The Coffs Coast on the mid north coast of NSW Australia is a 90km stretch of subtropical coastline that stretches from Nambucca in the south to Woolgoolga in the north. It’s a place that I have visited many times over the past 20 years. I’ve captured some personal favourite photographs here during this time and it’s a highly popular place for photographers. So if you’re wondering where to point your lens next time you’re in the area, following in no particular order are my 5 favourite areas from this unique and unheralded location.
No. 1 The old timber Jetty, right in the centre of town is one of my favourite photographic locations. Now I know this spot is no secret but regardless, I like it here for the variety of angles and compositions from either the north or south side of the jetty, especially with the strong leading line that will give you a powerful photograph. The best time to shoot this location will be well before sunrise to the early morning or when interesting weather is heading in from the ocean.
No. 2 Urunga Boardwalk, this location offers spectacular views and is great at either sunrise or sunset. The boardwalk passes along the Urunga lagoon and follows the Kalang river to the junction of the Bellinger river. At different tides you are greeted with an array of exposed rocks as you get closer to the ocean. Besides the boardwalk itself there are even some interesting rock patterns along the breakwall that offer excellent macro opportunities.
No. 3 Dorrigo. Another fabulous location, Dorrigo is a scenic gem, and only about an hour from Coffs. There is certainly a lot to choose from in this region, and you could easily get caught up in the area over many days. Be here around sunrise or sunset for optimal light, and hope that fog and mist drift across the valley. The engaging and unique Dorrigo plateau is dotted with picturesque fertile valleys. The impressive Dangar and Ebor Falls along waterfall way and Dorrigo National park with its world heritage listed rainforests and Crystal Shower Falls make this locale a must.
No. 4 Woolgoolga, about 25minutes north of Coffs is another charming spot that offers great photographic opportunities. The main attraction is the beach and headland however the Woolgoolga creek and walking track is a little hidden gem as you walk through the rainforest. There is also a famed shipwreck called The Buster. Generally, the remains of this heritage listed shipwreck is covered up, however it can be uncovered by heavy seas and king tides, just have to be lucky as it makes a great visual anchor. ( No pun intended, well maybe there it was…)
Lastly, No. 5 Muttonbird island, this location offers spectacular 360 degree views from the top. Be prepared to get blown away so make sure your tripod is sturdy! I prefer the eastern end, as the scenery is of the rocky coast, Solitary islands, harbour and the pacific horizon.
Really this short list is just the tip of the ice-berg as this area can serve the landscape photographer very well with the range of possibilities. I haven’t even touched on the pristine beaches dotted up and down the coast, or the clear water ways or rainforest covered hinterland. All these spots just give me more reasons to keep returning. So get out there and enjoy this beautiful part of Australia.
Do you agree with my top picks? Perhaps you have a favourite spot you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.