Volcanically forged mountains meet the earth’s largest area of subtropical rainforest on NSW’s north coast. Beaches are uncrowded and clean, and the soil is exceptionally fertile, supporting the coffee, nut, tea, dairy and wine industries. If you want to check packed tourist hot spots or prefer to find your own slice of coastal Eden, the north coast has both, and everything in between.
Make the first footprints of the day along stunning beaches backed by dense rainforest in and around Coffs Harbour, along the Coffs Coast. Paddle through Bongil Bongil National Park or, check out this site for events along Coffs Coast.
On June 13, 1927, a boy named David Gordon Kirkpatrick came into the world at Kempsey, a fine historic town on the Macleay River. The man who later called himself Slim Dusty came from the same place as the Akubra.
It would be most remiss to head to the North Coast without visiting Byron Bay, the ultimate place to wind down. The hippie surf town is the place to join the rich and famous for their morning walk up to the lighthouse, and the nearby town of Nimbin is Kombi central. Water activities are abundant in Byron Shire. Try your hand at surfing or kayaking or just enjoy a dip at one of the beautiful beaches.
A six-hour drive north of Sydney is where the Clarence River passes through Grafton, having made it from the NSW highlands to the coast. In the town proper, on the northern side of the river, is a lovely patch of wrought-iron and woodwork-bedecked buildings. A short trip up the Pacific Highway, in Ulmarra, there is excellent craft shopping.
Yamba, toward the northern end of the North Coast, adjacent to Yuraygir National Park, the Pacific Ocean and the largest river in the east, the Clarence, is one of the most popular fishing destinations in the region, and is a great place to spend a couple of nights.