Located between Brisbane and Sydney, Coffs Harbour was my home for a few years. Having travelled through once, stayed for a few days and then moved on, I never would have thought that I would return and make it my home. My original impressions were that it was a pleasant, small town with beautiful nature. But I didn’t get to know it that well, it was too early in my trip and I was too keen to move on and discover more.

But return I did. I was staying in Newcastle when a job opportunity arose in Coffs Harbour. I remembered the town and jumped at the chance, I also needed the money. I worked and stayed at a backpackers hostel and got to know the town and its locals.

The town itself has, I believe, a perfect location. It is situated on the coast but backed by mountains which form part of the Great Dividing Range of Australia. So you live next to the beach but within thirty minutes you can be in the mountains looking at rainforest. And if you continue driving you will reach New England. With its rolling green hills and trout streams, you can see where it gets its name.

Coffs Harbour offers a lot for the traveller to do and experience. From visiting the rainforest to skydiving, swimming with dolphins or diving with sharks. For nine months of the year you can see whales breaching and jumping in the ocean. Or you can do many other activities with one of the companies offering fun and adventure. Liquid Assets is just one such company, and one I got to know well. Bob and Mal are top Aussies and always did their best for their customers. You could go whitewater rafting, surf rafting, sea kayaking or even do surfing lessons. So much to choose from. 

My boss was another top bloke. Graeme made me welcome and dealt with everyone with fairness, an open heart and a smile. I have never been very good at expressing myself with spoken words, or the telephone, but I appreciate everything he did for me. If you read this Graeme, cheers for everything. 

But the greatest memory of my time here has to be meeting my wife. I still remember standing outside the hostel, watching a gorgeous blonde walking across from the train station. I checked her in and starting planning how I could get to know her. We went for a bike ride and for a meal. After a long term and long distance relationship I moved to the Czech Republic. And the rest is history. Two kids and a happy life back in Europe, but it all started in sunny Coffs. 

Text © Neil Hayes and neilsworldofenglish

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