There is a lot to love about the iconic Coffs Harbour Jetty walk. First, it is so easy you can take grandpa with you. There’s a handy playground for the kids, public art that invites interaction, views for photographers to snap, information signs for the history buffs, and flaneurs can people-watch. You can even take your dog who can twitch with frustration on the end of her leash at the seagulls. Afterwards, grab a coffee or ice cream.
Coffs Harbour Jetty Heritage
Coffs Harbour was settled in the mid 19th century by timber-getters chasing Red Gold (cedar). The logs were floated down Coffs Creek and loaded onto ships anchored off Muttonbird Island. The danger to shipping led to the construction of the Jetty from local turpentine. It opened in 1892 and was 500m long, with a crane and single railway line.
In 1914, the Jetty was extended to 97.5m and then further extended in the 1940s. Harbour breakwaters were built, but the construction of the north coast railway provided an alternative to shipping, and numbers dwindled until shipping ceased totally in 1975. The Coffs Coast Heritage blog has more detailed stories on the Jetty.
The jetty is now over 100 years old, popular with tourists and locals alike, and state significant heritage as a rare example of a surviving wooden ocean jetty.
Public art at the Jetty
Local artists have created some wonderful public artworks at the Jetty.
- Cruising, a concrete fish near Salute coffee shop, by Emma Louise Davies.
- Cloud Reef, a sculpture that invites play, by John Vanderkolk.
- Gathering Place, three elders by a waterhole, by Brentyn Lugnan
- Pod, a group of whales, by John Vanderkolk
- Water Spirit, Echidna, Fish, metal sculptures by youth artists Mikaela Brown, Xanthi Hand and Paris Knight.
- Concrete walkway stencils
Slightly further away, at the Jetty restaurant strip, you can also find Whale tail, by Evi Koller, and a selection of wooden sculptures including a shell, seaweed, pelican by John Vanderkolk.
Artwork locations near the Jetty are shown on the map below. Also look out for more public art on the Coffs Creek walk, colourful street art in the city centre, and the sculpture trail on the Gumgali Track.
Want to walk some more?
Not tired of walking yet? Continue from the Jetty to the lookouts on Muttonbird Island, or if you have more time you can walk the Three Coffs Harbour Lookouts.
Note: no dogs on Jetty Beach or play areas.