Coffs Coast

Ultimate guide to things to do in Coffs Coast with kids

Families have been flocking to the Coffs Coast in northern NSW for years because there’s so much to see, do and explore. From uncrowded beaches and lush, World Heritage listed subtropical rainforests to accommodation that ranges from luxury to budget apartments, resorts, hotels, motels and holiday parks, the Coffs Coast has it covered for kids. 

The iconic Big Banana, which is the gateway to an ice rink, water park, toboggan run and educational tours where you can learn everything you could possibly need to know about the banana, may be the Coffs Coast’s most famous attraction but it’s the laid-back friendliness of the locals, uncrowded beaches and wealth of outdoor activities that lures families back over and over again.

Warm tropical waters meet and mix with cooler currents from the south at The Solitary Islands Marine Park, home to 550 reef fish species, 90 types of hard coral and 600 types of mollusc.

Coffs Harbour city offers an abundance of beaches, attractions and activities galore for every age. But beyond its bright lights and café culture, Coffs Harbour International Marina provides a gateway to the stunning Solitary Islands Marine Park and its abundant wildlife, including migrating whales, birds, and fish filled coral reefs.

Bellingen, a pretty town located along the banks of the Bellinger River is another family favourite. The tree-lined town has character and charm in spades, thanks to its well preserved historic buildings, great cafes and restaurants, and a lively community of artists, painters and sculptors. Active families will find it a great base for exploring the spectacular rainforest of World Heritage listed Dorrigo National Park, and its river perfect for kayaking and canoeing.

Top things to do in Coffs Coast

The Coffs Coast is packed with plenty of unmissable family attractions. Here are 10 of the best.

  1. Traverse the rainforest canopy at the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre.
  2. Cool off at the Big Banana’s epic water park.
  3. Get around in style on a Bush to Beach Buggy Tour.
  4. Walk amongst the butterflies at the Coffs Coast Butterfly House.
  5. Paddle a couple of kayaks through the Bongil Bongil National Park.
  6. Get your motor running at F1 kart Hire or Raleigh International Raceway.
  7. Watch the whales from Woolgoolga Whale Watch Headland.
  8. Explore the unspoiled beaches and marine attractions of the Solitary Marine Park.
  9. Get on your bikes to cycle down Waterfall Way.
  10. Kayak through the Gondwana hinterland.

Things to do in Coffs Coast with...

Check out the slides at the adventure playground.

Best time to visit Coffs Coast as a family

The Coffs Coast’s subtropical year-round climate means that it’s a great place to visit any time of the year. 

Summers can be hot and a little humid so make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen and slip, slop, slap even on overcast days. Autumn can be rainy but that keeps the region lush and lovely. Winter is great for whale watching and while you may still want to take a dip or hit the surf, you’ll need to bring a wetsuit. Spring is one of the best times to visit with warm weather, minimal rain, thriving wildlife and loads of family friendly festivals and events. 

You’ll find an increase in pricing and crowds during school holiday periods and on long weekends, so you will need to book well ahead, especially during the first two weeks of the New Year which is the busiest time.

Family-friendly places to eat in Coffs Coast

The Coffs Coast does family friendly food well with fresh produce from the Tableland pastures including berries, bananas, mangoes, avocados and macadamias grown in the region’s rich volcanic soils, the best beef and dairy and incredible fresh seafood plucked straight from the Pacific Ocean. The fantastic produce is showcased at local farmers markets and delicious annual events like the Sawtell Chilli Festival and Woolgoolga Curryfest, which is a celebration of the area’s Punjabi heritage. 

The Seaview Tavern is popular with families not only for its great kids’ menu, but its jumping castle and views. Coffs Harbour Fisherman’s Co-op is the spot for fresh seafood and fish and chips. Bellingen is renowned for its thriving café culture. One of the best is The Old Butter Factory Café, which offers great food and a welcoming atmosphere for kids.

And what kid would pass up the offer of a frozen chocolate dipped banana at the Big Banana.

Dip your toes in the crystal clear creek.

Things to do for free in Coffs Coast

  • There’s no shortage of free stuff to see, visit and do on the Coffs Coast.  Coff’s 90km of sandy beaches are a great place to start with a choice of everything from gnarly surf beaches like Macauley’s and Diggers Beach to sheltered options like Jetty Beach for younger kids. 
  • The North Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, located alongside Coffs Harbour Creek, is home to rare and endangered Australian species and has plenty of space for kids to run wild. Muttonbird Island, joined to the mainland by a 600-metre causeway, is home to a colony of wedge-tailed shearwaters. Follow the path up the hill to viewpoints for amazing 360-degree ocean views and head to the Eastern Side Lookout to spot whales during the migration season. Or join a free guided tour with Coffs Ambassador Tours to discover some of Coffs’ best kept secrets from local insiders.
What’s on?

The best annual events for families in Coffs Coast

January - ArtUrunga's Sculpture in the Park Festival

Explore this outdoor exhibition of sculptures in Urunga's beautiful riverside park along with kids’ creative workshops.

February – Taste Woolgoolga Food and Wine Festival

Enjoy this celebration of locally produced and available food.

July - Sawtell Chilli Festival

Spice it up at this annual festival of flavour.

September - Woolgoolga Curryfest

Woolgoolga transforms into a bustling hive of entertainment, delicious food and family fun.

September - The Bellingen Fine Music Festival

A music fest with a difference featuring Jazz, World and Choral music.

September/October - Coffs Harbour International Buskers & Comedy Festival

Get your giggles at this fun annual family event

October - The Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival

A three-day family event with performances, workshops and special programs for children.

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