Destination feature: Coffs Harbour

Escape the city and find out why Coffs Harbour on the NSW North Coast is a must-visit regional event destination.

You don’t need to be in Coffs Harbour for long to discover its charm; natural beauty is everywhere, the vibe is relaxed and sprawling white-sand beaches are never far away. But its greatest asset isn’t the stunning natural landscapes — it’s the locals.

From hotel staff to small business owners, everyone is proud to call Coffs home and is eager to share their slice of the coast with visitors. The welcoming attitude extends to business events groups too, with local venue operators and suppliers keen to bring more meetings and events to the region.

Coffs Harbour is also a convenient destination for groups, located just an hour flight from Sydney. With so much to discover in Coffs Harbour, these are just a handful of the highlights and must-dos when hosting an event in the region:

Jetty Dive

Run by a husband and wife team, Jetty Dive specialises in scuba diving and snorkelling experiences, whale watching and boat tours. Between July and October, groups can jump on board with Jetty Dive for the opportunity to watch the migrating Humpback Whales swim in the shallow waters off Coffs Harbour.

The company recently introduced a whale swim experience, which sees groups get into the water for the chance to snorkel alongside the majestic creatures.

Pacific Bay Resort

Pacific Bay Resort has recently emerged from an extensive rebrand and refurbishment. The 100-acre property boasts 260 guest rooms, which are part of an ongoing refurbishment program to bring them up to a modern standard.

Located just steps from Charlesworth Bay Beach, the resort offers nine conference spaces ideal for board meetings through to cocktail events for 1000 people. Guests can also enjoy restaurants, swimming pools, a nine-hole golf course and tennis courts.

Coffs Harbour
Pacific Bay Resort

Two Tails Winery

Located in the heart of the Orara Valley in the small inland village of Nana Glen, Two Tails Winery is a surprising find. The family-run winery showcases uncommon grape
varieties such as Villard Blanc, Chambourcin and Jaquez.

The award-winning Velvets Restaurant is run by Jodie Thornber, whose extensive background includes many years as Russell Crowe’s head chef. The menu has a proud local focus – what isn’t grown on property is sourced from nearby producers, giving diners an authentic farmito-table experience.

Opal Cove Resort

Situated on absolute beachfront, Opal Cove Resort offers stunning views of Korora Bay. The resort’s 135 hotel rooms are undergoing a refurbishment, which is set to be revealed in mid-2020. Guests also have a choice of two- and three-bedroom villas as well as four-bedroom apartments.

Opal Cove Resort is a popular destination for events, giving planners nine spaces to choose from, including a 700 pax ballroom. The friendly hotel team are known throughout the community for their warm hospitality.

Opal Cove Resort

Bonville Golf Course

Rated as one of the most beautiful golf courses in Australia, Bonville Golf Resort is an impressive landmark on the Coffs Coast. Not only is it a bucket-list destination for keen golfers, the 18-hole course is a stunning location for events.

On-site conference facilities cater for theatre-style events of up to 200 guests and open out onto the surrounding veranda with views over the course. Larger groups can host events on the course, with marquee options available for up to 1000 guests.

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

Learn about the local conservation work in an interactive environment at Dolphin Marine Conservation Park. The facility opened in 1970 as a rescue and rehabilitation centre for native marine animals and continues that work today. Groups can learn about the park’s conservation efforts, while enjoying a day out with the beautiful creatures.

There’s photo opportunities with the resident seals and you can even steal a kiss from a dolphin. Work has also begun on building an on-site hospital to  rehabilitate injured wildlife and release them back to their environment.

Dolphin Marine Conservation Park

Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience

One of Coffs Habour’s greatest assets is its deep Indigineous history which is celebrated and shared with visitors. Local not-for-profit organisation Bularri Muurlay 
Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation runs a series of cultural experiences for groups, which supports their work with Aboriginal youth.

The Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience takes place at an important cultural site of the Gumbaynggirr people, Niigi Niigi (Sealy Lookout). The experience invites visitors to immerse themselves in and learn about Gumbaynggirr culture through stories, songs, language and native plants.

DON’T MISS

Scenic helicopter flight
Take off in style with Precision Helicopters’ range of scenic charter flights. The Coastal Experience heads north for spectacular views along the coastline, while the Hinterland tour offers views of the Great Dividing Range, coastline and hinterland.

Say cheese at Big Banana
You might not expect to find cheese at the iconic Big Banana, but The Cheesemaking Workshop & Deli offers exactly that. Owned by a mother-daughter team, the business
sells the biggest selection of cheeses between Sydney and Brisbane and runs workshops perfect for team building.

Mindful meetings at Aanuka
Groups who want to add a wellness spin to their meeting can incorporate yoga and stretch sessions or fitness circuits to their program at BreakFree Aanuka Beach Resort. Food and beverage can also be tailored to suit your group, with interactive options like ‘build your own wellness bowl’ on offer.

This article originally appeared in the Summer issue of Spice Magazine.
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