Saturday, 30 July 2016

Which NSW coastal town has "world-class surf, more beaches than you can shake a stick at, friendly, easygoing locals and over 300 days of sunshine a year"?

Aerial photograph found at

Yamba, situated where the Clarence River meets the sea, received some well deserved media attention this week.

It is now a year round go to destination which helps produce tourism statistics like this for the NSW North Coast:

NSW destination preference: regional and Sydney, 2015 vs 2016
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2014-March 2015 (n=15,913) and April 2015-March 2016 (n=15,074). Base: Australians 14+

Travellers who’d like to holiday on the NSW North Coast are also a high-value group (27.9% of them spent $200+ per night on their last holiday); just ahead of those with a preference for Sydney Surrounds – North (27.2%). The Murray Riverina (23.3%) is the least likely of the new Destination Networks to be on the radar of big-spending holiday-goers. [Roy Morgan Research, July 2016, Destination NSW: A Regional Perspective], 24 July 2016:


With world-class surf, more beaches than you can shake a stick at, friendly, easygoing locals and over 300 days of sunshine a year, Yamba has understandably been a longtime favourite for surfers in-the-know. However, since Australian Traveller Magazine named it “Australia’s best tourist town” back in 2009, word has quickly started to spread and the former-fishing village is now truly coming into its own.

Yes, it’s still populated by surfboard carrying, wetsuit clad beach bums but amid the salty surfers, the number of both visitors — and city slickers relocating — is increasingly annually and with this increase of stressed urbanites flocking to Yamba for a sea change, a burgeoning food scene has been born.

You can see this in action at Irons and Craig, a cafe where fresh produce rules and everything is made on site, from the bread to the custom-blended coffee.

In contrast to the jam-packed beaches of Byron, Yamba’s 11 pristine stretches of white sand, five of which are close to the town centre, are positively Robinson Crusoe-like and with 16 great surf spots, an empty break is virtually guaranteed.

But for serious surf-hounds, the nearby beachside enclave of Angourie — just 5km down the road — is bona fide surfing Mecca. A National Surfing Reserve — the second site in Australia to be recognised — it remains a fixture on the international surfing map.

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