DRIVES AND ROAD TRIPS

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Stay and Play – Yamba, NSW

Spotted at the mouth of the Clarence River where it meets glittering coastline, this relaxing seaside town has ‘must-visit holiday destination’ written all over it.

Yay for Yamba. Credit: Destination NSW.

Where is Yamba?

Yamba is 280km south of Brisbane (3hr 10min drive) or 655km north of Sydney (7hr drive) in the Northern Rivers region.

Why go to Yamba?

For its chilled vibe, desirable climate, delicious seafood, and front-door access to brilliant beaches and a labyrinth-like river, all encircled by cane fields and classic Australian countryside. 

It's the vibe of the thing. Credit: Destination NSW.

The essentials – things to do in Yamba, NSW

Yamba beaches

The town delivers epic beaches by the bucketload. Here are some highlights:

  • Main Beach: Central and protected. Features an ocean pool and is backed by a hilltop pub for brews with views.
  • Convent Beach: Secluded and sheltered stretch so named for a convent that once overlooked it.
  • Turners Beach: Suits swimming and surfing and features a break wall that attracts anglers. Backdropped by Yamba Lighthouse (see below).
  • Pippi Beach: Long patch of soft sand and oft-wild ocean. Has a leash-free section for dogs.
  • Whiting Beach: Extremely sheltered, popular for swimming and fishing.
  • Angourie Point: Iconic surf spot that’s part of a National Surfing Reserve just south of Yamba. Best tackled by experienced board riders.
  • Angourie Back Beach: Wide expanse with more glorious waves that catch surfers’ attention. 

Pippi is among myriad brilliant beaches that Yamba spits out. Credit: Destination NSW.

Angourie Blue and Green pools

Located close to Angourie Point, these popular seasonal swimming holes were created by accident. They are located on a site that was once a quarry and came into existence when an underground spring was disrupted during works. This is evident from the colourful rock faces that edge both pools. 

Going green in Angourie.

Yamba Lighthouse

Soak up pretty panoramas from the base of this bright-white tower, which occupies a fantastic hilltop location. Also known as Clarence River Light, the landmark structure and its grassy surrounds create the perfect picnic spot.   

The views from the lighthouse are jaw-dropping. Credit: Destination NSW.

Clarence Distillery & Bar

Sip on delicious gins, largely made from local ingredients, at the rustic and ambient tasting room. Note: Selected opening hours apply.

Wobbly Chook Brewing Co.

Found in the heart of Yamba, this buzzing brewery serves up a solid assortment of craft beers, including seasonal releases, alongside tasty tucker. Clucking good.

Paddle time: Wobbly Chook.

Yamba Museum

Retrace varied and vivid histories at this inviting, centrally located museum. The area’s pronounced maritime heritage and surf culture are among themes to explore alongside info revealing the region’s rich Indigenous influence.

Yamba Farmers & Producers Market

A vast array of local goodies and other creations tempt visitors to this lively market, held each Wednesday morning at the Whiting Beach carpark. Additionally, the Yamba River Markets combine produce, art, craft, and more at Ford Park on the fourth Sunday of each month.

It's a winning Wednesday at the Yamba Farmers & Producers Market. Credit: Destination NSW.

Yamba Golf & Country Club

This spectacular 18-hole championship course is within chipping distance of the town centre. Dotted with Norfolk pines, its lush fairways and first-rate greens make it a must for keen golfers. And its large, covered deck creates the ideal nineteenth hole.

River cruises

Getting out on the water is an essential activity in Yamba. Join a relaxing cruise that winds along the Clarence or hop on board for a designated fishing charter. Or enjoy a thrilling whale-watching adventure, with small-group tours running daily between June and October. 

Hitting the water is a Yamba must. Credit: Destination NSW.

Must-visit attractions near Yamba, NSW

Maclean

This charming spot is set further back along the Clarence River and carries the self-proclaimed title of The Scottish Town of Australia. It’s Caledonian influence extends to the 1840s when Scots were lured to these shores in search of gold. Today, this heritage is celebrated via hundreds of tartan power poles that are scattered around. Or visit for the annual Maclean Highland Gathering, held at Easter.

Distance: 20km west of Yamba.

Gie it laldy: Day trip to Scottish-influenced Maclean. Credit: My Clarence Valley.

Sanctus Brewing Company, Townsend

Only minutes from Maclean is this magnificent microbrewery. It produces a hefty beer range and a handful of gins that pair well with the first-rate food options. Brewery tours are available.

Distance: 20km west of Yamba.

Sanctus is divine. Credit: Destination NSW.

Bundjalung National Park

Stretches of river, beaches, and freshwater lagoons are found within this coast-hugging park. Kayaking, fishing, boating, and mountain biking are among popular leisure pursuits and the walking path to Iluka Bluff lookout delivers immense visual rewards.

Distance: 30km northwest of Yamba.

Yuraygir National Park

This extensive coastal park stretches roughly 65km, with its northernmost sections almost nudging Yamba. There are beaches galore and walking tracks that reveal breathtaking views among other treasure.

Distance: Variable.

Red Cliff Beach is among the many in Yuraygir National Credit: Destination NSW.

Random fact

The Yamba Surf Lifesaving Club is among the oldest of its kind in the world. It was formed in 1908 and has been operating continuously since.

Yamba accommodation

Searching for accommodation in Yamba? You’ll absolutely love this place…

BIG4 Saltwater @ Yamba Holiday Park

Park type: Holiday

So much space. So much to do. BIG4 Saltwater @ Yamba is hands down amazing. Spotted 12km northwest of the town centre, the park is set on more than 50ha of beautiful bushland and surrounded by the ever-present Clarence River.

A feast of in-park entertainment awaits, suiting broad tastes. Families will gravitate to the amazing pirate-themed water park, pool, pump track, shaded jumping pillow, and the playground. Outdoor movies feature on Saturday nights and every night during school holidays. 

Younger players get hooked on the pirate-themed water park.

Elsewhere, there is a bocce court, boat ramp, kayaks and SUPs for hire, and kangaroos roaming around. Among them are a resident crowd-favourite albino ‘roo and its joey.

A solid cabin selection – including a five-bedroom house – features alongside huge caravan and camping sites, with riverside options available. There are fire pits on all sites and outside cabins: firewood is available for purchase or guests can bring their own.

Did we mention the space? Credit: CyanCaravan.

And this park is proper pet friendly. We’re talking a humungous off-leash agility area, a dog wash, a washing machine specifically for fur-laden bedding, and 10-plus pet-friendly cabins. Yep, dogs really are welcome.

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A dog's paradise.

Time for a northern NSW escape? Plan your break with BIG4 now. Click or tap the icon below to get started.

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