“ Address: 351 Pacific Hwy / Coffs Harbour / NSW 2450 / Australia „
Coffs Harbour on the East Coast of Australia is only a small town and there isn't really much to do there. It is mainly frequented by tourists as a one or two night stop over to break up the journey between Sydney and Byron Bay. The main attraction in Coffs Harbour is the Big Banana and is a great fun thing to visit, even if only to have your photo taken in front of it.
The Big Banana was created in 1964 when John Landy wanted a way of making passing traffic stop at his banana stall. Having heard of other 'Big' fruits elsewhere in the world he came up with the idea of the Big Banana, creating the first of a few now 'Big' fruits in Australia. The biggest banana in the world took only three months to build, being designed by Alan Chapman and built by Alan Harvey and was officially opened on 22 December 1964. Since then, the Big Banana has gradually expanded and now includes banana plantations, a theatre showcase, café, gift shop and many rides and attractions.
~ World of Bananas ~
Watch a theatre presentation telling you about the discovery of the banana and how they came to be one of the most famous fruits today. You will then walk through a banana plantation seeing how they are grown and then to the packing shed where you'll get to try one of the freshly picked bananas. After, visit the games room where you can have fun with the interactive displays. Now, I hate bananas - the smell and taste make me want to gag and I never ever eat them - my mum used to have to pay me to eat them when I was little! But my husband loves them and I thought this would be an interesting thing to see and something of a must when we're obviously there to see the Big Banana. The theatre presentation was completely aimed at children below the age of 6. Although it was interesting to find out where bananas originated from, some of the things they told you were just plain obvious and ridiculous such as how to peel a banana and that you had to throw it away when you were finished in case someone slipped over on it. A young girl in the theatre at the same time as us, who only looked about 8, was moaning because even she found it too childish. However, it did make us giggle and the plantation was more interesting to see and we even spotted a wild snake on the grass which made it even more fun! I did hesitantly try a banana in the packing shed afterwards and was very pleasantly surprised to find that I really actually quite liked it. It tasted nothing like our bananas here do and was very sweet and tasty - if I lived in Australia I'd probably eat them!
Adults $10.50, children $8
~ Toboggan ~
One of the most popular, and most exciting, attractions in the park is the Toboggan ride. A 650m long steel flume will whiz you up and down bends, curves and straight runs. You can go alone or with another person and you control the toboggan so can go at any speed you wish. I must admit I'm not usually keen on things like this and get really scared at controlling things by myself but, after one ride where I went pretty slowly and gently, I couldn't wait to get back on and speed it up. This ride was so much fun and, although a little scary for some, it won't fail to bring you to the end with a huge smile on your face.
1 ride $5, 2 rides $8, 6 rides $20, 10 rides $30
~ Water Park ~
The water park contains lots of waterslides and obstacle water courses for the whole family to have fun in. It is also home to the largest inflatable waterslide in the world.
Adults $16, children $12
~ Ice Skating ~
Host to The Aussie Skate program, both beginners and experienced skaters can glide across the ice at the ice skating rink.
Adults $12, children $9.50
~ Trike Ride ~
Up to 3 passengers can hop on a 3-wheeled Harley Davidson trike and be driven on a tour around Coffs Harbour and the coast. Prices vary depending on the length of the ride and where the ride takes you ranging from $35 per ride (up to 3 people) for a quickie joy ride to $55 per person for a 45 minute rainforest tour.
I can't give my own experience on the water park, ice skating rink or trike ride as we didn't do a trike ride, the ice skating rink and closed when we visited and the water park was under renovations. However, I think the best attraction by far was the toboggan and the World of Bananas really is just something you have to do when you're at the Big Banana.
There is also a café and gift shop offering lots of banana related products and goodies and the Candy Kitchen which makes over 90 kilos of sweets every day and, as you can imagine, has the most gorgeous and yummy smell inside.
There are a few 'Big' fruits all over Australia but the Big Banana is by far the most popular and well-known one. This is a must see attraction in Coffs Harbour, even if it's just to have your photo taken in front of it. Even if you're not stopping overnight in Coffs Harbour, the attraction is on the Pacific Highway and you can't miss it when passing, and this would be a great place to stop at on the drive. I really would recommend doing a few of the attractions especially the toboggan ride. It made our stay, in what is a small town with not that much to do, that much better and we came away with huge smiles on our faces and a bounce in our steps, having had so much fun.
Well-known tourist attraction for fun rides, educational tours and shows and recreational facilities