Warm and Attractive (not me, the town)

Warm and Attractive (not me, the town)

Like many popular coastal towns in Australia, Yamba was established near the mouth of a significant river, The Clarence.

This is a “blind” offshoot of The Clarence River (ends to the right). The caravan park is to the left, with the Yamba shopping centre behind it.

To take full advantage of the river system there is a deep channel that joins river to sea, bounded by two substantial breakwaters.

Small yatch leaving the safety of the river channel, approx. 7 am

By the time we arrived in Yamba the east coast “low” of the previous week had moved on and warmer weather blessed our stay. At around 6.45 am this day I cycled out along the breakwater to take these shots (above and below).

Looking south from the breakwater is a small beach, popular for fishing and early morning exercise.

Turners Beach, Clarence Head and the Clarence River Lighthouse

Another lighthouse? We checked it out, up close, as part of a drive around the town with two of our travelling companions, Patrick and Heidi.

“Lo & Behold”! There are TWO lighthouses on Clarence Head (aka Pilot Hill)
– The currently operating lighthouse, built in 1952
– and a replica of the 1880 lighthouse (on the horizon).
The 1880 Replica

The 1880 Clarence Head Replica Lighthouse was completed in late 2011 by residents of Yamba (no government funding involved) and is the home of 2TLC Community Radio. Next to it is Boatman’s Cottage, circa 1905, used as the NSW Heritage office.

Looking south from Clarence Head to Main Beach Yamba – Surf Life Saving Club on right


One of our group suggested a ferry ride to Iluca, a small town to the north across the river. Since bikes were welcome, we saddled up and boarded this attractive little tub.

The M.V. Clarence Head, “born” in 1945, docked at Iluka ferry wharf

Upon arrival at the Iluka ferry wharf (on the west side of town) we cycled across the peninsula to Iluka’s Main Beach.

What a happy little group of riders. But where’s Patrick……..?
Ah-ha, he’s standing beside me, camera in hand.

From their we peddled back to town through a rather exciting bush track, for a lazy seafood lunch at the Clarence River Fishermans Co-op.


Back in Yamba there was word of an injured seal lying on the bank of the river near our van park. I decided to investigate and found this sign.

Here’s the problem. By being close enough to read this sign I had already encroached upon the 30 meter “exclusion zone”. The seal was resting in between the rocks about 2 meters behind

Others were observing from a nearby jetty. I decided to join them and with a long lens attempted to get a shot.

“Simply Resting”? The poor seal had deep wounds on its back, perhaps from a shark attack or the “prop” of a boat?

Initially there was no sign of head or tail. Then suddenly the seal raised its head, as if to show interest in who was looking. I snapped a shot, after which the head went down and the seal again “rested”.

I would be happier if I could show a photo with the seal in sharp focus and the surrounding rocks blurred, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way.


A short drive south of Yamba is Angorie and the Angorie Pools.

Evidence of rock mining

Bluestone was mined from this area to build the Yamba breakwater. When underground springs flooded the quarry pits, mining stopped and the Angorie Pools were created.


Two other companions, John and Barbara, invited us on a short trip to Kempsie and the Slim Dusty Centre. Slim Dusty is arguable Australia’s greatest country music singer/songwriter, recording over 100 albums, winning 37 Golden Guitars and more than 70 gold and platnum records.

Barbara, Maggie and John in front of a poster of the great man, Slim Dusty

For many years Slim, his wife Joy McKean (an equally talented singer / songwriter) and their family, travelled Australia in “Old Purple”, taking their music to the outback, regional towns and cities alike. In all, “Old Purple”, their 1971 Ford Fairlane carried them 565,956.4 kilometers (351,699.7 miles), mostly with caravan in tow.

“Old Purple” and the family caravan

That reminds me, it must be time to hitch our caravan, to “Young Silver“, a trusty 2008 FG Ford Falcon XR6 (with only 195,000 kilometers on the “clock”). ‘Cause we’re moving on to Burleigh Heads in Queensland. See you there?

1 Comment
  • Kristy
    Posted at 22:12h, 18 August Reply

    Seems a nice place, one thing missing is Mr Al D

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