Sitting on the mouth of the Clarence River, just  92km south of Byron Bay is the scenic fishing village of Yamba. It was named Best Town in Australia by a panel of tourism and travel experts in 2009, in a survey conducted by Australian Traveller magazine. 

A huge honour for a sleepy and still relatively undiscovered holiday gem. When you visit this tranquil and picturesque little coastal spot, the award makes sense. Yamba's main industry is fishing, and it’s a picturesque port surrounded by water, with lovely beaches and great weather. Some say the atmosphere of Yamba reminds them of Byron Bay, a good few years back before the crowds came.

The Clarence River itself is the largest in New South Wales and is referred to as the ‘river of islands’. A great place to explore in a kayak or canoe, or even holiday on a houseboat with friends for longer. You can also take a scenic river daytrip on a passenger ferry to Iluka, and on Sundays you can do it to the smooth sounds of jazz! 

The town of Yamba itself has enough to keep chilled out holidaymakers entertained, with a choice of dining options and different tours to take from eco-exploring to whale watching and sailing.

Just down the road from Yamba is Angourie (a quick drive or for the energetic, a spectacular 10km coastal walk away). Famous for its world class surf break, Angourie is also home to the gorgeous ‘Blue Pool’. Now a popular stop off for travellers and locals, the pool is in fact a former rock quarry which has an underground spring which got disturbed. It flowed up to fill the quarry with fresh water. It’s a fantastic and refreshing place for a swim, overlooking the ocean and surrounded by bush scenery.

Photos: First image by Jonathan Thomsen, Flickr; Second image by Peter Holland, Flickr