Yamba is a town in Northern New South Wales, Australia, at the mouth of the Clarence River. Yamba is renowned for many things but is notable for its outstanding beaches and amazing fishing options. Pippi Beach, Convent Beach, Whiting Beach, and Yamba Beach are the most popular beaches in Yamba. In 2009, Yamba was classed as the best town in Australia by a panel of tourism and travel experts. It is often called a little hidden gem.
Yamba was originally named Shoal Bay in 1885 and was renamed Yamba in 1885. The town Yamba was named after an Aboriginal word which means carpet snake (Yambah) or was a term for the headland. The Yamba Surf Lifesaving Club was founded on September 9th, 1908 and is one of the oldest surf clubs in the world.
Yamba became a tourist destination in the 1930s with the arrival of the railway line at nearby Grafton.
Things to do
The Port of Yamba Yacht Club
The Yamba sailing club set their sails in the lower Clarence River. The club encourages anyone to join in. The Club hosts a thrilling sailing Regatta twice a year, where all sorts of boats compete from ocean keelboats, trailer sailers and off-the-beach-boats to small dinghies. Whether you’re a sailing enthusiast or just want to pop in for a chat and a drink, there’s plenty to do!
The Story House. This award-winning Museum, run by the Port of Yamba Historical Society, is located within central Yamba. The Museum focuses on the settlement of Yamba, and its long maritime history.
One of the most iconic structures in Yamba and is often referred to as the Clarence River Light. Well worth a visit for its breathtaking views and awesome photo opportunities. Although not the original lighthouse, the 1955 lighthouse which is still standing is a completely functioning lighthouse, the tower is not open to the public however, the grounds are open to anyone.
This island is at the mouth of the Clarence River, it is a fabulous break wall that makes for safe swimming with the family at Whiting Beach. In the early evening, it is also a popular spot for dolphins.
Walk the Break wall
An extremely popular evening walkway and see an amazing sunset. Keep your eyes out for playful dolphins that love following the Ocean Trawlers! Keen on fishing? The break-wall is a great spot to throw a line in.
Yamba Kayak offers kayak hiring or tours down the river. These amazing tours explore the Clarence River, mangroves, watching amazing sunsets and encountering dolphins and birdlife.
Clarence River Ferries
This company operates daily passenger service between the Yamba and Iluka. They also offer Scenic River Cruises on Wednesdays or for group bookings on Fridays to Harwood Island. Check out the Live Music Cruise on a Sunday!
Yamba Whale Watching
This is well worth the money! Whale watching tours are running out of the port of Yamba from June to October and operate every day. Well worth it, for a close up experience with one of the most amazing mammals in the world.
On a rainy day, head to 13 Coldstream Street for a fantastic rainy day entertainment option. With new release movies, it’s a very reasonably priced cinema for the whole family!
Yamba Fishing and Charters
Experience a deep-sea fishing or sightseeing adventure. Yamba Fishing and Charters is a fishing no-brainer for all of your quality Deep Sea Fishing, Whale Watching and Sightseeing needs around Yamba and its surrounds.
This is a must see. A great place to get some unique sunset photographs. Great for picnics and whale watching (at the right time of year) This park offers amazing views out over Turners Beach and the Yamba and Illuka break-wall.
Bowls Leisure Centre
This entertainment centre has indoor rock climbing, an awesome tenpin bowling alley, a 18 hole mini golf course with and bunkers and water traps, a kids area, barefoot bowls and arcade games. A great entertainment option for the whole family, if you’re stuck for things to do on a rainy day!
Yamba Golf and Country Club
This is an 18 hole championship award winning golf course, with modern Club facilities. Dining options include The Deck Bar and Cafe, and Sea Fire Steak and Seafood. This is a perfect option for lunch or dinner!
Clarence Distillery use ingredients predominately from the Clarence Valley. You can find them at the Yamba Farmers and Produce Markets and at 5 Neptune Place, Yamba. Clarence Distillery focuses on making Gins that fit into the lifestyle of the Clarence Valley, and the “spirit” of Yamba. Speaking of Spirits, try the Ruby Gin!
Yamba Fudge is a cute little shop with a variety of fudge flavours located on Yamba Street. Ask for the cameral fudge!
Yamba BBQ boats and fishing runabout hire
A great way to see the river and to fish or relax on the boat at sunset with the family! No boating license required so anyone can have a go! With 4 or 8 hour options theres plenty of time to soak in the mighty Clarence river.
Angourie Walking Track
This a scenic walking track which is often complemented with a dip in the blue and green pools. This is a 10km return walk, so make sure your hiking boots are on. The track usually takes 3 and half hours to 4 hours to complete.
Surfers love Yamba. If the wind is blowing north, head to Pippi or Turner’s near the break wall. For a southerly, Angourie Point, Turner’s or Main Beach are your best bet and if it’s blowing west you can surf anywhere!
This beach has a lovely open pool which is a great option for the kiddies. It has easy access and has an amazing view out over the main beach in Yamba.
You can often spot a dolphin or two from this beach. The turquoise water and beautiful white sand make this beach a real highlight. In season, this is a patrolled beach.
The main beach at Yamba is a popular spot with swimmers and surfers, and during the summer there are lifeguards on duty, to keep beach-goers safe. You can see the lighthouse on this beach!
Popular due to its surf break and fabulous soft white sand, this beach is a beautiful spot to stop for a swim, surf or to take a few photos!
A lesser-known beach hidden by surrounding cliffs, this beach has plenty of vegetation for natural shade. This beach is amazing for a private swim and quiet spot to relax for the day!
Nearby to Yamba
Iluka Nature Reserve offers outstanding views, birdwatching and a variety of water activities – from surfing, swimming, snorkelling to whale watching – make Iluka Nature Reserve perfect for a weekend retreat.
The annual Yamba Twilight Street Markets is held on New Year’s Day in Ford Park. There is 100 general market and food stalls, including jewellery, clothing, arts and craft stalls. This is the best way to spend New Year’s Day during a nice summer evening along with the surreal coastal town of Yamba.
The Yamba River Markets are on the fourth Sunday of the month, located at Ford Park on the foreshores of Clarence River. The markets offer at least 120 plus stalls, it’s a great way to spend a Sunday morning in Yamba. The market also has a number of local live entertainers, touring bands and musicians.
Eat Street Yamba is an annual event around the 3rd of October. It is an afternoon/evening food market, from 4 pm to 8 pm, in Coldstream Street Yamba. This International food market is extremely popular and has a variety of International cuisines including Thai and Indian.
Yamba Farmers and Producers Markets, held from 30th of June to 1st of September every year and is located at the Whiting Beach Carpark.
This is an agrifood market, providing a range of locally grown, organic, chemical-free and free-range food.
Yamba Parkrun is a free 5km park run every Saturday at 7:00 am, don’t forget to register and bring your paper barcode.
Great food in the area
Great Italian food restaurant near Angourie Beach. Their food focuses on amazing seasonal produce. Ask for the pizza, it’s amazing!
The Italian On The Hill
A modern Italian restaurant focusing on high-quality meals at a reasonable price
A relaxed pizza and pasta restaurant with a great atmosphere and live music.
Mona’s Kitchen has an excellent local reputation for delicious, authentic Thai cuisine. Vegan, Gluten-Free & Vegetarian options available.
Indian Fusion Tapas Bar & Restaurant.
This Indian restaurant puts a modern spin on Indian Cuisine. The restaurant offers beautiful views over Yamba Beach, which makes it a perfect spot to have dinner and watch the sunset over the Clarence River
Sweet N Spicy Cafe
This cafe offers a combo of amazing dessert treats whilst plating up delicious lunches and dinners at a very reasonable price!
This cosy little Thai Restaurant is situated on High Street and is a short walk to the beach. Come here for the amazing food that packs a punch!
Blue Dolphin Holiday Park
This is a family-friendly caravan park that is close to everything in town. The caravan park has a variety of facilities and activities for the whole family; from water slides to a snooker hall there’s something for everyone! This park also offers a private jetty, access to the river, kids activities, an air cushion, pool bar, games room, bar, kayaking and go-karts. You can even bring the pets too!
Big 4 – Saltwater Yamba Holiday Park
This is a family-friendly caravan park just 10 minutes outside Yamba. This caravan park has a variety of facilities and activities for everyone. The park is on a riverfront and boat ramp and is set on 130 acres of parkland which is home to many wildlife animals.
This park also offers an amazing water park, a giant jumping pillow, Galaxy movie theatre, pedal karts, a playground, a flying fox, kayaks, paddle-boards, a pump track, a lagoon pool, a kids club, camp kitchens, Bocce and BBQ areas. What makes this place extra special is that campfires are allowed.
Calypso Yamba Holiday Park
This holiday park is right on the riverfront. This is close to the break-wall and right in town which makes it an easy walking distance to Yamba’s many eateries and attractions. The Park has a pool, playground and a pontoon. Enjoy the river highlights with the amazing sunsets, the pelicans on the shoreline, fishing and if you are lucky enough, you might even see a dolphin or two!
Yamba is a 7 ½ hour drive north of Sydney and a 3 ½ hour drive south of Brisbane, for those long drives a sway control system is a must-have, for a safer driving and towing experience. Ensure you have a good map and plan ahead. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and that you carry adequate food, water, fuel and spare parts.
Stay in Contact
If you’re travelling it is always a good idea to let someone know where you’re going, and when you plan to get there.
Yamba has pleasant weather is from September to April. The highest average temperature is 34 degrees and the lowest is around 16 degrees