An easy-going coastal essence emanates along New South Wales’ North Coast. After all, this is the country that epitomizes the laid-back lifestyle. Along Coffs Coast, surf culture is pretty much the city’s backbone, and surfers are forever in search of the perfect wave along Sawtell’s golden beaches.
Adventurous spirits will love the abundance of outdoor activities available all around Coffs Harbour, because whether you’d prefer to gallop across the beach on horseback or coast downhill on an exhilarating bike ride, there is something for everyone. Seeking an adventure minus the adrenaline rush? Not a problem. Simply sit back, relax, and look out for migrating humpback whales as they majestically glide through the ocean waters during a mesmerizing whale-watching trip.
Free-spirited souls will feel at home in bohemian Bellingen. This lush countryside haven, further inland, has a creative, hippie-like vibe permeating its village. Take for example the quirky cafes dotted around town, some of which are housed in a converted church or former industrial buildings. And the natural beauty of Dorrigo National Park, with its 600-year-old trees and cascading waterfalls, will not disappoint.
Must-Do: Channel your inner Tarzan at Treetops Adventure park. With more than 110 challenges for varying ability levels and 20 ziplines, all ages can embrace their true adventurous spirit by stepping above and beyond their comfort zone. Set amid the Orara East State Forest, in a beautiful natural setting, it makes for a fun-filled day out for the entire family.
Eat: For an exotic feast, visit Anatolia Turkish Cuisine. And if you can’t choose between one of the mouth-watering pizza pides, chargrill platters, and smoked baba ghanoush, why not order all three, so the whole family can share. Or, for a taste of the ocean, make a reservation at Thirty Three Degrees. Their contemporary Australian menu features Sydney rock oysters with a passionfruit granita or chili ginger.
Day-Trip: Visit Booti Booti National Park and follow the Booti Hill and Wallis Lake walking trail. Winding past ocean, lake, and rainforest, it’s a scenic, serene route with opportunities for a picnic plus an ocean swim. The local aboriginal name “butibuti” translates as “plenty of honey” — and after a visit, the origins of this aptly named protected area will become clear: There really is plenty of sweet stuff to do and see here.