Yamba just might be Australia’s most underrated coastal holiday spot.
On the New South Wales north coast, Yamba has always been at the top of the hit list for surfers and beach-goers. Nearby Angourie Point is famous for its much-revered right-hand break, and with six beaches within walking distance of the Yamba town centre (and many more a short drive away), there’s no shortage of places to hit the water. Other highlights include the plunge-worthy Blue Pool—a huge rock quarry that filled with freshwater when an underground spring was disturbed sometime last century—and an enticing saltwater rock pool on Main Beach. And did we mention the prawns? They’re famous, too.
Yamba is perfectly situated at the mouth of the Clarence River, and the 30-minute ferry trip across to the village of Iluka is one of the best value cruises around. From here, you can stroll into the World Heritage-listed rainforest at Iluka Nature Reserve, or find a number of scenic campgrounds and holiday parks.
The 60 kilometres of rocky headlands, cliff-top lookouts, and deserted beaches between Coffs Harbour and Yamba is the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in NSW. Most of it is part of Yuraygir National Park, where camping options feature picnic tables, bbq facilities, camp kitchens, and a great chance at spotting emus on the beach.
The historic inland river port of Grafton is famous for its jacaranda trees, which paint the town purple each October. To get here from Yamba, campers will pass through the 19th-century river port of Ulmarra, home to a collection of galleries, antique shops, and craft stores, and Maclean, the self-proclaimed "Scottish town in Australia."
The water is warm enough for swimming from September through April. Jacaranda season is late spring, with a jacaranda festival in early November. The Maclean Highland Gathering takes places in April, featuring Scottish games, music, and dancing. Yamba’s prawns are perfect year-round, and with so many beaches to choose from, there’s always good surf nearby.
Free camping in Yamba, Australia, is not readily available, as most camping spots require a fee. However, you can find low-cost campgrounds and caravan parks in the area. It is essential to respect local regulations and avoid camping in unauthorized areas to preserve the environment and maintain good relationships with the local community. Always check the latest information and guidelines before planning your camping trip.