From comedy to culture and retro cars, these festivals and events in Coffs Harbour attract thousands of visitors every year.
Find out why Coffs Harbour is a must visit tourist destination, and get in on the action as performers and vendors take over this beach town.
Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience
This award-winning Indigenous tourism experience runs once a month at Sealy Lookout (Niigi Niigi). Over two hours, participants will learn about Gumbaynggirr culture through dance and storytelling, all while gaining a deeper appreciation for Australia’s First Nations people.
The experience begins with a performance by the Wajarr Ngaarlu Dancers, before guests are taken to the Korora Lookout in the Orara East State Forest to hear Dreamtime stories about the creation of the land. The tour also includes a bushtucker tasting, and allows the Gumbaynggirr community to practise and share their traditions on Country. The Giingan Gumbaynggirr Cultural Experience is a must-do for anyone travelling to Coffs Harbour in 2024.
Dates: First Saturday of every month.
Ocean Film Festival World Tour
Held annually, the Ocean Film Festival World Tour inspires communities to respect and protect our oceans. Screenings take place across the globe, and every two hour session presents the best independent ocean-related films from international creatives. The films vary in length and topics, including marine animals, ocean sports, coastal cultures and ocean adventures, but all relate to the beauty of nature and the need to look after our oceans.
At every tour location, the festival organisers identify local charities working to protect the ocean and dedicate resources to supporting their missions. As Coffs Harbour is a beach-side town located on the coast of New South Wales, it is the ideal Aussie destination for this festival.
Date: 8 March
Summer Beach Hop
What could be better than live music, classic cars, and beach-side markets? Not much! At its core, the Summer Beach Hop is a retro music festival with a Coffs twist. Visitors are invited to join in on dancing, music and meet n greets that encourage a relaxed retro vibe.
The festival includes several kids events, and a car and hot rod display that will take you back in time. It’s fun for the whole family, set against a stunning ocean backdrop. Summer Beach Hop is all about nostalgia and fun.
Dates: 16-17 March
Sawtell Chilli Festival
Just a 20 minute drive from Coffs Harbour lies the small town of Sawtell, home to an annual event that now attracts more than 13,000 people every year. At the Sawtell Chilli Festival, 80 chilli-related stalls take over the main avenue to showcase their best products and dishes. From chilli manufacturers to local cafes, everyone is welcome to join in on the fun.
In 2024, the theme is ‘food with fire’, emphasising how cooking with chilli can take dishes to a whole new level. There will be plenty of music, competitions and giveaways throughout the whole day, and guests are encouraged to bring their family along for the ride. Spice things up and head to Sawtell for an event like no other.
Date: 6 July
Curryfest is a great event held in Woolgoolga, another small town only 25 minutes from Coffs Harbour by car. It acknowledges the town’s rich Punjabi culture through a celebration of music, food and dance. Every year, the streets fill with colour as more than 100 stalls display traditional Indian food, entertainment, clothes and more.
Due to popular demand, the Bhagra and Gidda Dancers will be back next year to showcase their traditional folk dance. The 2024 lineup also includes the Curryfest Bazaar, where vendors will be selling shawls, scarves, shoes and more. The Cooking Zone is always host to several incredible celebrity chefs showcasing their skills as they teach onlookers how to serve up delicious meals and treats.
This festival is open to everyone, and encourages visitors to embrace kindness and acceptance.
Date: 28 September
Coffs Harbour Buskers and Comedy Festival
Laugh the day away as street acts and children’s performers take over the city for the Coffs Harbour Buskers and Comedy Festival. This feel-good event is all about spreading cheer through the community, and having a bit of fun. From roaming acts to dancers and buskers, there’s plenty to see over the four-day lineup. Plus, food and drink vendors will keep you fueled all weekend long.
For children, the kids day features a variety of games, performers, and even a disco. And for the grown-ups, the Unreal Adult Comedy Gala is an adult only event that will have you in stitches. This festival has been running for more than 20 years, making it a Coffs institution.
Dates: 5-8 October
Loving these festivals and events in Coffs Harbour? Check out what’s happening in Port Macquarie.
To discover a list of even more festivals and cultural experiences in Australia, click here.
Travel to Coffs Harbour
Rex flies to Coffs Harbour. Book your flights here and check out the route map below.