Our Legendary Journey: Unspoiled Yamba
Only an hour and a half from Byron Bay, Yamba is situated at the mouth of the Clarence River. This relaxed little town has been voted ‘the best town in Australia’ by Australian Traveller Magazine. This was our next point of call along our Legendary Pacific Coast journey.
We love Yamba for its relaxed vibe, magnificent coastal walks and uncrowded beaches. We spent hours watching the surfers from Turners Beach as the sun made its way to the horizon.
Nearby Angourie Point, was Australia’s first surfing reserve and coined ‘the home of soul surfing’.
This purpose built YHA is one of the finest we’ve stayed in, we’d probably say this one ticks the box of the new ‘flashpacker’ segment as it really is of such a top notch standard.
We nearly had to question where we were walking into as we arrived at the street address for the YHA. There is a lovely little bar and café underneath the hostel which is the perfect place to perch up and catch up on our blogging.
Located in the main street of Yamba CBD, it’s within walking distance to the beaches, restaurants and modern cafes.
The hostel provides multi-share, double/twin, and family ensuite rooms - we were lucky enough to have a family ensuite room with a TV. We can be so removed from the real world while travelling and sometimes it’s a relief to be able to sit down and watch the nightly news after a day exploring.
The communal kitchen, dining and common area is neat and tidy. There are nice comfy lounges to relax on and watch TV or a movie. The upper deck has a corner swimming pool, BBQ and shaded outdoor seating, making it a perfect elevated chill out zone to meet other travellers and soak up the sun.
YHA Yamba have surfboards and body boards available for hire and if you aren’t familiar with the region you can even join one of their own tours they run (Shane’s Tour) which is fast becoming a favourite amongst travellers and is always highly recommended.
Angourie National Surfing Reserve
Discovered in the 1960’s, Angourie is said to be the ‘home of soul surfing’. The swell can be only one or two metres before the point starts to break, although as it picks up, it’s recommended to be tackled by experienced surfers only.
Angourie Beach was declared a National Surfing Reserve in 2007, the second site in Australia to be recognised for its significance to recreational surfing and, as such, is considered sacred by Australian surfers.
Blue and Green Pools
Formally old quarry sites, these blue and green pools of Angourie have been used for swimming and diving for close to a century. The blue pools are located between Spooky Beach and Angourie Beach and are accessible via a path at the carpark at the end of the Crescent Angourie.
It is important to be aware that there are submerged rocky outcrops around the edge of the pool and they are very deep – and for this reason, there are risks associated with swimming here. Another word of advice is to check the latest test results for the algae levels in the water before swimming, as this algae can be harmful to you if the levels are high.
The council have made improvements to the area since our last visit, and it has become a very enjoyable place to spend an afternoon with a picnic.
A few metres away you’ll find the rough coast – where waves smash onto the flat rock on shore. It’s a wild and rugged setting that we found to be absolutely stunning.
Yamba Shores Tavern, a favourite amongst locals offering an incredibly wide variety of dining options, from simple pub food in the bistro to some of the most outstanding and elaborate meals on offer in the ‘Boardroom and Bar’.
If you’re just after a snack or sweet treat and not a full on meal, there’s even the new Lounge Deck Café with incredible looking cakes, tea and coffee on offer.
The setting of the tavern is like something you’d see on a postcard, it sits quite literally on the water’s edge, making it possible to get their by car or even by boat if you can tee one up.
For dinner we booked ourselves in at the Boardroom & Bar as the menu just looked like something we had to experience. There was the option to go for ‘share boards’, which were a great selection of main size combinations to share, or ‘share plates’, which were more of a tapas style option.
We kept getting lured to the share plate menu as it has such uniquely sounding dishes that we just couldn’t veer away from.
We started with the Steamed Asian Veg Dumpings with a soy and ginger dressing and the Cauliflower popcorn with roasted garlic aioli. The presentation was superb and topped only by the flavours that were just incredible.
After 2 share plates we were good for a couple more and followed them up with fresh local fig stuffed with herbed goats curd and wrapped kataifi pastry with another dish being the crispy local calamari with chimi churri, green onion, chilli and lime.
We cannot rave about the Boardroom & Bar enough, seriously, we sat during the meal and noted how it was 5 star – one of the best meals in ages and a must visit if you are in Yamba.
You are greeted with a ‘welcome to our house’ at Irons & Craig. Owners Antony and David named the place after their grandmothers, Olga Irons and Joan Craig. The style of the café is to make guests feel like they might be at their grandmothers house for a delicious meal. They use fresh, local produce and back most cakes and sweets on the premises.
We opted for the Avocado Smash with sourdough toast, fetta and Betty’s tomato relish and the Croque Monster – a ham and cheese toastie made with local sourdough, house hollandaise sauce and topped off with a crispy cheese coating. The coffees were great too.
The place is neatly decorated, with your choice of the sunny courtyard or cozy rooms of the house. We particularly loved the charging stations for various types of phones/tablets.
Next up on our journey is Coffs Harbour, we can’t wait to share more of our adventures with you…