22 December 2015 Revisit the Banana Republic

A community unlike any other

Explore inspiring articles, discover events, connect with locals and learn more about Coffs Harbour City Council.



You can find information on current changes to our programs, services and facilities, necessitated by precautions introduced in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic here...

Read more
Library Online

Level One Water Restrictions

Are still in place across the LGA. Find out more about Dam Levels and Water Restrictions...

Read more
Disaster Revocery

Bushfire Recovery Portal

Council have created the bushfire recovery portal to ensure that the recovery process is as simple and clear as possible...

Read more
View all news

Latest News

Rent Waived

Council to Waive Rent from Community Groups and Sports Clubs

An extension of the current rent waiver for local community and sporting organisations that rent facilities from Council will be provided for the three months...

Read more
Botanic Garden

Federal Funds Earmarked for Community Projects

An allocation of $1.38m in funds from the Australian Government has been earmarked for the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden Glasshouse Project and the next stage of the Jetty Foreshores Project...

Read more

Coffs Coast Youth Inspired by Cultural and Civic Space

The cultural, social and technological opportunities being offered by the planned youth space in the Cultural and Civic Space have sparked excitement among local youth and educators...

Read more
Visit Coffs Newsroom

22 December 2015 Revisit the Banana Republic

Coffs Harbour’s days as a ‘Banana Republic’ in the 1980s are being revisited at Coffs Harbour Regional Museum as the centrepiece of an exhibition celebrating the city’s history as a tourist destination.

“Coffs Harbour has always been a popular tourist destination and the range of souvenirs on display takes you on a journey through the different decades,” said Museum Curator Dr Leigh Summers.

“Many souvenirs are of the classic tourist kind - dishes, cups, and teaspoons. We’d also welcome the chance to display any other sorts of memorabilia that locals may still have related either to the ‘Banana Republic’ or to Coffs’ early days as a tourist spot.”

Coffs was declared a ‘Banana Republic’ as a publicity stunt in the 1980s. That part of the exhibition features uniforms, medals, promotional material and an episode of ‘Good Morning Australia’ filmed at the Big Banana in 1982 and featuring TV personalities Gordon Elliot and Kerri-Anne Kennerley - loaned by former Cowper MP Gary Nehl and local resident Paul McKeon.

In addition, the display includes designs for a ‘Banana Republic’ petrol station banner, books, tea towels, ‘Banana Republic’ passports and a one and a half dollar note.

Many famous people participated in the ‘Banana Republic’ including Jack Thompson (Minister for the Arts) and the late politician Fred Daley.

Two of the most locally-famous participants were the ‘Banana Twins’ Adele Hurley and Toni Mooey Hurley, the twin daughters of the famous Antarctic photographer Frank Hurley.

Please contact Dr Leigh Summers on 02 6648 4860 if you would like to donate or loan items to the tourism and ‘Banana Republic’ collections.

The exhibition closes January 30 2016.

Coffs Harbour Regional Museum is located at 215 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour. It is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. Entry is $5 per adult. Children under 16 can go in for free.