Coffs Harbour, Australia
We left Byron Bay in hopes of finding farm work and that’s how Coffs Harbour came up on our radar! We ended up spending about 5 months in Coffs and I can’t think of anywhere better to have done our farm work than there. We both have so many good memories from our life living in a hostel as long termers, although it has made us never want to eat a raspberry ever again! By the time we left, Coffs felt like home. So much so that we ended up going back for the last two weeks of our visa to chill out before our next adventure.
There are a few hostels in Coffs Harbour, some better than others. A lot of the hostels like to advertise themselves as ‘working hostels’, which means that they have a lot of backpackers coming and staying for a few months while they do their farm work for their second year visa. Here is a link to a post about our experience of farm work incase you’re interested in knowing more about how we found it and any tips we have!
We originally stayed at the Hoey Moey but didn’t really like the hostel. It was far too cliquey. After a week we moved over to Aussitel and instantly felt at home. While we stayed there we were able to hire a car in order to get to a farm, which made life a lot easier.
Location – 9 The hostel is in a good place right in between a Coles supermarket and the beach. The beach is about a 15 minute walk away which is awesome.
Vibe – 10 This is by far the nicest hostel we’ve ever been to, and we’re not just saying that! They have hammocks to chill in outside, loads of social areas and even have free Netflix for rainy days.
Facilities – 10 There are free/cheap activities to take part in every single day from paddle boarding on the creek in a morning, to beer pong madness in an evening – they cover it all, and it’s a great way to make new friends. You can hire free surfboards, body boards and kayaks as well as snorkels! We had so many good times friends in the ocean and on the creek, and in the hostel generally.
What to do in Coffs Harbour
Coffs is a quiet beachy town – there isn’t a whole lot to do, but if you enjoy the beach and watersports then you shouldn’t get bored! We made use of the free gear and went onto the creek. It was so beautiful and relaxing out there and you can paddle all the way to the ocean.
Grab a board and go surfing! There are a few companies who offer lessons, but if you feel like you know what you’re doing you’ll be spoilt for choice for beaches as there are loads in a very small area! We think the best surf beaches are The Gallows and Diggers Beach. Coffs is a great place to surf as it is less busy than most beaches down the coast but still gets amazing surf!
If you’re just after a swim/snorkel then Jetty beach is the place to be. It has lovely calm waters perfect for an afternoon swim, and even a resident dolphin who comes up to say hello from time to time. If you’re feeling brave, however, then go and jump of the jetty! We had loads of fun with the hostel jumping off the jetty into the lovely refreshing water. Don’t get me wrong, it is terrifying but so worth it!
Head over to the Big Banana for heaps of fun. They have so many things to do including mini golf, a water park, tobogganing, ice skating and laser tag! We went with a group of friends and had a game of laser tag – it was so much fun! You can never be too old to have fun, even if everyone else there is 10 years old!
Get a ride to Emerald Beach to see the kangaroos, they are around most of the time but you’re most likely to see them at sunrise and sunset. Emerald beach is also another great place to go surfing!
There are some truly beautiful waterfalls around Coffs if you have the means to get to them, as well as the beautiful Dorrigo forest. Most hostels do day trips out to see the rainforest for free/a couple of dollars. We highly recommend going, it’s such a spectacular place.
If you love to watch the sunset then make sure you walk up Mutton Bird island just before and watch the sun go down from up there. It is breathtakingly beautiful. Also, if you’re in Coffs in May – December you might be able to spot some whales from up there!
There are a few great bars and restaurants in the area. A popular place that we used to go with the hostel was Coffs Hotel, who offer cheaper drinks and karaoke on some nights. It’s not the best nightclub in the world but I guess it’s better than nothing!
Take a trip to Bellingen a cute little town not too far away. They have a wonderful market there and lots of cute cafes to try! There are all sorts of wonderful little places around Coffs Harbour, another great place to visit is Urunga board walk and Sawtell ocean pool.
So whether you go to Coffs for the day or for half a year, you wont be at a loss of things to do. We love Coffs Harbour and it feels like home for us. It’s such a beautiful little place. So there you have it. Your full and complete guide to Coffs Harbour and all the things you can get up to, so what are you waiting for… get booking!
Kay and Dom
* All views and opinions are our own, we are not sponsored by any company(s) we just want to create great guides for people to enjoy their time travelling in Australia.