Sandy Beach, looking out towards South West Solitary Island
With so many beautiful beaches half an hour each side of Coffs Harbour, the Coffs Coast region is a great place to get away from it all while staying close to the city at the same time. Stretching from Red Rock in the north through to Bonville in the south, this 60km stretch of coastline boasts over 30 beaches and is a haven for surfers and tourists alike. With so many beaches to choose from, it gives everyone plenty of room to space out and you can be sure to find your own slice of private beach heaven on any given day. It's a region where budget accommodation options mingle with fully blown 5 star international resorts, so whatever your budget you can be sure to find a suitable abode for your next beach adventure.
Do yourself a favour and be sure to visit the Coffs Region next time you're on the NSW mid north coast, you won't regret it!
Park Beach is regarded as the main surfing beach in Coffs Harbour and is patrolled by the local surf life saving club. There's a beautiful natural reserve that runs behind the beach in the form of a tree-lined foredune, and the area is popular for families with kids with amenities such as picnic and bbq's area and a kids playground. The walking track around Macauleys Headland provides great views north and south and is a must-do while in the area. Park Beach is patrolled every day during winter between 9am and 4pm.
The view you get walking over the tree-lined foredune at Park Beach
Park Beach at Coffs Harbour is patrolled every day between the 1st July and the commencement of the NSW School Holidays in September. (Council employed Lifeguards patrol 7-days per week).
Patrolled every day between the commencement of the NSW School Holidays in September until the completion of the NSW School Holidays in April of the following year. (The local Surf Life Saving Club patrols weekends and public holidays, while Council employed Lifeguards patrol Mon-Fri)
Patrolled every day between the completion of the NSW School Holidays in April and the 30th June. (Council employed Lifeguards patrol 7-days per week)
(9am-5pm during AEDST)
(9am-4pm during AEST)
A calm and sunny day at Macauleys Headland
How's the number of beaches on this map!
Looking south along Park Beach
Around 1.2kms long, Sandy Beach is a favourite of locals who want to escape the occassional crowds of the nearby beaches. At the southern end is Bare Bluff, a vegetated headland that offers protection from strong southerly winds, and around 3km offshore is Groper Island which is popular with fisherman and boaties. At the northern end of the beach stands Flat Top Point, which provides some protection for surfers and swimmers during strong summer north easterly winds. Sandy Beach is worth a visit if you like long sandy stretches of beach to yourself.
Looking south along Sandy Beach
Main entrance track to Sandy Beach
Looking north along Sandy Beach
Some things to watch out for...I'd add the odd snake to that list too
Solitary Islands Coastal Walk, well worth a few hours of your time
Just north of Coffs Harbour you'll find Sapphire beach, although you may have to look for it as it can be tricky to get to. Simply take Sapphire Beach exit from the highway and follow the road along Crystal Waters Drive. You'll have to drive through a residential development (North Sapphire Shores Estate) to get there, but once you do you'll be rewarded with pristine waters and a calm vibe. There's the usual amenities here also such as plaground, parking, showers and toilets as well as a decent cafe right near the beach.
A picture perfect day at Sapphire Beach
I love reading these coastal signs
Bush trail access to Sapphire Beach, it's shorter than it looks
A typical day at Sapphire Beach where you can have it almost to yourself
Around a 15min or 20km drive north of Coffs Harbour lies Emerald Beach, a local surfing hotspot situated in a pristine National Park. The waves here can be excellent, and as it's in a National Park the area is super tidy and natural, giving you a unique experience when you're out in the water. Surfing aside, Emerald Beach has plenty on offer for the whole family - take a walk around the comically named 'Look At Me Now Headland" to check out the sights, take your kids to the playground located just behind the beach in the parklands, go for a swim on teh beach itself or stop off for a bite at the popular Saltwater cafe and restaurant. Keep your eyes peeled for Eastern Grey Kangaroos as they nibble on the dwarf grass or point your eyes to the sky and view the many species of birds such as Brahimny Kites, Ospreys and Eagles as they soar above.
Emerald Beach looking out to South West Solitary Island
That heading wasn't a typo - this is the headlands actual recognised name. Despite its funny name, the headland and area that surrounds it is of great importance to the traditional landowners, the local Gumbaynggirr people. To get to the headland, simply cross the water at the boardwalk bridge and follow the defined bush paths.
Looking south along Emerald Beach
Emerald Beach at Coffs Harbour is patrolled every day between 27th December and the 26th January the following year (9am-5pm). (Council employed Lifeguards patrol 7-days per week).
How's the serenity...
Moonee Beach, with its tidal estuary and ocean access, is a popular spot for fishing and swimming especially at the entrance where Moonee Creek enters the ocean. At low tide the waters are shallow but the tide comes in rapidly so take care if you are in the area. Much of the creek is lined with trees which provide a great cover on hot days. There are the usual amenities such as picnic and bbq areas, toilets and showers, kids playground and a takeaway shop near the caravan park.
Low tide at Moonee Beach
Looking out towards South Solitary Island and Lighthouse
A calm day at Moonee Beach
Just south from the Arrawarra Headland and situated in the Coffs Coast Regional Park is Mullaway Beach, a popular place for day trippers and fishermen. This sleepy beach finds itself nestled beside Mullaway Headland and is one of the areas quieter beaches. There's decent surf here on it's day and is popular with the local bodyboarding crew, plus being in a National Park it gives you the feeling that you are much further from civilisation than you actually are. To get here simply turn into Mullaway Drive and follow the road for around 1.5kms until you get to the headland.
Where are all the Jewfish?!
Picturesque Mullaway Beach Headland
Looking north along Mullaway Beach
Around 25kms north of Coffs Harbour, Safety Beach is a tidy, naturally rock lined beach that runs for around 1.5kms and is the place to go if you like raw beauty and little to no crowds. The beach can produce decent surf on its given day but it's more a place for relaxation and fishing in between the rocks and the gutters and there's much better surf not too far away if that's your thing. It's a wide beach in parts and is popular with walkers and locals who just want some time to themselves or with their furry friends as the beach is dog friendly.
Never felt safer, Safety Beach
Looking south along Safety Beach
Keep walking buddy, there's not enough room for us both!
Woolgoolga Beach is in a class of its own when it comes to sheer beauty and dramatic landscapes. As soon as you arrive you get a sense of inspiration as you admire the long curved beach from one of either steep headlands, and it feels much more remote than it actually is. The beach also has a back beach and stretches from the picturesque picnic spot of Woolgoolga Lake to the headland above the town. Immediately behind the southern end is a parkland reserve complete with a picnic area and bbq's, kids playground, toilets and showers, and there's a boat ramp where you can launch yourself into oblivion. If you want to immerse yourself in nature while taking in the stunning vistas, make sure you put this beach down on your list of places to visit when on the Mid North Coast of NSW.
Woolgoolga Back Beach showing off
Woolgoolga Beach at Coffs Harbour is patrolled every day between the commencement of the NSW School Holidays in September until the completion of the NSW School Holidays in April of the following year. (The local Surf Life Saving Club patrols weekends and public holidays, while Council employed Lifeguards patrol Mon-Fri).
(9am-4pm during the Sept/Oct and April NSW School Holidays).
(9am-5pm during the December/January NSW School Holidays).
(10am-3pm at all other times).
Woolgoolga Beach looking north
Woolgoolga Back Beach showing off again
Corindi Beach is another beauty of the NSW Mid North Coast and a popular holiday spot due to the caravan park and its beach access. The beach is extremely accessible and only a short walk from the caravan park or carpark, making it ideal for the elderly and those with disabilities. It's renowned for good waves and swimming and has plenty of rockpools for young kids to explore. There's also a boardwalk at the northern end of the beach that takes you on a twisitng journey through a small coastal rainforest towards Red Rocks, and behind the beach stands the Yarrawarra Aboriginal Arts Centre and Bush Tucker Walk.
What a place to sit and relax, Corindi Beach
A palm tree typical to the north coast of NSW
Looking north along Corindi Beach
Easy access to Corindi Beach
The Coffs Coast region is about half way between Brisbane and Sydney, and takes around 6 or so hours from either direction. Most capital cities have daily or weekly flights, but the best way to do it is to take a road trip up the Pacific Coast and stop off at the multitude of beaches along the way.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. The Coffs Coast region of the NSW mid north coast has a seemingly endless supply of beaches that cater to all walks of life, so whether you're a hardened surfer or a family with kids the region is sure to have something special for you.
All photos in this article are available for purchase in various sizes as high resolution acrylic glass or canvas prints, and are available for licensing purposes for media and marketing/promotional material. The photos you see here have been compressed for optimal online user experience, which means we've intentionally reduced the file size and quality of each image to ensure the pages you visit load faster.
Any printed reproduction of the photos you see on OZBEACHES would be done using the original 20+ megabyte RAW files, with the additional layer of having a professional graphic designer personally inspect each image and optimise for print. The OZBEACHES watermark would be removed and would not be visible on your print. If you have any questions about this process, please email me (Adam) and let me know which photo you're interested in by quoting the caption beneath it. Alternatively you can check out our featured images in the print gallery.
If you think the Coffs Coast region is a place you'd like to visit with your friends, why not share this article with them via one of the social links below. I want to help people (including you!) find their dream Australian beach, and the more information we share together will ultimately help us all in achieving that goal. I hope you enjoy your search.