Whether you are there for a few hours or a few days, you will find many things to do in Yamba for nature lovers. We have driven multiple times from Brisbane to Sydney and back. And multiple times, we stopped at Yamba, a charming town on the North Coast of New South Wales.
Is Yamba worth visiting?
Absolutely. We always enjoy our time in Yamba. It is a popular place but not as busy as other coastal towns like Byron Bay. Visitors can find white sand beaches, rocky headlands, rock pools and good seafood in Yamba. Plus, it is ideally located only three hours away from Brisbane, which is perfect as a first or last stop on a drive between Brisbane and Sydney. Here’s what we like doing in Yamba:
1. Check out the view at Yamba Lighthouse
Located on Pilot Hill, the views from Yamba Lighthouse are stunning. It’s a must-see when visiting Yamba. It’s usually easy to park the car at the end of the road leading to the lighthouse. You can go around the hill in a few minutes, but you’ll probably want to spend a bit more time enjoying the views. We particularly like watching the surfers from up there.
2. Go for a swim at Angourie rock pools
Angourie rock pools is a very special place near Yamba. It’s the reason why we initially took a detour to this area and my favourite thing to do in Yamba with the lighthouse. There are a few pools to check out when visiting Angourie.
The Blue rock pools were formed when they dug the site as a rock quarry, and a freshwater spring emerged. There are two pools surrounded by rock cliffs just next to the beach. The first one is often a lot busier than the second one. It’s very popular with families. So during weekends and school holidays, unless you come very early, don’t expect to enjoy the tranquillity of the place.
You’ll also find saltwater rock pools on the ocean side. However, make sure you consider the tide and the waves when you leave your stuff on the rocks to enjoy the rock pools. We saw a few bags getting wet!
It’s also lovely to walk along the rocky shoreline. We spotted dolphins swimming really close to the coast in the morning.
Responsible travel tip: Did you know your sunscreen can pollute the water and harm animals? The best way to protect your body from the sun is to cover it with long sleeves and pants. If you do have to use sunscreen, choose a mineral one (like zinc) to avoid harmful substances (see the full list here) and apply it at least 20 minutes before entering the water.
3. Walk along the coast
Yamba coastal walk is an easy flat walk along the beach. It’s perfect to stretch your legs while enjoying the coast.
4. Eat seafood and the reputed Yamba prawns
Yamba is reputed for its big prawns. We buy them next to Yamba Marina (Yamba Prawn Shack) and go for a short walk along the Clarence River. You can also buy cooked seafood at the nearby Fishermen’s Co-Operative.
5. Hop on a boat tour
We’ve never been on a boat from Yamba, but we always see the fish charter and whale-watching boats at the marina when we buy prawns. You can also hire a small BBQ boat or tinnies to have fun on the Clarence River.
The Clarence River ferries, that connect Yamba to Iluka, organise cruises on the river.
6. Chill at one of the beaches in Yamba
There are no less than five beaches to choose from in Yamba:
- Yamba Main Beach
- Pippi Beach
- Turners Beach
- Whiting Beach
- Convent Beach
7. Go surfing
I don’t surf, so I’ll only give feedback from what I could observe from the shore. We always see surfers in the water when we visit Yamba. It seems to be a nice town for surfers, with many shops offering gear and a surf school if you want to take lessons.
What are your favourite things to do in Yamba? Share your experience in the comments below!
When is the best time to visit Yamba?
Yamba is worth visiting all year round, but some seasons are better than others.
We always go to Yamba in summer as we’re driving down Australia’s East Coast to meet family in Sydney for Christmas. However, it’s not the best time to visit Yamba as it is the peak season. Hence, you may struggle to find accommodation, and it may be more expensive. You should definitely book in advance if you plan to visit Yamba during the summer school holidays.
Autumn and Spring are lovely in Yamba and may be the best time to visit. There are more chances of rain, and the weather is quite cold in winter (from June to August), so it’s not the best choice if you like water-based activities.
Where to stay in Yamba
We never stayed overnight in Yamba as we had to continue driving. But you’ll find many choices to spend more time in Yamba.
While in Yamba, we walked past waterfront accommodations on the Clarence River, such as Moby Dick Waterfront Resort Motel* and Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort*. The Surf Yamba* and Pacific Hotel Yamba* are one of many options for rooms with sea views. There are also big holiday homes with lovely views of the ocean if you’re looking to stay in Yamba with a larger group.
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