Byron-Bay-style magic is sprinkled all over Yamba with its funky cafés and summer ambience echoing through the streets.
Getting here via the back roads is an extra treat, unveiling the personality and beauty of the area’s lesser-known towns: follow the signs first from Woolgoolga to Grafton, then head towards Maclean.
Hugging the Clarence River, you’ll whiz past a scenery of cute farmhouses where cattle turns to cane and pastures glow with animated greens and sunburnt yellows, before arriving at Maclean café and roastery, Botero – if you’re a serious coffee connoisseur you won’t be disappointed by a cup of their finest, best enjoyed while watching the beans roasting behind giant glass walls. Director Danny Young might even be kind enough to show you around if you call ahead.
Further north at Yamba, a frequent port of call for wax heads with its world-class surf spots and surf shops, you’ll find eternal summer.
What to do
Seascape Ocean Front Apartments epitomise the beachy mood, with interiors of white and wood coming together in a harmony of hammocks, deck chairs and old sailing apparel. Admire the ocean view from the balconies here (and there are plenty of those) or, if you’re feeling social, head to the Pacific Hotel (affectionately known as the ‘fountain on the mountain’) for a thirst quencher and some traditional pub grub enjoyed amongst the natives and another pretty decent (OK, incredible) view out over the bay.
Café Leche will have you licking your fingers clean in the morning with their tasty, Mexican-themed breakfast and lunch offerings, accompanied by top-notch coffee and the local yoga-pant brigade, who come here to get their coconut water fix. The chorizo-stuffed mushrooms, charred corn and chipotle sauce topped with a poached egg is worthy of seconds and, while you wait for round two, you can check out the walls decorated with work by local artists or the veggie patch in the backyard, which doubles as nothing less than a live music venue.