Nestled on the coast in northern NSW lays the small fishing and surfing township of Yamba. This relaxed little community sits fairly dormant throughout the majority of the year, but come holiday season it transforms into a hive of activity from city slickers trying to get their beach fix. It’s for good reason too, regardless of its proximity to major towns Grafton and Ballina, Yamba still allows people to feel just the right amount of isolated to unwind from the everyday stresses of home life. It presents as a great family location, with activities a plenty to keep kids occupied as well as all the creature comforts of a typical coastal town for the adults to let their hair down as well.
Situated at the mouth of the Clarence River, Yamba offers vacationers the opportunity to try their hand at river, rock and beach fishing, catering for anglers of all skill levels. It’s also a great location to bring the boat along with multiple boat ramps throughout town. The patrolled surf beach makes for the perfect spot to cool off from the heat of summer or, in the cooler months, a great place to blast the cobwebs out of the system with a quick icy dip.
Yamba is located roughly 3.5 hours south of Brisbane or 7.5 hours north of Sydney on the Pacific Highway, approximately halfway between Ballina and Grafton. After taking the clearly marked ‘Yamba’ turn off from the highway it’s quick 15minute trip with the Clarence River on one side and sugarcane crops on the other. Be sure to observe the 50km speed limit as soon as you enter town, as this is quite heavily monitored during holiday periods by the local police.
Camp sites are available in the three main parks in town, Calypso Holiday Park, Yamba Waters Holiday Park and Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort. Calypso offering the closest sites to the heart of the action. Keep in mind it does get busy during the holiday periods so booking in advance would be highly recommended. All three camp grounds offer a full list of facilities for both caravans and campers alike.
What to do?
Well, you’re in luck, because there is certainly no shortage of activities on offer. The main street boasts plenty of fine cafés and restaurants that will make short work of grumbling tummies at any stage of the day. While up on top of the hill, the Yamba pub has one of the best views in town, making it a fantastic spot for a cool drink or meal. If going out isn’t your caper, there is plenty of grocery shops, including a Coles to grab all your supplies for your stay.
The three surf beaches, Turners Beach, Main Beach, and Pipi Beach all offer great spots to relax, but keep in mind Main beach is the only patrolled beach, so save the swims for there. The largest of the three, Pipi Beach, is the ideal location for an afternoon walk capped off by enjoying the view from the grass atop Lovers Point at the northern end of the beach. From the top of the point it’s not uncommon to spot the ever-present dolphins, turtles and even whales at certain times of the year.
For the landbased fisherman, the Yamba breakwall at the mouth of Clarence River puts you smack bang in the action with all the common estuary and surf species up for grabs. Bream, whiting, flathead, luderick, tailor, tuna, jewfish and salmon are all common captures. As well as the break wall, there is some great beach fishing as well as rock fishing on the nearby headlands. For those who bring boats with them, the river and offshore fisheries are very much worth prospecting. Don’t forget though, anglers over the age of 18 are required to purchase a NSW fishing license before you are eligible to fish.
A selection of other activities that may tickle your fancy include, golf, bowls, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing lessons, bike rides, heritage trails, cinema’s and horse riding just to name a few. You really can make it as relaxing or action packed as your heart desires!
So, if you feel the ocean is calling out for you, make sure you add Yamba to your list, it’s a great spot to spend some time!