If you are visiting Coffs, put the walk up Muttonbird Island on your must-do list. Start with a stroll along the northern harbour breakwater, watching the surfers and maybe some snorkellers as you approach the island. The breakwater was completed in 1924, using rock from the quarry at Corambirra Point.
Stop at the outdoor learning centre to read the signs about the wedge-trailed shearwaters (muttonbirds) who have nesting burrows on the island. These migratory seabirds leave their chicks while they fly out to sea to feed, returning in the evening.
This is Gumbaynggirr country – read the dreaming story of Giidany Miirlal, the moon man. A firepit artwork at the learning centre is inscribed with the nations that radiate from this place.
After the steep climb, rest and enjoy the views of the harbour and hinterland from the lookout at the summit. Then walk down to the eastern lookout, and see if you can spot any whales on their annual migration (June to November).
On your return walk, consider strolling out on the inner breakwater to the entrance to the marina. You might also want to walk on the boardwalk alongside the marina – look out for fish! Then detour past the Fishermans Coop and finish your walk with a nice coffee from Salute.
This is a walk deserving of its own app!
Combine Muttonbird Island walk with a stroll out on the heritage Jetty. If walking for fitness, add some distance and additional hill climbs on the three lookouts loop (Muttonbird, South Coffs Island, Beacon Hill).