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Thought to be a corruption of Korff's Harbour, Coffs owes its name to John Korff, a cedar-getter in the 1850s. Originally two towns (the other was called Coffs Harbour Jetty) which gradually merged, Coffs is one of Australia's major timber ports. On the mid-north coast I582 km north of Sydney it is also now that area's commercial centre. The CSIRO assessed it to have one of the best climates in the country -more hours of sunshine than areas further south and less humidity than places further north. This feature has been a contributory factor for Coffs Harbour's population of 60,000 and its popularity as a holiday resort.

Regarded by many sailors as one of New South Wales' safest all-weather ports, until the lighthouse was built in 1878,
 
Coffs was shunned by captains as being too dangerous. Not surprisingly, the town now has a yacht club, a refurbished marina and a large commercial fishing fleet. Other industries in the region include banana growing, dairying, engineering and sawmilling.

Coffs Promenade is a popular attraction, with numerous specialty shops and restaurants. There is also a beautiful botanic garden with a mangrove boardwalk. Some more enticements in the area include art, crafts and antique shops.

For families, there is the zoo, the Big Banana Theme Park, the Butterfly House and the Plaster Fun House. Coffs Harbour Jetty Foreshores makes an ideal picnic spot, with great views over the beaches, which are great for surfing, swimming or fishing.

Active people can enjoy golf, horse riding or whitewater rafting on the nearby Nymboida River. Those with 4wd vehicles can explore the rugged hinterland but there are 4wd adventure safaris for those without a 4wd. On Sundays, markets are held at the jetty.

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