Bananas galore at Coffs Harbour

According to Australia’s official government science organisation the CSIRO Coffs Harbour has Australia’s most livable climate.  Given that Australia is generally considered to have a good climate anyway, the CSIRO’s proclamation makes Coffs (as the locals call it) a great place to visit.

In fact, the population almost doubles during the holiday season, precisely because it such a great destination.

Coffs Harbour is located on the mid-North Coast of New South Wales 385 kilometres (240 miles) north of Sydney.  Perhaps part of the reason why it enjoys such a comfortable climate is because it’s nestled between the ocean and the mountains of the New England Ranges, which forms part of the Great Dividing Range which runs along the entire east coast of Australia.

The town was established in the early 1900s to be used as a port to service the timber industry, and in its earliest days was only accessible by boat.  Coffs really began to grow when it was discovered that the area had the perfect climate and conditions for growing bananas.  Coffs reputation as a magnificent banana growing centre has manifested itself in the establishment of one of Australia’s most iconic tourist attractions The Big Banana – the world’s largest banana.  This shop, which was built in 1965, is dedicated to all things banana and is built in the shape of a giant banana, and is practically a compulsory stop for anyone travelling the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Brisbane.  The Big Banana started a trend for other small to mid-size rural towns to build big versions of whichever product was the mainstay of the local economy.

Part of the reason for Coffs Harbour being a popular tourist destination for Australians is its close proximity to a number of national parks, and for the number of pretty beaches and bays that are also close by.

As you would expect, aquatic activities are very popular in and around Coffs. Most people engage in swimming, surfing and scuba diving, but on-water activities such as fishing, kayaking, white water rafting and sailing are also readily available.

There is accommodation of all standards, to suit all budgets in Coffs and includes everything ranging from camping through to exclusive resorts.  The town of Coffs Harbour has a popular shopping precinct, with many shops and boutiques selling original wares and designs.  There are many restaurants in the area, many of which specialise on serving the excellent seafood that is caught in the waters just offshore, but there is also the usual range of fast food and family restaurants too.

For those without a car, Coffs is well connected to Sydney and Brisbane by rail and air, and there are local coaches which connect with nearby towns.

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