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Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour
New South Wales
Coffs Harbour jetty and harbour, including Muttonbird Island, looking north.
Coffs Harbour is located in New South Wales
Coffs Harbour
Coffs Harbour
Population 45,580 (2011)[1]
Established 1870s
Postcode(s) 2450
Elevation 21 m (69 ft)[2]
LGA(s) City of Coffs Harbour
State electorate(s) Coffs Harbour
Federal Division(s) Cowper
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.3 °C
74 °F
14.0 °C
57 °F
1,705.6 mm
67.1 in
Panoramic view of the Coffs Harbour marina, NSW Australia, from Muttonbird Island

Coffs Harbour, in Australia, is a coastal city located on the north coast of New South Wales about 540 km (340 mi) north of Sydney, and 390 km (240 mi) south of Brisbane. Its population was 45,580 in 2011 with the greater region having a population of 70,990 in 2012.[3]

According to the

  • Coffs Harbour City Council
  • Coffs Harbour City Library - Local Heritage Resources
  • Coffs Harbour visitor information

External links

  • Aboriginal history of the Coffs Harbour region / compiled by Coffs Harbour City Library by Liz Thomas (2013)
  • Coffs Harbour: Vol I: pre-1880 to 1945 / Neil Yeates (1990)
  • Coffs Harbour: Vol II: 1946 – 1964 / Neil Yeates (1990)
  • Coffs Harbour 100 years down the track / by Jean Donn-Patterson (not dated)
  • The Coffs Harbour story (1976)
  • The history of Coffs Harbour / Produced by Friends of Tourism & Coffs Harbour Historical Society (not dated)
  • The Natural history of the Coffs Harbour District / Dept of Continuing Education, North Coast Regional Office, U.N.E. (1980)
  • Remembering Coff's Harbour: a century of photographs / [edited by Arlene Hope and David Townsend] (2001)
  • Ships and timber: a short history of Coffs Harbour port and associated railways / John Kramer (1984)

Further reading

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Estimated resident population (ERP) at 30 June 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Coffs Harbour Base Hospital ::: North Coast Area Health Service. (27 September 2007). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Timber Tramways of Coffs Harbour Longworth, Jim Australian Railway History, June, 2006 pp214-223
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ World Cup: Australia score 31 in World Cup. Telegraph (11 April 2001). Retrieved on 18 August 2011.
  13. ^


Annual events

Notable residents

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 race used roads from the neighbouring Bellingen, Clarence Valley and Nambucca Shires in addition to Coffs Harbour. 101 cars have been entered for this event, based at Coffs Harbour Airport. The raced returned permanently to Coffs Harbour in 2013.

The city is home to the BCU International Stadium, which has hosted FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and a Women's 2008 Beijing Olympics Qualification fixtures for the Matildas in football as well as some 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 2007 and 2013 City vs Country Rugby League representative fixtures were held in Coffs Harbour.

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

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.[12]

There is also a men's and women's association football 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.

There is a local Australian rules football competition with 3 clubs in the city; Coffs Swans, North Coffs Kangaroos, Sawtell Saints.

The city has 4 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 in first grade and under 18s, and Woolgoolga Seahorses were runners up to the Port Macquarie Sharks in reserve grade.


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

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

Air travel

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


Preceding station   NSW TrainLink   Following station
towards Grafton, Casino or Brisbane
NSW TrainLink North Coast
towards Sydney
each day. Coffs Harbour Railway Station trains stop at XPT Railway Services. Three northbound and three southbound NSW TrainLinkCoffs Harbour is serviced by


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.

Ryans Bus Service runs frequent buses to the northern suburbs of Coffs Harbour and some less frequent services to Grafton.

Busways, Sawtell Coaches, Beaumonts, Newcombe and Ryans Bus Service all run service throughout Coffs Harbour and the surrounding areas. The various coach services which run along the east coast also stop at Coffs Harbour.



  • Gourmet Getaways - a food and lifestyle website based in Coffs Harbour. It features unbiased restaurant reviews, accommodations and things to do in Coffs Harbour based on the writer's own experiences.


  • RawFM 88.0 FM


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



  • 2CS FM 106.3 – Converted from AM 639. Macquarie Southern Cross Radio network shows from Hobart, Gold Coast and Albury; the rest of the time it is an adult hits station.
  • Star FM 105.1/105.5 – Hot AC station that is networked. Commenced in 1997 as a third commercial license for the Coffs Coast.
  • 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.



  • The Coffs Coast Advocate – The Advocate newspaper is published on Wednesdays and Saturdays and is delivered free to all homes. The newspaper also uses online publishing, with articles appearing online daily.[10] An online index of articles between 1993–2004 and selected articles dating back to 1900 is maintained by the Coffs Harbour City Library, though only articles relating to Coffs Harbour and its people are indexed.[11]
  • Coffs Coast Independent – Weekly full colour newspaper delivered free each Thursday to all homes in the Coffs Harbour district, closed 2012.


Local media

Although the Pacific Highway cuts through the centre of the city, much attention has recently 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.


  • St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, McLean Street
  • St. Augustines Catholic Church, Gordon Street
  • HarbourChurch
  • Life House, 167 Orlando Street (Sunday 9am, Thursday 9am oldies, Friday 7pm youth) Also Bible College
  • C3 Church Coffs Harbour
  • Harbourside Presbyterian Church (Sunday 8am, 9:45am, 5pm at 187 Harbour Drive)
  • Baptist Church, Cnr High & Curacoa
  • Bible Church
  • Uniting Church, Vernon Street
  • Church of Christ
  • Seventh Day Adventist
  • Abundant Life
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


  • Jetty Memorial Theatre


  • Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery
  • Bunker Cartoon Gallery


  • Coffs Harbour Regional Museum: Open to public


  • Coffs Harbour City Library and Information Service – with branches at Coffs Harbour, Toormina and Woolgoolga
  • Coffs Harbour Education Campus Library
  • Family History Library – Rose Avenue


Libraries and cultural facilities

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.

  • Casuarina School for Steiner Education
  • Bishop Druitt College
  • Coffs Harbour Bible Church School
  • Coffs Harbour Christian Community School

Other schools

  • Brooklana Public - 1920-49
  • Bucca Central Public - 1910-63
  • Bucca Lower Public (Formerly Bucca Creek until May 1919) - 1896-1978
  • Corindi Creek Public - 1920-62
  • Timmsvale Public - 1928-70
  • Yalbillinga Special School (Amalgamated with Coffs Harbour PS) - 1965-93

Defunct primary schools

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.


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.

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

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.

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 by Council and consultants to develop a cultural precinct and rejuvenated residential area.

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.

Inside The Bunker Cartoon Gallery Coffs Harbour


Coffs Harbour owes its name to John Korff, who named the area Korff's Harbour when he was forced to take shelter from storm in the area in 1847. Its name was accidentally changed by the surveyor for the crown when he reserved land in the area during 1861.[9]


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.[8]

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


Climate data for Coffs Harbour (Coffs Harbour Meteorological Office, 1943–2013)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 43.3
Average high °C (°F) 26.9
Average low °C (°F) 19.4
Record low °C (°F) 11.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 189.1
Average precipitation days 15.0 14.8 16.6 12.7 11.6 9.9 8.0 7.7 8.2 11.3 12.2 13.7 141.7
Average relative humidity (%) 69 71 69 65 62 59 54 53 57 63 65 68 68
Mean monthly sunshine hours 235.6 203.4 220.1 216.0 207.7 198.0 223.2 254.2 252.0 251.1 237.0 244.9 2,743.2
Mean daily sunshine hours 7.6 7.3 7.1 7.2 6.7 6.6 7.2 8.2 8.4 8.1 7.9 7.9 7.5
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[7]

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. Winters are generally mild and damp.


: Coffs Coast RegionThe city is surrounded by outlying towns which are referred to by locals as suburbs of the The greater Coffs Harbour city is broken up into several suburb and precinct areas including:

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.

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

Coffs Harbour is one of many regional cities along the Pacific Highway between Newcastle and The Gold Coast. The city's close proximity to the centre of the mid and north coasts makes it a comfortable drive from either end of the highway. It has become a major service centre for those living between South West Rocks in the south and Grafton to the north.



  • Geography 1
  • Climate 2
  • History 3
    • Name 3.1
  • Attractions 4
  • Education 5
  • Libraries and cultural facilities 6
  • Bypass 7
  • Local media 8
    • Newspapers 8.1
    • Radio 8.2
      • Commercial 8.2.1
      • Government 8.2.2
      • Community 8.2.3
      • Narrowcast 8.2.4
    • Blogs 8.3
  • Transport 9
    • Bus 9.1
    • Train 9.2
    • Taxis 9.3
    • Air travel 9.4
  • Sport 10
  • Notable residents 11
  • Annual events 12
  • References 13
  • Further reading 14
  • External links 15

The city has a campus of Southern Cross University, a public[5] and a private hospital, several radio stations, and three major shopping centres. Coffs Harbour is near numerous national parks, including a marine national park. There are regular passenger flights each day to Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne departing from Coffs Harbour Airport. Coffs Harbour is also accessible by road, by NSW TrainLink trains, and by regular bus services.[6]


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