The coastal village of Sawtell was once inhabited by the Gumbaynggirr Aborigines. Because of the beautiful Sawtell Beach, the area was converted to a housing and farmland region that features a railway station, school and hotels. Accessible through the North Coast railway line, Sawtell visitors may also enter the area through the nearby Coffs Harbour Airport. The nearby Sawtell Beach is home to an annual surfing competition that aims to raise money for people with spinal injuries. Aside from surfing, Sawtell is also home to a number of sporting facilities for rugby and football. Every New Year, Sawtell residents celebrate the Fun Day, which involves wood chopping and live entertainment.