GETTING HERE AND WHERE TO STAY
Coffs Harbour is about a 6hr drive north of Sydney, just over 4 hours south of Brisbane and 3 hrs from the Gold Coast. Direct flights travel from from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. You can also catch the train or Bus and from Sydney and the journey takes around nine hours.
Coffs Harbour is a wonderful destination for family holidays and memorable adventures. From bushwalking and whale watching to the iconic Big Banana, stunning beaches, a marine sanctuary and more, this beachside city is full of attractions.
You’ll find plenty of accommodation options, from beach houses to beachside resorts as well as pet-friendly bed and breakfasts. There are many coastal and hinterland getaway options, from executive suites to family rooms and self-contained apartments Observatory Apartments. Guide to Accommodation
WHERE THE MOUNTAINS MEET THE SEA
The Coffs Coast is one of the most vibrant slices of Australia you could hope to find. Where the Great Dividing Range meets the Pacific Ocean, from the beaches of Coffs Harbour to the riversides of Bellingen, the Screenwave International Film Festival is proudly the Coffs Coast Heart of Film. For information about travel, accommodation, and attractions, visit coffscoast.com.au.
TRAVELLING TO THE COFFS COAST
- FLIGHTS Coffs Harbour Airport is 4km from Coffs Harbour’s town centre. Rent a car from Hertz at the airport and explore the region at your own pace. Alternatively use the shuttle bus and taxi services at the front of the terminal or riding-sharing Uber, to make the short trip into the city.
- BUSES – There are also bus services through Greyhound Australia, Premier Motor Services, New England Coaches, and local bus services that will get you into town in comfort.
- TRAINS NSW – TrainLink operates twice daily between Brisbane and Sydney, stopping along the Coffs Coast at a multiple convenient locations such as Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, and Urunga.
- BY CAR – Finally, the Pacific Highway is a breezy drive along the exceptional Eastern Coast an easy 427km from Brisbane (just over 4 hours) and 550km from Sydney (less than 6 hours).
- SAILING – The nautically minded can also sail into town, with the Coffs Marina offering customs, berthing and support facilities! For the latest COVID travel restrictions and requirements, head to www.visitnsw.com and help us keep the beautiful Coffs Coast safe!
- ACCOMMODATION – The Coffs Coast has a huge range of accommodation options, including The Observatory Holiday Apartments and Caribbean Motel near the Jetty Precinct, with something for those seeking luxury, affordable comforts, caravan parks, or a camp out. More information at www.coffscoast.com.au.
EATS + DRINKS
If a film has left you with more questions than answers, pop into the SWIFF Festival Hub at Element Bar in Coffs Harbour or the CHEC Gathering Space for a tasty, bubbly debrief.
THINGS TO DO
If you’re looking for something to do in between the movies, the Coffs Coast boasts a range of art galleries, museums, shopping, sports, spas, fun parks, and aquariums as well as water activities and bushwalking.
- BUSHWALKS – Take a drive to the breath-taking Dorrigo Rainforest Centre, or travel closer to Coffs around Sealy Lookout.
- RIVER FUN – Hit the rivers with friends in a canoe, drifting along the beautiful Kalang and Bellinger river systems.
- CULTURAL – The Coffs Coast is home to the people of the Gumbaynggirr Nation, with many cultural tours, art galleries,and experiences to discover.
- FOR THE KIDS – Take the kids for a day out at the Big Banana Fun Park, Ten Pin Bowling, plus a number of all ages films in the program.
BELLINGEN: FROM SEA TO TREE IN 30 MINUTES
Since the Screenwave International Film Festival first founded six years ago we have called Bellingen home, bringing hundreds of screenings, guests, and events to thousands of film-loving locals and visitors to the beautiful Bellingen Shire.
Throughout 2021, SWIFF’s main screening venue in Bellingen, the historic Bellingen Memorial Hall, will receive a $6m renovation, refurbishment, and upgrade. It is incredibly exciting news for the community and for fans of the festival, who will be able to enjoy SWIFF screenings at Mem Hall once construction is complete.
If you are a visitor to the Coffs Coast for SWIFF – welcome! The Bellingen Shire is home to the Gumbayngyirr First Nations people, and includes three unique communities, Dorrigo up on the plateau, down to Urunga on the coastline, and the Bellingen community in between the two hosting SWIFF for the past five years.
Beautiful boho Bellingen is only half an hour by car from Coffs Harbour. If you fly into Coffs Harbour airport, you can grab a car from Hertz Car Rental and head up Waterfall Way to check out all of the unique stores, jaw-dropping natural spaces, and exquisite restaurant cuisine that Bellingen is famous for.
If you want new digs, or are just after a little retail therapy, there are plenty of places to pick up fine fashion and handmade goods in Bello.
- EMPORIUM BELLINGEN – Emporium Bellingen sits grandly in the centre of town in the old Hammond & Wheatly building, offering an extensive range of men’s and women’s fashion. Owner-Proprietor Ann Rosewood curates a seasonal selection of high quality garments, shoes, home décor, and interesting trinkets – all housed in a beautiful space.
- SOURCED SALVAGE STUDIO – Sourced Salvage Studio, located at 84A Hyde Street, offers sustainable art, sourced from sustainable material and salvaged from found objects – particularly many gorgeous salvaged timbers – while also hosting a
- gallery café with food offerings, regular weekly art shows and events, including open mics, poetry readings, and small events from local/visiting musos.
- ROOTS RECORDS – Roots Records is a mainstay just nearby too! With vinyls, CDs, and heaps of music instruments, Roots has been an icon of Bellingen for many years – and definitely worth checking out.
- WEAVE BELLINGEN – If arts and crafts is your bag, Weave Bellingen is going to knock your wool-knit socks off. Weave hosts DIY classes for adults, has yarns and tools and dyes available, with heaps of options for kids too.
- EATING & DRINKING – If all the shopping has you spent, Bellingen is one of the best places in the region to quench a thirst and find a feed.
- 5 CHURCH STREET – Famed for their dedication to live music, good food, and relaxed atmosphere, 5 Church Street has been a staple of the Bellingen culinary scene for years.
- CEDAR BAR & KITCHEN – Cedar Bar & Kitchen is fully licensed and features a wide selection of regional and international craft beer, boutique wines and spirits.