the events have raised over $200,000.[ citation needed ]

Notable residents

Annual events

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Further reading