Going Bananas in Coffs

Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our trek up the coast this time landed us in Coffs Harbour and smack bang in the middle of some pretty nice sunshine. We're starting to think that the coast absolutely rocks. We've heard all the reports of the sun in the UK and how it may actually be warmer than Oz, but come on, there's sun and there's Australian sun (we know which one we prefer). We by no means have great tans, but we no longer have an uncanny resemblance to a ghost; it's a work in progress. Anyway, the hostel is about 30 minutes out of town and whilst you could call that an inconvenience the fact that it's so close to the beach more than makes up for it. It is near the jetty and the fact that there is a small shopping centre over the road makes it pretty perfect; a calm, quiet place but still with the services needed. The hostel does pick up too which was great, although we did have an Irish driver who drove as if he was speeding along a motorway. We now realise that the laid back Australian way of life not only extends to the speed at which they walk, but also how they drive.
There is so much to see in Coffs, that if you're only there for a few days, as we were, it can get pretty difficult to decide what to do. There are of course the beaches. We spent quite a bit of time on both Jetty and Park beach. Nice enough but somehow they didn't quite compare to the more idyllic sands of Port Macquarie.
On the agenda was also a trip to the Pet Porpoise Pool, a small marine land that actually housed no porpoise at all. We got there just in time for the show, where we were treated to dolphins and seals performances. This included all sorts of tricks, such as jumping through hoops and playing with balls. We did manage to get a little footage on the video camera, which was cool. First though we were all able to receive a kiss on the cheek from a seal and a dolphin. The seal soaked my t-shirt and it kind of tickled. We were later able to touch the dolphins, which was really cool as it was also the first time we've ever really seen a real dolphin. They also had turtles, lots of fish and little blue penguins, all of which we could feed. Though of course our hands reeked of fish afterward. We also got a chance to see some kangaroo's who were lazying in the sun, an emu and some peacocks who were wandering around by the picnic tables. Basically there was a lot to see.
Whenever we mentioned going to Coffs Harbour it seemed everyone told us the same thing; go see the Big Banana. So, of course, we did. The Big Banana is a small working banana plantation, easy to find because of the big artificial banana in front that is easily visible from the road.We took a tour of the plantation and saw the bananas as they grow, were treated to the history of the banana and the production in Coffs Harbour and had sneak peak in the packing shed. After warming up our stomach with a free banana, we had lunch in the cafe where they serve lots of, you've guessed it; bananas. The fresh banana smoothies were pretty awesome though. However, we reckon if you worked there you'd be pretty sick of bananas.
Whist waiting for our bus to whisk us further up to Byron Bay, we decided to walk along the jetty as we had the time. Which turned out to be a good thing. Not only was it calm and nice to sit in the sun, we were also treated to some sights. We saw a wild dolphin swimming under the jetty and several wild turtles just floating passed. We were also there to bear witness to two 'Jetty jumpers'. Not content with jumping off once (and complaining that it actually really hurt), the two blokes decided that standing on the top railing to do it again would probably be more fun, if not just as painful. Seems everything is bananas in Coffs Harbour.
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