The Coffs Creek Walk and Cycleway is a popular local route, suitable for family and friends, with places to stop along the way for a coffee, picnic, to fish or swim.
We usually start at the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park, but you can start any number of places such as the swimming pool, Botanic Gardens, Promenade, Showgrounds etc.
If you have less time or energy, the walk can easily be shortened by crossing the creek on Hogbin Drive and only doing the downstream or upstream loop.
Nature along the creek
The Coffs Creek walk passes by the North Coast Regional Botanical Gardens. Just outside the entrance on the right, a satin bower bird has built a blue boudoir. Across the street from the gardens is a large tree that was pruned but retained for habitat.
Fish eagles nest in large trees alongside the creek, and fish can be seen swimming near the mangrove boardwalk. We’ve seen land mullet and other wildlife, so keep your dogs on leash.
Paperbarks and salt marsh border the creek, corkwood and scribbly gum line the path, blueberry ash and bottlebrush xanthorrhoea flower in spring.
The Buluunggal walk section of Coffs Creek walk has a number of colourful interpretive signs describing how the Gumbaynggir people use the creek. Buluunggal is the Gumbaynggirr name for the creek, meaning mullet.
Timbergetters were active on the creek last century, floating their cedar logs to beach. What do you think the rusty metal object on the path near the Showgrounds was used for?
You are sure to see fisherfolk along your walk, both on the creek banks or in the water on kayaks. Ropes hang from a number of trees, maybe you’ll see kids leaping into the water.
Coffs Creek Land Art Trail
In the mid 90s, Coffs Harbour council commissioned artworks to make a Coffs Creek Land Art Trail. Here is a list – see how many you can find.
- Traces, by Suzanne Nehl at Saltwater Park. I love this work, which shows traces of human and animal activity in various concrete pieces. There are hints of boat keels, anchor, ropes, footprints, tramways, hoof prints, shell middens and more. See what you can find.
- Guardian of the Creek, by sculptor Neil Scobie near the bridge over the creek by the swimming pool.
- Elements Rising, by John van der Kolk near the Promenade
- Long boat skeleton, by Stefan Bruggisser, near the mangrove boardwalk
- Where friends meet, by Ian Watson – sadly this was has fallen victim to the forces of nature but
- The Tree Trunk and Falling Leaf by Evi Koller
Look out also for colourful street art while you are walking through the showgrounds. You might want to take a small detour around Fitzroy Oval to view the mosaic murals on the Swimming Pool, the ‘Old Camp’ murals, or to visit Pioneer Park.