region in New South Wales, Australia
Oceania > Australia > New South Wales > Mid-North Coast

The Mid-North Coast of the Australian state of New South Wales stretches for some 300 km along the Pacific Ocean shoreline from Port Stephens (north of Newcastle) in the south to Coffs Harbour in the north and inland to Dorrigo and neighbouring towns. It is bordered by the Hunter Valley region to the south, by the Northern Rivers region to the north and New England to the west.


Map of Mid-North Coast

Coffs Harbour–Nambucca Valley

  • 1 Bellingen – most known for its greenery, and being close to some of the world's oldest rainforests
  • 2 Coffs Harbour – the banana capital of New South Wales, most known for the Big Banana
  • 3 Dorrigo – the waterfall capital of Australia, and only 2  km from the most visited Gondwana Rainforest of Australia - Dorrigo National Park
  • 4 Urunga – sleepy coastal town at the mouth of the Bellinger and Kalang Rivers


  • 5 Coolongolook – a small highway town of 382 on the Pacific Highway
  • 6 Forster – popular fishing spot
  • 7 Gloucester – regional centre of the Avon Valley and otherwise a prominent country town
  • 8 Nabiac – home to the National Motorcycle Museum
  • 9 Old Bar – sleepy coastal surfing town
  • 10 Stroud – stopover town en route to Barrington Tops National Park.
  • 11 Taree – historic town on the banks of the Manning River

Port Macquarie–Kempsey region

  • 12 Kempsey – quiet town, popular with stopovers from Sydney to Brisbane
  • 13 Port Macquarie and Wauchope – known for its wildlife and its colonial convict history

Other destinations




Get in


By plane


The two biggest airports in the region are Coffs Harbour Airport (CFS IATA), and Port Macquarie Airport (PQQ IATA). Qantaslink and Rex have flights to both these destinations daily.

By train


There are several railway stations on the Mid North Coast serviced by three trains; the Grafton, the Casino and the Brisbane XPT trains. Each run north and south once a day. Heading north from Sydney Central, the first station on the mid north coast is Gloucester followed by Wingham and Taree. Further north are Kendall, Wauchope (for Port Macquarie), Kempsey, Eungai, Macksville, Nambucca Heads, Urunga, Sawtell and Coffs Harbour. There is no station for Forster-Tuncurry.

Rail is the fastest and cheapest way to get to either Sydney, Newcastle, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

By car


Given that this region is huge, getting into different parts of the area massively differs by time. However, the two main ways to get into this region is either via the M1 Pacific Motorway from the north, or via the A1/M1 Pacific Highway/Motorway from the south. The closest point of the Mid-North Coast from Sydney takes about 2.5 hours to do, but the furtherest point can take about 7 hours non-stop but the closest point of the Mid-North Coast from Newcastle is only 15 minutes away. There's similar times from coming up north, taking about 3 hours from Brisbane, but it can take up to 8 hours non-stop depending on location.

Other ways to get into the Mid-North Coast include using either the B56, or the B78, both taking about 2 hours from New England Highway, but are not that significant.

Get around


The Pacific Highway (A1) and Motorway (M1) pass through most of the population centres on the coast.

By bus


Three bus services run throughout the region; Sawtell Coaches, Busways, and Ryans Bus Service. Sawtell Coaches run various services throughout Coffs Harbour city and to the suburbs of Boambee and Sawtell. Busways run services throughout Coffs Harbour city down south as far as Scotts Head and west into Bellingen. Ryans Bus services run throughout Coffs Harbour City and run North to Woolgoolga on a regular basis. Busways also operate services in the Port Macquarie region.

Given that the Mid-North Coast covers quite a large area, what you see in the different areas differ. In the southern areas of the Mid-North Coast, it's more associated with lakes and sand dunes, while some of the central areas are mostly known for its fishing areas and the northern areas are mostly known for its Gondwana Rainforests, and known for raining nearly every day.

Since the Mid-North Coast is a particularly large area, what's in the different parts vary significantly. However, hiking trails can be found nearly everywhere you go, regardless of where you are. Forster is somewhat known for its fishing spots, although it's not the most popular thing in Forster.

Food also varies from where you go in the Mid-North Coast, but most of the region has some good seafood. Coffs Harbour, arguably has some of the best Punjabi food outside of Sydney in New South Wales due to its high Punjabi population.



Stay safe


Normal beach safety precautions apply at beaches. Many beaches, especially outside Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, lack lifeguards – enter the water at your own risk, and check the Bureau of Meterology (BOM) for up-to-date weather conditions.

In higher-elevation areas, such as the Gloucester Tops section of Barrington Tops National Park, or the easternmost fringes of New England National Park (both of which creep into the Mid-North Coast), it may snow. Combined with gravel roads, make sure you are equipped and are able to drive on such conditions. Wikivoyage's article on winter driving may be of some use; otherwise check with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Go next

This region travel guide to Mid-North Coast is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.