We walk this route up Muttonbird Island and South Coffs regularly – an easy route for friendly chats with some hills to improve fitness, and of course a cafe for coffee when the walking is done! In summer, Jetty Beach or Coffs Creek is good for a cool-off swim at the end of the walk.
The first hill is the steep track over Muttonbird Island to the easterly lookout. Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve protects migratory wedge-tailed shearwater nesting sites. The island is an iconic spot for views of Coffs Harbour hinterland, the marina and jetty, and out to the Solitary Islands at sea. Giidany Miirlarl is a significant aboriginal place. Interpretative signage at the entrance to Muttonbird Island has more information about the birds and aboriginal cultural heritage.
Return on either the breakwater or marina boardwalk and circle around Jetty Beach. South Coffs Island was linked to the mainland around 1913. The quarry on the island provided the rock for both the eastern and northern harbour breakwaters, delivered to the site via a railway line. Interpretative signs along the South Coffs walkway tell the story.
There are two routes up the South Coffs island – either the easier track from the Gallows Beach parking area, or follow the eastern breakwater and climb the chiselled rock steps on the seaside of South Coffs island. From high above Corambirra Point you can spot whales, dolphins, turtles and surfers enjoying the water.
Next, the third climb up to Beacon Hill Lookout, which has a great view of the airport runway for plane-spotters. From here, return to the start via the mangrove boardwalk along Coffs Creek.