From beaches, surfing and fishing to markets, boutique shopping and a gorgeous Art Deco cinema, Yamba is full of memorable things to do.
Beaches & Nature
There are five main beaches in Yamba, each with its own unique charms. The patrolled Main Beach has an ocean pool, surf club and café, making it a good all-rounder. The calm waters of Whiting Beach are just right for little ones to wade into. Locals love Pippi Beach for its off-leash dog area at the south end of the 1.6-kilometre stretch of sand, while Covent Beach offers lots of shelter and is more of a local secret – so expect to have the place mostly to yourself. Head to Turner’s Beach, which is patrolled during summer, to walk along the breakwall and up to the lighthouse on the hill. Or, opt to venture a short drive south of Yamba to swim in the blue and green natural pools of Angourie.
Get out of the water and onto the land to traverse the ancient emu trails in the Yuraygir National Park. The challenging 65-kilometre, multi-day Yuraygir coastal walk skirts around seaside villages on the Clarence Coast, along tracks, trails, beaches and rock platforms (passable only at low tide). Expect to spend four to five days tackling the entire walk, stay the night at any of the numerous beach campgrounds en route and take time to snorkel, swim and – if you’re lucky – spot whales and dolphins.
Fishing & Surfing
Throw a line the water at the beach, estuary or off the rocks for a near-guaranteed catch every time. There are also boats and fishing kayaks for hire in town, or opt for a deep sea fishing expedition with Reel Time Charters or Yamba Fishing and Charters. Expect to find flathead and jewfish in the Clarence River, rock blackfish can be found in numerous areas around Yamba, fish for bream in July during high tide, or head offshore to catch snapper. Whiting, blue groper and tailor are also in plentiful supply. Popular river fishing spots include the Clarence River, Oyster Channel, Romiaka Channel, Yamba Marina and Lake Wooloweyah. Or head to Yamba’s best beaches – including Whiting, Turners, Main, Convent, Pippi, Green Point and Spooky Beach – to see what’s biting from the shore.
Finding the best surfing spots in Yamba all depends on which way the wind is blowing. You can pretty much find good surf anywhere when it’s blowing west. Stick to the breakwall near Turner’s or head to Pippi Beach if it’s blowing north. Or Main Beach, Turner’s and Angourie Point are all a safe bet when the coast is hit with a southerly. Angourie Point, a short drive from Yamba, is renowned among surfers for its right-hand point breaks. It was also declared Australia’s second national surfing reserve in 2007.
Attractions & Activities
The Yamba River Markets are held on the fourth Sunday of every month on the foreshore of the Clarence River at Ford Park. Attending the markets is a monthly ritual for locals and visitors alike. Pick up locally-grown fruit, vegetables, meat and homemade preserves. Peruse the arts and crafts stalls selling homewares, clothing, plants and more. Or let your nose guide you to one of the many food vendors cooking up a market feast for you to enjoy.
Yamba is within easy driving distance from a number of inviting north coast villages worthy of a day trip. Starting with Iluka to see its UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforest, followed by Brooms Head to picnic under the Norfolk Island pines and swim in the lagoon, and the intriguing village of Maclean which is renowned as ‘The Scottish Town of Australia’, among its many other charms.