Pelicans at Yamba boat ramp

Eleventh stop – Yamba

We had heard so many good things about Yamba that we decided to book in at a holiday park for a four night stay. We chose the Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort because it seemed to have it all – spas, pools, a tennis court, barbecues and kids playgrounds.

Unfortunately the sunny weather turned overcast on our arrival and it was a little bit too chilly to enjoy the pool. We thought the cooler weather would make it perfect for a dip in the spa. But our hopes of relaxing in a warm spa were soon destroyed when we realised the temperature was almost the same as the pool and no where near warm enough to enjoy.Yamba

We spent the next two days exploring the town but were definitely not overwhelmed with what we saw. While the beach was pretty, we have seem many places on our road trips that are miles more attractive. We soon came to the Pelicans at Yamba boat rampconclusion that unless you enjoyed boating, fishing and surfing, Yamba might not be the best place for you. Having said that we did meet people in the holiday park who were not big on either of those activities and still enjoyed coming back year after year for their holidays.

Angourie Surfing Reserve
Pool at Angourie Surfing Reserve

By midday we had seen all of the sights accessible by road, including the Yamba breakwater, the famous Angourie Surfing Reserve and Lake Wooloweyah.

By far the most exciting thing we found were the DIY beach shacks on the beach made out of driftwood. They have a real Robinsoe Crusoe look about them and actually do offer shade, as we were to discover.

Driftwood hut at Yamba

Maclean, NSWThe next day we explored slightly further afield to the Scottish town of Maclean with its many tartan-painted power poles and character buildings. This town is a real treasure and has many inviting shops and cafes. We found a tiny little cafe that served amazing coffee.

Ferry Park Gallery, Maclean
Ferry Park Gallery, Maclean

Another real find is the nearby Ferry Park Gallery stocked full of handmade goods all made by the locals. The range included woodworks, little girl dresses, children’s toys, jewellery, paintings and household Aurelia at Yambadecorations. I was blown away by the quality of the goods and the prices seemed reasonable. We bought Aurelia a hand made, bright red bunny for $15, which she is sporting as a hat in this photo (see left).

Back Beach, Broom Head

The biggest surprise of all was the beautiful seaside village of Brooms Head with its great walks and understated charm. This laid back little beach town was exactly the type of uninhibited little place we had hoped to find on our trip. Our only regret was that we had not booked our accommodation in the rustic little caravan park right on the beach.

Back Beach, Broom HeadThe walk along the sand at Back Beach, Brooms Head – part of the four-day Yuraygir Coastal Walk – was truly spectacular. We even saw three trail bike riders zooming along the hard sand and another little driftwood beach shack.

Back Beach, Broom Head
Back Beach, Broom Head

Cafe Marina, YambaWhile we might not have rave reviews about Yamba town itself, we did fall for the homely and unpretentious Cafe Marina at Yamba. We found some of the more trendy looking cafes in Yamba a little to small, noisy and crowded, especially when you have a baby. But here we had room to breathe and a great view of the yachts at the marina.

The owners also have some creative menu options, including baked apples stuffed with roasted nuts and honey, and banana bread served with caramalised banana and bacon on the side if you are a fan.

Aurelia at Yamba
Aurelia after the pelican incident

Aurelia was a little traumatised though when we witnessed an epic pelican battle over a fish carcass thrown overboard by the nearby wholesale seafood vendor. Two pelicans were going at it in what for a moment looked like it was a battle to the death. Turns out pelicans are territorial and nothing like the happy bird from Storm Boy.

While Yamba had its highlights, sleeping in a tent right on the boundary of the holiday park close to the road was a downside and we were more than happy to push on home.