5 things to do this weekend
1. THE MARINA
Take a stroll around the marina. Boats have been unloading impressive catches of tuna this week. Grab some fish and chips with the kids or drop in a line and catch your own fish. Enjoy the winter sun and a wine or two overlooking the water at Latitude 30 or if you're feeling energetic take a walk up Muttonbird and check out the "humpback highway".
2. ORARA VALLEY FAIR
Rain on the long June weekend saw the popular fair postponed to this Sunday. Tractors, ponies, axemen, bush bands, entertainment and plenty of food add up to a great day in the country for all the family. Gates open 9.30am to 4pm at Upper Orara Recreation Reserve, Dairyville Rd. Entry $5 adults, $2 school age children. Free parking and free bus to and from the fair from Glenreagh and Park Ave, Coffs Harbour. See fair's website/Facebook for more info.
3. WALK THE DOG
Enjoy the winter sunshine and get some exercise with your four-legged friend. Dog friendly beaches and reserves are also a great place for both of you to meet new mates. Local beaches and reserves where dogs are allowed off leads include Boambee Beach, Thompsons Rd Reserve, Park Beach South (aka North Wall beach), Emerald Beach (north of Fiddamans Creek), Hearnes Lakes Beach, Woolgoolga Back Beach, Darkum Beach and Corindi/Pipeclay Beach (south of Ocean St).
4. VISIT THE BIG GARDEN
With the annual Coffs Coast spring garden competition about to open for entries, now could be a good time to visit the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden in Hardacre St for inspiration. Set on 20 hectares and bounded by Coffs Creek on three sides, strolling around these grounds is a pleasant way to spend the day. Points of interest include the mangrove walk, the sensory garden, native section, the Japanese garden and the cafe which serves a good cuppa, cakes and light snacks. There are five kilometres of paths and board-walks to explore. Easy access, plenty of parking. More info: www.ncrbg.com.au.
5. DORRIGO NATIONAL PARK
It's only an hour from Coffs but you will feel a million miles away. Say goodbye to the stress of the working week and visit world heritage-listed rainforests, spot native birds and take in the peace and quiet of the magnificent waterfall walks. There are walks of different lengths, so whether you want a long hike or nothing more than a quick 50m from the car to the cafe, there is something to suit. Learn more at www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au