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Eastern Side lookout

Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve

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The Eastern Side lookout offers spectacular views of the Solitary Islands. A short walk from the carpark, it’s a great place for whale watching in the heart of Coffs Harbour.

What to
Hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • Please refrain from disturbing the birds; this means no flash photography and always keep to the track
  • It’s around a 2km return journey to the lookout from the carpark area near the breakwall
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to bird watch or whale watch

The Eastern Side lookout is located a short walk from the Muttonbird Island outdoor learning space along a paved walkway. As you’re walking along the track to the lookout, on either side of the path you’ll notice open entrances to muttonbird burrows. Signage along the way explains the lifecycle of these migratory birds.

It is really important to stay on the track as the burrows are fragile and the plant cover provides little protection from cave-ins which can be disastrous for the birds.

The Eastern Side lookout is perched above wave-worn rock platforms at the eastern end of the walkway. You’ll enjoy unimpeded views of Solitary Islands Marine Park all year round and between May and November you might see humpback whales on their annual migration. On a clear day you can see all the way along the north coast to South West Rocks in the south and north to Woolgoolga.

Take a virtual tour of Eastern Side lookout captured with Google Street View Trekker.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Tours and events at this location

  • Humpback whale breaching, creating massive splashing around it. Photo: Jonas Liebschner © DPE

    Whale watching at Muttonbird Island

    Don't miss this free whale watching experience on Muttonbird Island, Coffs Harbour. The whales are on their annual migration, so it's a great time to see them. Our NPWS rangers can answer your queries. 


Saving Our Species program

Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Saving our Species is a statewide conservation program that addresses the growing number of Australian animals and Australian native plants facing extinction.

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) in a tree. Photo: Courtesy of Taronga Zoo/OEH


An island sanctuary self-guided audio tour

Go on a self-guided audio tour across Muttonbird Island and discover the significance of this bustling seabird rookery. As you walk, you'll learn about the shearwaters who have been nesting here for thousands of years.

Wedge-tailed shearwater chick. Photo Lucas Grenadier © OEH