AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays


Why do we rate it?
It topped our Top 100 Towns (issue #26) and is very affordable. We love its estuaries, bucolic Northern Rivers delta and blessed climate.

Where is it?
682km north of Sydney, or an 8hr 45min drive north along the Pacific Hwy.

Where to stay
Yamba YHA Backpackers Beach Resort promotes family visits, with eight family rooms on site. Kids will enjoy the rooftop pool. Yamba Waters Holiday Park is the quiet alternative, just outside town. Surrounded by a tidal lake, it offers villas, cabins and campsites.

How much is it?
Luxury garden villas at Yamba Waters are $150 a night for two but can sleep five comfortably. Save a few more dollars on a powered camping site, $35 a night for two. Yamba YHA family rooms cost $148 a night, while beds in multi-share rooms cost $34. YHA members get a 10% discount on all bookings; you can join when you book or at check-in.

Manager Kathy Burton from Yamba Waters reckons you’ve still got time to book: “We take most of our bookings until mid-November, so if you call before then we’ll usually fit you in,” she says. Yamba YHA has plenty of vacancies as we go to print, but family rooms fill up first; the rest fill up fast.

What to do
Clarence Head protects swimmers from the wild Pacific Ocean, so beach swimming is wonderful here. Angourie Point has a break built for advanced surfers. Family-friendly activities include fishing for prawns and oysters, or yabbying at low tide. Try Yamba Historical Society Museum on a rainy day.

Yamba Waters Holiday Park //
Golding St.
(02) 6646 2930.
Yamba YHA Backpackers Beach Resort //
26 Coldstream St.
(02) 6646 3997;

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