Coff's Harbour is probably best known for its Big Banana, which is a lot of fun, but there is a whole lot more to this historic region than a giant banana. We take a fascinating Giingan Tour to learn about the ancient custodians of this part of the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, which is known as Gumbaynggirr country. The Gumbaynggirr word for "meeting place" is "arrawarra", and our arrawarra is the historic cultural site of Niigi Niigi (a Gumbaynggirr word for "charcoal"), also known as Sealy Lookout. This is set high up through, you've guessed it, banana plantations, in the State Forests of Coffs Coasts. Part of the experience takes place on the Forest Sky Pier, with panoramic views of Coffs Harbour and the coastline.
You'll discover this amazing cultural experience through language, stories, song and the role of native plants. and at the same time, you will be making an important contribution to keeping alive the Gumbaynggirr culture.
Vibe: Back packer trail meets aboriginal culture
Known for: Banana plantations and a big banana!
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Image: Forestry Corporation NSW 015
Take a Giingan Tour
The heart of our visit. This fascinating tour gives you the chance to learn and connect with the ancient Gumbaynggirr people, the original custodians of this area. You'll learn some of their language and see how they are bringing it back to life; you'll discover their history and culture through stories and songs, which have been handed down through the generations over thousands of years. You'll also see how these people use the indigenous plants as a way of life. It will be an experience that widens your horizons and helps Gumbaynggirr people re-establish their culture and identity.
Get a new view from Niigi Niigi
Niigi Niigi is an important Gumbaynggirr site, more recently known as Sealy Lookout. It's set high above Coffs Harbour within the Orara East State Forest, with views of the coastline and forests. We'll use this spectacular site as a space to learn more about aboriginal Gumbaynggirr culture too.
Go Out to Lunch at Bellingen
For many years, "Out to Lunch" is a phrase that could have been used to describe the "laid back" residents of this hippy town! We make a visit for lunch in this town where traditional facade fronts mix with modern chic boutiques. There is a hemp store and a shop selling digeridoos. There is a "Cupboard of Plenty" which is a communal food resource, an echo of the Gumbaynggirr culture. "Bello" as it is referred to by the locals, was also home to the renowned Australian novelist, Peter Carey, who wrote his novel "Illywhacker" in the town, and also mentioned the church at Bellingen as the inspiration for his Booker Prize novel, "Oscar and Lucinda".
WHERE STRAY STAYS
We don't stay in Coffs Harbour, but push north up the coast on the Pacific Highway to Byron Bay, another hip surfer town with a laid back vibe. We'll arrive in the evening so you can get a taste of the nightlife.
The Surf House, Byron Bay
A chilled out surf inspired accommodation experience in the heart of Byron Bay. It is just 50m from the beach with free surfboard hire available. Take in the views of Byron Bay from the town's only rooftop bar.
23 Lawson Street
Byron Bay, NSW 2481, AustraliaView in Google MapsTel:
+61 2 6685 8750
STRAY TOURS THAT INCLUDE COFFS HARBOUR AND THE GUMBAYNGGIRR CULTURAL EXPERIENCE
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