The lovely (and very Scottish) town of Maclean just up the road from Yamba is number 40 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet‘. Nominated by: Ken Done, artist.
Ken Done spent his boyhood in NSW’s town of Maclean, so he’s well-versed with its delights and, despite having travelled extensively, it’s still his pick of Australia’s best secret spots.
“It’s truly a lovely little town, and a fascinating area,” he agrees. “You can fish on the river, visit the beautiful beaches of Yamba and Angourie close by, or take one of the few remaining river barges between Woodford Island and Lawrence.”
To take the barge – which runs, amazingly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – you’ll need to cross the 100-year-old Macpherson Bridge from Maclean onto Woodford Island, one of the world’s largest inland islands (with a cute little pub to boot).
The barge will take you from there across to Lawrence, which links up with Tourist Drive 22, the picturesque ‘back way’ to Grafton.
Alternatively, stay in Maclean and soak up the area’s Scottish heritage and artists’ vibe – there’s even a B&B here attached to an art gallery, where you can sleep among the artworks (from $140 per night; kingstudio.com.au).
Local tip – Ken Done actually donated three of his pictures to the Ferry Park Gallery around 20 years ago; they’re no longer hanging publicly but ask nicely and you can still see them hanging in the gallery’s office.
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