How Yamba in the Clarence Valley on the NSW North Coast hasn’t become the next Byron Bay is anyone’s guess. That’s not to say it’s a complete secret; but with its world-famous surf breaks, perfect beaches and a town with the right amount of buzz, it should be Australia’s favourite beach escape.

Surfers heading out for a morning surf at Turners Beach in Yamba, Clarence Valley

Surfing and fishing

Just south of Yamba is Angourie, a National Surfing Reserve. Angourie Point is one of the best right-hand point breaks in Australia. If the waves are off or when you’re done getting tubed there are multi-day coastal hikes in the national park beside the break. Or swim in the natural springs of Angourie’s blue and green pools.

Fishing fans can catch plenty of fish either at the beach, estuary or off the rocks. You can hire boats and special fishing kayaks, and drop into one of the numerous bait and tackle shops for tips on where the fish are biting. Deep sea fishing is legendary here too. Both Reel Time Charters and Yamba Fishing and Charters offer fishing expeditions in the Pacific.

People enjoying a Yoga Room class in Wooli Park, Yamba, Clarence Valley

Things to do

With mild Winters and long, temperate Summers, Yamba is a perfect escape all year round. A kayaking tour with Yamba Kayak will get you eye-to-eye with wild dolphins in the estuary, while Clarence River Ferries offer scenic cruises and a passenger service to Iluka, on the northern side.

There are parks beside the river for picnics, a good golf course and walks to local landmarks, like the Yamba Lighthouse and the 1934-built Pacific Hotel. The town is built around a national park, too, and humpback whales put on breaching shows just off-shore during their annual migration between May and November.

The Yuraygir coastal walk south to Red Rock follows ancient emu trails in the Yuraygir National Park. There are seaside villages such as Brooms Head along the 65km hike, and campgrounds are dotted along the track.

 Aerial overlooking Calypso Holiday Park and the scenic Clarence River, Yamba

Eat and drink

Built at the mouth of the Clarence River, Yamba has plenty of places to eat and drink (if you can drag yourself away from the beach) and an events calendar filled with festivals, markets and sports. Sample all the best locally caught seafood including famous Yamba prawns at fish shops and restaurants in town.

Getting there and where to stay

Yamba is a 7hr 20min drive north of Sydney and 3hr 20 min south of Brisbane. You can also fly into Clarence Valley Regional Airport near Grafton, a one-hour drive to the southwest. You’ll find plenty of accommodation options, from campgrounds and holiday parks to an award-winning youth hostel, farm stays and luxury retreats.


Newcastle Airport

Fly into Clarence Valley Airport

Clarence Valley Regional Airport is located 12km from Grafton’s town centre. Use the taxi services available at the terminal to make the short trip northwest. Alternatively, rent a car from the hire services available at the airport and explore the region at your own pace.

Regional Express flies direct between Sydney and Clarence Valley Regional Airport three days a week. For other major Australian cities, connect via Sydney for travel into Grafton.

Things to Do and Places to Stay