Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve

Tenth stop – Coffs Harbour

Muttonbird Island Nature ReserveA visit to Coffs Harbour is never complete without experiencing the walk to Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve. The first time we stumbled upon this amazing spot was on the return journey to Queensland after a roadtrip through New South Wales. With night closing in and after being in the car for hours, we needed a good stretch of the legs.

Muttonbird Island Nature ReserveWe decided to take a walk at the marina, never expecting that we would soon have crossed over a breakwater and onto an island nature reserve.

The best thing about the walk is that it changes every time we do it because of the breeding cycle of the muttonbirds, also known as shearwaters. Trip number one was marked by birds circling in the darkness overhead and docile, little chicks out all over the path. Not initially realising we were walking on a rookery, we came very close to stepping on one.

Muttonbird Island Nature ReserveThis time there were no chicks and we were a little too early in the day to see much bird activity. But it was good just to be outdoors in such a beautiful area.

Being on sunset, the small crest of the island was lit by the warm glow of the sun as it sunk behind the path, making for plenty of good photo opportunities. Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve

We gave the tent a miss for the night and settled down in a budget cabin at the Paradise Palms Resort, grabbing a gourmet pizza for dinner.

The next morning we found a great cafe, Cafe Aqua, just opposite the water. We say great because not only did it have a nice outdoor deck area, but a long list of mouthwatering menu options.

After breakfast, we continued our journey north toward Yamba.