Beachgoers at Park Beach with Little Muttonbird Island in background.

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Muttonbird Island

Top choice in Coffs Harbour

The Gumbaynggirr people knew this island as Giidany Miirlarl (Place of the Moon). It was joined to Coffs Harbour by the northern breakwater in 1935. The walk to the top (steep at the end) provides sweeping vistas. From late August to early April it's occupied by thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters (muttonbirds). Muttonbirds by Moonlight tours – led by respected Gumbaynggirr Elder Uncle Mark Flanders – are a great way to see them and to learn about the Aboriginal significance of the island.

The island is also a great spot to see the humpback-whale migration between May and November.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Coffs Harbour attractions

1. Jetty Beach

0.55 MILES

This sheltered beach, with its picturesque jetty, is protected by a breakwater, creating calm swimming conditions. It's a quick walk from nearby…

2. Park Beach


A long, lovely stretch of sand backed by dense shrubbery and sand dunes, which conceal the buildings beyond.

3. North Coast Regional Botanic Garden


Immerse yourself in the subtropical surrounds of the greenhouses, sensory gardens and lush rainforest of these botanic gardens. The 8km Coffs Creek Walk…

4. Bunker Cartoon Gallery

1.69 MILES

Displays rotating selections from its permanent collection of 23,000 cartoons from the 1920s to current day in a WWII bunker.

6. Diggers Beach

2.06 MILES

Diggers is popular with surfers and good for beginners, with swells averaging 1m to 1.5m. Access is via a turn-off from the highway near the Big Banana.

7. Big Banana

2.29 MILES

Built in 1964, the Big Banana started the craze for ‘Big Things’ in Australia. Admission is free, with charges for associated attractions, such as ice…

8. Little Diggers Beach

2.42 MILES

Naturists let it all hang out at Little Diggers, an unofficial nude beach, just inside the northern headland.