Curffyfest time ... A Woolgoolga classic.
Curffyfest time ... A Woolgoolga classic. Coffs Coast Advocate

Big event? Here's your thoughts

How about a big Technology, Computer and Gaming Expo along the lines of E3?

A huge week long Expo featuring Australian Technology companies from the Business, gaming and Hardware sectors along with talks and presentation by speakers on all things Tech would bring people from all over the Pacific region and would certainly put Coffs on the map industry wide.

• Posted by david20 from Coffs Harbour

May I be so bold as to suggest an event involving people of double income and no children that would identify our beautiful city and hopefully put us on the map..The Gay Games....I am making enquiries as we speak as to the possibilities of us doing such a terrific event..........Which is not to say we don't already have an event coming soon which is the Coffs Show that we can all support..

As far as the Arts is concerned, which is where my passion is, to get Brelsford Park up and built would be fantastic!!!!! So I say fish or cut bait! fish do it or cut bait and stop kidding ourselves, we will probably have to go into some debt but we need this! We want this! so let's just build it!!!! We have the plans and the passion but without the town behind us supporting this it makes it harder to do ... Let me know your thoughts if you are with me.

We can have it all! and why not!!!!!!!!

• Denise Knight

I have a BIG IDEA to 'showcase' this region. The event should be a triathlon or a round of the Ironman series. This could be televised inter/nationally. The event could start in Coffs and stage through Woolgoolga. From there it could return via the current Pacific Hwy. This would pass through Emerald, Sapphire, Opal Cove and finish in Coffs at the Stadium.

This event would fast-track the Pacific highway re-routing and over the years provide much-needed tourist dollars to these communities. I know I'm right.

Posted by marklinney from Woolgoolga

I agree with George Cecato the surf championships would be great during the summer months, however lets not limit ourselves to one big event. Right here in coffs we have some of the most beautiful golf venues in the world and there is no major event in this country in June.

Perfect climate, Accommodation, Award winning golf clubs.

And the the golf professional's love playing here.To me that's a hole in one!

Posted by garyhaseldine from Boambee

A thought for an event capable of catching national and international participation and exposure. November should be The Festival Of The Guiness Book Of Records. Guiness adjudicators could be on hand to verify record attemps from sword swallowing to belly dancing to skydiving. An open invitation can be extended to all nationally and internationally, wanting to attempt their record with our commmunity support. The community can become involved, I see recent records include an Indian school that has the record for consecutive washing of hands (1213), or the Texan Hairdressers with 349 haircuts in 24 Hours. It is simple, quirky and could be a lot of fun.

• Posted by pamos from Coffs Harbour

We have a great asset right beside us in the Marine Park, with unique currents of tropical & southern Ocean.

A fleet of Mini Submarines of say supporting a dozen people at a time, with a fleet of say 4 - 6 vessels, to support a continued tourism & local market.

Secure international professionals to engineer the proposal.

Involve our local University & its off-shoot, the Coffs Marine Centre, which achieved a decade ago when our local polly, grabbed $10 million of Federal Government money to secure it.

Involve as many local authorities with government backed money, but get it happening - unlike the Coffs Jetty upgrade, which continues to go nowhere, and the opening to the public & the world would definitly be "OUR BIG EVENT"

• Peter & Helen Auld

My idea for a big event is a Gold Coast Championship Cup, or Kanga Cup (soccer) style event here on the Coffs Coast in the April school holidays. The event this year on the Gold Coast attracted 170 teams. This could potentially attract up to 5000 people to the area, and could make this area the Football Hub of NSW, and maybe even Australia. It could even be called the Coffs Coast Championship Cup.

• John Culbertson

We all agreed that having a public holiday would guarantee the success of the event. Grafton has 2 (or 3?) for a local event, why not us?????

1st - Worlds Longest Waterslide -finishes with a jump into the ocean

2nd - Bountiful Banana Festival - Big Float Parade, Mashed Banana Sliming, Pool filled with soft drink, Eating Competitions, Banana Games eg football played with bananas, Mad Mud games, Building banana sculptures and objects e.g. Surfboards etc

3rd - Extreme sports - Shopping Trolley Racing, Diving from a 20m board into the Jetty water, Bike tricks off the Jetty, Street Karting, Luge down Bruxner Park, Skate Boarding mega ramp.

4th - World's Biggest Straw Man -Put it on a pontoon at the Jetty then light it on fire and/or all businesses/institutions compete to build the best - mass burning on the beach

5th - Birdman Festival -Fly homemade machines off Jetty

6th - The Ultimate race - 5, 10 and 42 kilometre Skateboard, ripstik, rollerblade, unicycle race

7th - Sports Festival -Could use Banana's as ball or bat.

Woolgoolga High's Class 7N's ideas

What a wonderful invitation, to suggest a big event to attract people to this beautiful area!

Music Festival? Unfortunately Port Macquarie has beaten us to the punch, as have Camden Haven and Kendall with its internationally recognised Volin Festival.

Sporting event? mmm.......presupposes competition, alcohol, vandalism and industrial strength litter by supporters and hangers on.

My suggestion is that we advertise a national/international choral festival. An element of competition, conducting classes and combined works could be included, but essentially, singers want to sing, and the shopping complexes, schools, churches, aged care facilities and Botannical Gardens could be given a dose of pure joy over the duration of the event. As in all these things we should be prepared to allow a few years for Coffs Harbour's reputation to spread but like the memorable visit of the motor bike clubs a short while ago non -competitive events attract enormous goodwill. During these formative years the organisers would have time to observe music festivals in other areas in order to be better able to accommodate various groups in existing performance spaces culminating in the realisation of the arts community's dream of an appropriate, purpose built performance venue down the track.

Choral singing is enjoying a resurgence, the latest acknowledgement being the TV program "Glee" which follows "Battle of the Choirs" which followed the "Choir of Hard Knocks".

Let's not drag the chain here, there are plenty of choral enthusiasts in Coffs Harbour to lend advice and support.

• Margaret England

May I suggest that the possibility of attracting a "Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia", (CMCA ) rally.

These rallies attract 1000 plus motor homes over a period of a week with the obvious benefits to the local business community and promotion of the Coffs area.

I believe that the Show Ground may be large enough to house this event

Thomas Wright

The pet porpoise pool is a great and undervalued resource. Not only is it a rehabilitation facility but a great eduction tool for young and old alike. Everyone there does a fantastic job and I'm pretty sure that it is the only place left where you can get snogged by a dolphin or a seal. Maybe we should look to expand it - allowing there to be more aquatic life. The Sydney aquarium is a huge hit in sydney so why shouldn't Coffs have an aquatic emporium????

• Posted by gulia1 from Moonee Beach

Strong iconic annual events can form an important part of an overall destination image and as such are not to be loosely dismissed as some other commentators here have suggested.

However whatever is chosen needs to be unique, be sustainable on an economic, environmental and social basis and highlight the region's history, geography and cultural pursuits.

There is no reason why a modernised Banana Republic week couldn't run in conjunction with an event such as the Surf Life Saving Titles for example as George Cecato has suggested.

• Posted by gcairncr from Boambee, New South Wales

Air show - years ago in the 1920's Coffs Harbour hosted an air show that had planes performing acrobatics and landing on the beach. Could also incorporate a sky diving championship.

• Brigita Andersons

I think that the “big idea” to Coffs Harbour back on the map lies with the harbour itself and the “Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores Plan of Management” adopted by the NSW Minister for Land in June 2008.

Whilst there have been proponents and opponents of the plan, to varying degrees of legitimacy, one thing that is obvious is that “change is inevitable” if this community is to meet the aspirations of the majority.

I recall when the entrepreneur Chic Henry introduced the Summernats “Australia's Biggest Horsepower Party” to the leafy, quiet city of Canberra, the populous was sceptical about accepting it, especially around the suburbs of North Canberra. Canberra has had its headaches with that event but it has accommodated it because it put it on the map for other than federal government funded tourist attractions like The National Gallery, The Australian War Memorial, Questacon and Parliament Question Time. The key features that ACT Government has supported (and policed) the event for 23 years is that the 5 days in January: “In 2003, total attendance to the event was 107,471, in 2004, attendance was 116,056 and in 2005, the event attracted the highest attendance ever with around 119,000 people attending Summernats. The 2005 Summernats festival brought in an estimated $12.5 to $15 million to the local economy.”- Tourism Industry Council, ACT & Region Ltd.

Now that's almost double the population of Coffs Harbour attending for 5 days. Now that's what I call being on the map.

I'm not suggesting that Coffs Harbour put on its' own version of the Summernats, to the contrary, a “petrol-head free zone”, a family friendly attraction to the “Holiday Coast” complementing all its existing attractions - commercial and public - revitalized and properly sign posted!

What I am suggesting is that in conjunction with the Coffs Harbour Foreshores Plan, provision be made to establish the necessary port facilities for an Australia Day long weekend event called “The Parade of the Tall Ships - Festival of the Sail” or whatever some marketing fellow comes up with. The tall ships are out there, all we need to do is to convince them to come here for 3 days for a mutually beneficial event.

I would suggest that that such an event would attract the families out of Sydney and Brisbane to the esplanade on the foreshores of the harbour, with all your chilli and curry vendors, buskers etc. rolled into one event, fireworks show, bouncing castles - you name it!

Imagination and the guts to do it is all it takes - that's what entrepreneurship is all about - the city as its own entrepreneur and reaping the rewards that come with being on the map again.

It takes proper planning, consultation and co-ordination by and between local & state governments, local businesses and the community.

Good Luck - and thanks Mr Hockey ...

• Helmut Schiretz

I note Joe Hockey's words in the Advocate 21st Oct " you can't market beautiful beaches". Thats correct and that is the dilemma that a lot of other coastal areas have, but not us!

We are privileged and smart enough to choose to live in an area that has much much more than that. Our "signature" is, and will continue to be, the perfect holiday package- where the mountains meet the sea provides us with such a broad range of activities that not many cities can boast.

Every holiday makers dream, from still waters,white water, to ocean marine parks,game fishing, loads of wonderful activities as in connecting with dolphins,whales,seals,fish and butterflies not to mention World Heritage rainforest and great restaurants,clubs, cafes and markets. Thats our signature- we have it all !!!

We also already have fabulous festivals and they will continue to grow BUT......Can we please work towards doing what we know we need to complete and that is to address making the popular jetty area even more people friendly with particular emphasis on healthy outdoor recreation as in promenading with vista.

One other area that I see would complete our perfect picture and that is the need for a an excellent Entertainment Centre for cultural performances. Lets get the basics right first for our "Perfect all round Holiday Destination"- our signature....

Silvana Camilleri JP

This event would be staged to encourage people who are considering a “Sea or tree change” to visit Coffs Harbour on a particular week & “try before they buy”. During this week, COFFS HARBOUR will have it's best on show, culminating in a major public award event.

Visitors (and locals) will be encouraged to vote on things like; the best restaurant, the best new house, the best new town house/unit, the best club, the best holiday accommodation, the best presented rental property, the best real estate agency, the best clothing boutique, the best restaurant dish, best visitor activity, Others? The Best bakery, etc

To vote, “Ballot” papers will have to be obtained from participating venues. E.g. visiting new homes open for inspection, eating at restaurants & clubs purchasing from participating businesses, visiting local attractions. A public event to be held when these awards will be presented and the winner's businesses will be showcased, (shown on big screen etc).

At the public event, winners of prizes for the public, those who have traveled far & wide to experience a Sea or Tree change in Coffs Harbour, and participating businesses will have to be at the event to win their prize. Ideally a celebrity & /or feature entertainment would also be part of the evening

Copyright © Warwick Mead

Coffs Coast offers a variety of things to see and do.

What is Coffs Coffers?

Coffs Coffers is a Major Annual Treasure Hunt that involves a wide range of contestants. It would evolve each year to become bigger and better as it brings in bigger and better participants. The event would be run over 3 days, this can change if required. The event would aim to be World Class within 3 years of running, or earlier, depending on support.

The majority of the event is created differently each year. Each year holds its own story other than the basic history explained in the storyline later in this proposal.

Who are the contestants?

The Contestants would be a team of 3 or 4, made up of different types of people as this event would test a range of abilities that would need brains to athletes.

It would be tailored to sustain a large or small amount of contestants and finish with one team.

The contestants will attract the very wealthy to the below average person who can afford the event in the earlier years. It can also attract celebrities as this would be part of the plan to boost the media and the event.

Rob Price

I am Donna Whitehouse-Pike a Civil Marriage Celebrant & JP located in Coffs Harbour. I believe the beautiful Coffs Coast location is a MAJOR attraction for weddings!

I believe Coffs Harbour, could be nationally know, marketed and recognised as the CITY OF WEDDINGS, just like Tamworth is known for its Country & Music Festival.

Where else can you have it ALL! great weather, a choice of quality resorts, restaurants AND wedding LOCATIONS!

Coffs offers BRIDES & GROOMS the option to choose any location for their wedding; rainforest, beaches, Chapels, Resorts, Clubs or Churches. Remember, in Coffs Harbour, couples can even Sky Dive! or swim with the dolphins at the same time!

Thank you Donna CMC & JP

We are blessed with many wonderful and diverse environments living on the Coffs Coast. Within reach of the CBD are world heritage rainforests, open undulating landscapes right through to magnificent river systems with the diversity they offer as well. No wonder we can't make up our minds!

The one over-arching constant, mostly within WALKING distance is the ocean.

And for goodness sake our name has the word “Harbour” in it!

We also happen to be the ONLY harbour and logical entry point to the 70 kms of the Solitary Island network. This tiny 70 km stretch has the uniqueness of warm waters from the north meeting with cooler waters from the south providing a huge diversity of marine life rarely found in such abundance in ACCESSIBLE waters elsewhere around Australia. As one of the residents of Coffs Harbour I believe we are sitting on an untapped, unique, individual, and not to be found elsewhere TOURIST GOLDMINE!

So our annual event hailed as “Solitary Time” draws people for a celebration devoted to sharing this environment with all that come.

For any well established calendar event (eg. Tamworth Country Music

Festival) there are always a myriad of attractions catering for the broadest number of tourist categories and age groups.

Below the water, On the water / shoreline, Above the water

Lets speculate for a moment:

Below the water

Well I guess there are some obvious opportunities here involving diving which should be abundant in number covering the diversity of sights to be seen. This however will not provide opportunity for tourists en-masse to experience the sights below.

Did you know there are tourist submarines? Apart from cruising in the comfort of your submarine armchair watching some of the 550 species of fish, how would it be if you happened to have migrating whales cruise on by at the same time? Now that would be a sight to behold!

What about live cams strategically placed around the Solitary Marine Park with video streamed back to viewing areas? This will bring the experience to the tourist back on shore. Make them interactive to allow tourists to rotate and pan in and out real-time, thus giving them a sense of actually being out there!

On the Water / Shoreline

No end of opportunities here. Whale watching, educational tours, sightseeing, sunrise tours, sunset tours, floating restaurants, fishing charters, fishing competitions, learn to - surf, ski, sailboard, scuba dive, snorkel, kite fly etc. etc. There are any number of sports activities including the Australian Surf Life Saving Titles. And how many water events could we host in the Harbour?

Shoreline guided tours, talking about the history, heritage and biodiversity of the coastline. Don't forget about our fine restaurants that have the ability to showcase the Solitary Island fare.

Here's an extension of Cr. Bill Palmer's thoughts on putting a Cultural Centre at the quarry site. How about ensuring that part of this complex is a world class, state-of-the-art Aquarium?

What a fantastic way of bring the Solitary Islands environment to ALL tourists through such a venue! Just imaging when you had thought you'd seen all it could offer, you take the tunnel tram out to the underwater observatory off shore at Pig Island! It's a slow trip out there to ensure you don't miss any of the underwater sights along the way. Time to wander around at the observatory before returning later by water taxi of underwater tram. What a way of getting everyone out there! For those who have seen some of the better aquariums around the

world they would surely agree how much of a tourist drawcard they are.Above the Water

We have recently experienced a successful helicopter tour season (mini season) to the lighthouse and no doubt the extension of this to other Solitary Island should be part of the mix. Joy flights of all descriptions and don't forget champagne sunrise and sunset flights over the Solitaries etc etc.

Solitary Time

Should be held over an extended time of 2-3 weeks to allow for the unpredictability of weather to come and go ensuring plenty of time for tourists enjoy, partake and go away satisfied.

Like any event of magnitude this will get better each year we hold it and with focussed single-minded development will ensure a prosperous growing community into the future.

As many of the simple attractions mentioned above are already happening I see there is still enough time to focus and make the latter part of 2010 our first Solitary Time Celebration!

• Steve Young

The Jewel in the Crown of Coffs Harbour is the harbour itself.

We have a long history of shipping, from the old days of sailing ships up to modern cargo ships that transported timber to New Zealand.

The last “BIG” event for the harbor was the arrival of the Tall Ships on May 10th -11th 1988 as part of the Bi - Centennial celebrations. This was a spectacular event and one estimate put attendances at well over 30,000 people on both days.

Sadly the harboUr has silted up and large ships can no longer visit.

I believe that the following concept will provide an ongoing source of Tourism promotion and long lasting benefit for the people of the Coffs Harbour area and surrounding regions far into the future.

1.Partnership between the NSW State Government , Federal Government, and the Coffs Harbor City Council.

2. Dredge the entire harbour floor to accommodate Cruise Ships.

At present, the dredging operations are contract based to pump the harbour sand onto the beaches.

I believe that there are contractors who are willing to perpetually dredge the harbour for FREE provided that they can keep and sell the sand (rather than pay the council the current ?

There on the southern end of the harbor was a floating Chinese restaurant and it looked for all the world like we had stepped back in time to old Shanghai of the 1800's.

I am not affiliated with any group or organization. I believe in this concept now as I did way back in 1986. I think that finally the time has come to give the people of Coffs Harbour a win - win future.

If we build it, they will come.

Don Batchelor



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