Time seems to fly by in Sawtell, with its idyllic beaches, serene waterways, and delectable eateries surrounded by the town’s famous fig trees. Whether you’re a lucky local or simply visiting Sawtell for the weekend, you’ll never be bored in this vibrant little town.

Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about Sawtell and all its hidden treasures.


Top 20 Things To Do in Sawtell

Get ready to discover 20 amazing, memorable escapes from the ordinary in Sawtell, NSW.

1. Master the art of surfing like a pro at Sawtell Surf School

surfing in Sawtell

Whether you are a complete novice or have some surfing experience, the team at Sawtell Surf School will get you riding a wave before you can even think about falling off!

With the help of experienced and friendly instructors, you will get an authentic taste for surfing while also learning important safety tips for both the waves and the beach. Be sure to give it a try. The school offers private and group lessons.

2. Experience the charm of Sawtell Memorial Rock Pool

Sawtell Memorial Rockpool, nestled among the rocks at the foot of Bonville Headland and adjacent to Bonville Creek, is by far the most charming of New South Wales’s ocean pools. This pool is safer than the deep channels and strong tidal flows at Bonville Creek’s mouth and protects visitors from the strong permanent rip that runs past it.

3. Savor the Flavor of Sawtell’s Thriving Food Scene

You might be surprised to discover that this tiny town offers many alfresco cafes and modern restaurants. Head on to local favorite Café Treeo for its all-day breakfast menu, which includes healthy prawn sandwiches, veggie bowls, and mango smoothies.

How about dining alfresco in Taste Restaurant and trying one of their enticing entrée of either crispy duck spring rolls or seared scallops?

If you’re looking for something fresh and healthy, Split Café and Espresso Bar serve Allpress coffee and modern Australian food using fresh local produce. They have a variety of gluten-free and vegetarian meals, homemade sweets, jams, and relishes.

Did you get hungry while on the beach? Go to The Kiosk for their macadamia fruit toast and smoked salmon bagels, and enjoy your meals while taking in the beautiful scenery of Sawtell Beach.

4. Blue skies and good food at Boronia Park

Boronia Park

An alfresco lunch by the river in Boronia Park is just what the doctor ordered if you want to recharge in nature. Located at the base of Bonville Headland on Boronia Street, Boronia Park is a favorite picnic site in Sawtell. It has barbecues, picnic tables, and chairs, as well as a children’s playground.

5. Stop and smell the oils

Need to unwind, relax, and recuperate from a day of water activities? Enjoy a little pampering and treat yourself to an amazing spa day.

Visit Kaboodle Body Beauty for a comprehensive, personalized skin analysis with one of their Divine Facials. After a long day in the sun, nothing beats a rejuvenating facial treatment to help you relax and recharge.

For a mental and physical recharge, why not try a yoga class at Figtree Day Spa? Or perhaps the Sunlit Infrared Sauna can help you relax and unwind after a long day.

6. Escape to Reflections Boambee Creek Reserve

Relax and take in the breathtaking views at Reflections Boambee Creek Reserve, a unique spot just moments from Coffs Harbour and the picturesque coastal town of Sawtell.

Enjoy watching the kids paddleboard in the calm, shallow water. Bring your fishing gear and see what’s biting, or try stand-up paddleboarding. This lovely spot is fantastic for alfresco dining, with plenty of tables, free BBQs, and shaded grass spaces perfect for your picnic blanket.

Both on land and in the pristine water, there is ample space for amusement and activities, and dogs are permitted to visit year-round while on leash.

7. Chase sunsets at Boambee Headland

Boambee Headland, where the magnificence of nature unfolds in all directions, is an essential stop during any visit to Sawtell. From this headland’s vantage point above the shimmering Boambee Creek, you may witness the most awe-inspiring sunsets.

Aside from the beautiful views, this is an ideal spot for whale viewing during the winter and spring. Enchanting sunsets and breathtaking natural beauty—the ideal setting to end the day.

8. A whole bunch of fun at The Big Banana Fun Park

Big Banana

The park boasts Australia’s biggest indoor giant slide, as well as the largest water park between Sydney and the Gold Coast, featuring enormous thrill slides and an Aqua Play area for children.

And don’t miss their 36-hole mini-golf course, state-of-the-art laser tag arena, famous Toboggan Ride with a view of the Pacific Ocean, Steve McEwan’s Reptile World, and the 4D Ride Stimulator, which has four of the newest and best ride simulator movies in the world.

Visit the world’s largest banana-themed gift store and snag a lovely souvenir, then relax and sample the Café’s Choc Coated Banana after all the thrilling activities.

9. Pop over for a movie at Sawtell Cinema

Sawtell Cinema is a two-screen complex in Sawtell’s picturesque fig tree-lined First Avenue. Experience the classic feel of an art deco cinema in this quaint seaside village with its chic cafes and restaurants. It prides itself on being community-oriented and providing outstanding entertainment with a variety of films, specials, sports, and private functions.

10. Do some retail therapy

Shopping, anyone? Sawtell has everything you need for a good time: the beach, coffee shops, and shopping therapy.

  • Bella Cosa is passionate about exquisite antiques, which include collectibles and fine and decorative arts. Their genuine and distinctive pieces are in excellent shape and will make a fantastic addition to any collection that combines vintage items with modern design.
  • Le Dãin Designs Boutique is the ideal destination for women seeking designer and costume jewelry, lingerie, millinery, and apparel for both formal and casual occasions. From the interior to the service, the establishment exudes luxury. But don’t be fooled—their items are quite reasonably priced. So enjoy being spoiled when you purchase at Le Dãin’s store.
  • Explore Miss Minnies Boutique and browse through their curated collections of quality women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories from Australia’s leading brands. But it’s not just a store for women; they also have menswear and men’s footwear too! So if you’re a guy or if you are buying for a guy, Miss Minnie’s has you covered.

11. Got golf on your mind?

sawtell golf

Sawtell Golf Club is one of the most picturesque golf courses you will find. Nothing can beat having the rolling blue mountains as a backdrop to the contrasting vibrant green immaculate 18-hole course.

The course caters to all the needs of players, so social players and golfing purists can both enjoy their tee time. The place offers all-encompassing clubhouse facilities, complete with a 300-seat multi-purpose function room and onsite chef. This is truly one golfer’s dream!

12. Spot Koalas at Bongil Bongil National Park

This ecotourism-certified national park is in Gumbaynggirr Country and has plenty to offer. You can enjoy mountain bike adventures, rainforest walking, or fishing on the pontoon by Bonville Creek or on the beach around Bundagen Head.

The surrounding eucalypt forests are home to one of NSW’s largest koala populations, so keep an eye out for them when you visit. You might see these cute creatures munching on leaves or sleeping in the treetops.

Its rainforest is also home to an abundance of other wildlife, like kangaroos and wallabies, and provides a habitat for migrating birds. It’s no wonder why the park remains a popular beach holiday destination.

13. Go on a joyride with Aussie Trike Tours Australia

Mick and Barb Duncombe offer tours and joy rides around the Coffs Coast area. Traverse through breathtaking landscapes and coastal routes in their custom-designed Boom Mustang trike. Experience the thrill of open-air cruising and discover the scenery and aromas of the Coffs Coast Area.

14. Enjoy the scenic route of Bluff Loop Walking Track

Starting and ending at Tuckers Rocks, the track is great for kids and offers a great view of the coastal forest of Bongil Bongil National Park and access to the lookout overlooking Bundageree Creek.

The track winds through dense rainforest in the more protected area behind the sand dunes, and you’ll be able to see eucalypt trees, forest red gum, red mahogany, and pink bloodwood up on the ridge. Enjoy the ocean breeze or enjoy a picnic surrounded by lush coastal forest.

15. Soak up the vitamin sea at Sawtell Beach

Sawtell Beach

With golden sands and clear waters, Sawtell Beach is a family-friendly spot nestled between two headlands – Boambee Head to the north and Bonville Head to the south. The beach is popular for surfing due to its consistent waves, which are suitable even for inexperienced surfers.

Sawtell Beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the summer months so families can enjoy a picnic at the beach and soak up the sun while sunbathing or beachcombing.

16. Coffs Coast Food & Wine Festival

This is an award-winning annual celebration of local food and wine. For culinary enthusiasts, this 10-day event of dining experiences and foodie workshops, the festival has something for everyone. Foodies enjoy the region’s local flavors and produce from Bellingen to Woolgooga.

17. Explore new paths in The Hogbin Drive cycle path

Sawtell is the perfect destination for cyclists to take a safe and relaxing ride. For a leisurely ride in either direction, go to The Hogbin Drive cycle path. With trees shading the path, many cyclists enjoy a pleasant morning cycle along the path into Sawtell and up to the headland.

18. Take a scenic Sawtell Walk

The Sawtell Walk can either take 1 hour to 1.5 hours, depending on the route you want to take. For the short route, you start at Boronia Street in First Avenue, then head to Bonville Headland.

The round trip from First Avenue, around the headland, and exit at the Surf Club takes about ½ hour at a reasonable pace. You can enjoy the beautiful view of the South West Rocks along the coastline on a clear sunny day.

For a longer route, you continue to Boambee Headland. This route will lead you to the water towers and will give you a challenging cardiovascular workout with a beautiful view of Coffs Harbour and Mutton Bird Island.

Either route is good for outdoor lovers and those who want to relax and take in the natural beauty of Sunny Sawtell.

19. Bundagaree Rainforest Walk

Bundagaree Rainforest

Take a leisurely 6km loop hike along the coastal fringe of Bongil Bongil National Park. The path is well-marked, and you can choose to either go through the rainforest and catch a glimpse of a variety of birds or explore the rockpools along the shoreline of Bundagaree Creek.

Hikers of all abilities will get to experience the natural beauty of the Sawtell region on this scenic route.

20. Flavor, spice, and everything nice at Sawtell Chili Festival

This is an annual event that will heat up on July 6, 2024. Each year, it attracts tourists who are keen to sample the wide range of chili-related food and products from Australia’s leading chili product manufacturers and local food establishments.

Enjoy live music, fun activities, and street performances. Warm up your taste buds and bring the heat for this hot festival.


How far is Sawtell from Coffs Harbour?

Sawtell is just a 15-minute drive from the Coffs Harbour Airport.


Towns Nearby Sawtell, NSW

Driving to Sawtell from:

  • Toomina to Sawtell – 4 minutes
  • Boambee to Sawtell – 7 minutes
  • Raleigh to Sawtell – 19 minutes
  • Urunga to Sawtell – 21 minutes
  • Bellingen to Sawtell – 26 minutes
  • Woolgoolga to Sawtell – 32 minutes
  • Dorrigo to Sawtell – 58 minutes

These towns have an array of different sites and activities that you can explore on your next trip.


Important Things To Know

Most restaurants in Sawtell are closed on Mondays, so you have to check the business hours of the restaurant or café you’ve been wanting to try.

Peak hours for any food establishment are from Thursday to Saturday evening, so you might want to book in advance, as walk-ins will be a challenge.

For couples who want to spend a romantic getaway near the Coffs Coast, check out Hermitage Estate for an exclusive and luxurious experience.