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Coffs Harbour was settled by the cedar cutters from nearby Port Macquarie in 1863 after hearing from the local Gumbayngirr Aborigines about land just north of them on the coast with an abundance of cedar trees. The harbour went on to became a rich trading port with the timber industry flourishing after the construction of the Jetty at Coffs Harbour was completed in the 1890s.
Whilst these industries continued to excel well into the 20th Century, it would be the introduction of the Fijian banana in 1881 by migrant farmer Herman Reick that would be the making of the town. The industry really took off in the 1920s when northern crops were destroyed by disease and the Coffs Harbour bananas were in high demand and by the 1960s the Coffs Harbour banana plantations accounted for 80% of Australia's bananas.
Boasting one the countries many 'BIG' things, the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour is one of the states prime attractions. Located on a banana plantation now owned by the Ruby family, the fibreglass long Big Banana was constructed in the likeness of a banana from the plantation by then owner Paul Landy in 1964. Conceived in an attempt to encourage passers by on the Pacific Highway visit his roadside banana stall, the Big Banana is now the centerpiece of a banana theme park and continues to bring interest to the region.
SSC16739: Coffs Harbour