Sightseeing south of Coffs Harbour

The main places we’ve visited are Trial Bay, Urunga, Mylestom, and Sawtell. I’ve included short descriptions, or links where there’s more about the history of some places. And of course, there are lots of photos! I hope you enjoy a glimpse of what we’ve seen

Trial Bay

The bay is named after the brig ‘Trial’, which was shipwrecked there in 1816. 

On the day we visited, the waters were very calm unlike the night we had on anchor when we travelled from Port Stephens. You can read about that trip in my blog Port Stephens to Coffs Harbour

We enjoyed a leisurely walk around Trial Bay Gaol, which has a very interesting history. Rather than write it here, you can visit this blog to read more about the Trail Bay Gaol and the Breakwall.

Urunga boardwalk

We arrived at Urunga with a recommendation to have the best fish and chips at the Anchors Wharf. I’m sure they probably would have been, except we got there too late and they were finishing for the day! So after finding another cafe for lunch, we went to the boardwalk.

The Urunga Boardwalk is very impressive and we walked the length of it to where the Bellinger River meets the sea. For more information, check out this info about the Urunga boardwalk

Mylestom and Bongil picnic area

Mylestom is a small town, located on the coast near the mouth of the Bellinger River. It’s very picturesque and we enjoyed lunch at the Mylestom Cafe/Post Office, which overlooks the Bellinger river.

The Bongil picnic area, on the banks of Bonville creek is great spot to kick back and relax. The grassy clearing is surrounded by tall, pencil-straight blackbutt trees. There are some good walks too, although we didn’t venture too far as it was raining when we visited.


Sawtell is only about 15 minutes south of Coffs Harbour and we heard about great cafes along the picturesque tree-lined main street. We found one we particularly liked and have visited if for breakfast a few times! They serve great corn fritters – yum.

Apparently, in 1863, a cutter carrying a load of cedar logs ran aground on what would become Sawtell Beach. A Coffs Harbour farmer named Walter Harvey assembled a team of workers to salvage the logs, and a small settlement developed near the site of the wreck. Forty years later, the land around Sawtell Beach was purchased and subdivided by Oswald Sawtell for housing and farmland and by the 1930s Sawtell became a thriving coastal village.

The original inhabitants of the land were Aborigines of the Gumbaynggirr clan. The Aboriginal name for the land where the town now stands was Bongil Bongil.

Emerald Beach

Emerald Beach is located near Look-at-me-now Headland, 20km from Coffs Harbour, and is a local surfing hotspot. 

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