I am an artist, teacher and writer, currently travelling Australia.
Published May 27th 2021
Home to some of Australia's most beautiful surf breaks and surrounded by stunning natural bushland, it's no wonder that Yamba was named the best town in Australia in 2009.
Despite this, the town remains a somewhat undiscovered gem, maintaining a peaceful, beautiful, sun-soaked atmosphere without the crowds that flock to more popular tourist destinations. Just over an hour from Byron Bay, Yamba shares the warm, pleasant climate of the Northern New South Wales coastline, drawing dolphins, whales, frogs, kookaburras, kangaroos and koalas to share this hidden hinterland. Beyond the natural beauty, the town is home to a range of social and cultural activities sure to attract all ages and personalities. BIG4 Saltwater @ Yamba, Sanctus Brewery, Angourie Point, Yamba Art Space and Yum Yum Angourie Cafe are a few hidden treasures not to miss.
For anyone and everyone visiting the region, I would insist on staying at BIG4 Saltwater @ Yamba Holiday Park. It doesn't take long to realise that this isn't your average campground! Beautiful wilderness retreat meets stunning resort meets fun-filled theme park, an enormous range of activities and sights exist around every corner on 130 acres of pristine parkland. In between picturesque wattle trees and singing kookaburras sits campsites, cabins, an exquisite kitchen with outdoor seating, a spacious bathroom with hot showers, an outdoor cinema, a waterpark, a pool, a giant jumping pillow, laundry facilities, dog wash and dog training. The park is a tranquil retreat just 10 minutes from Yamba's town centre.
BIG4 Saltwater @ Yamba offers a wide range of accommodation, from secluded cabins to both powered and unpowered campsites. Cabins vary in size, accommodating everyone, from couples to groups of up to ten. If you gravitate towards a more off-grid camping experience, campsites extend into both the forest and the river, offering views of the beautiful sunrise glow as it lights up the tranquil water. The park offers a wonderful holiday experience for the whole family, with its enormous range of activities and adventures for all ages. Kids can explore the idyllic grounds by pedal kart, but once they set their sights on the incredible waterpark, I can't imagine they'll be leaving anytime soon! Furry friends are also welcome, with a pup wash and dog training centre just down the road. For coffee lovers, the reception has a coffee machine offering a selection of cows milk, almond milk and soy milk, so you can swap out your instant coffee for a delicious latte! To find out more or book your stay visit https://www.big4saltwater.com.au/
Sanctus Brewery is an unmissable gem when visiting Yamba. Located just 10 minutes out of Yamba, this award-winning sustainably minded and picturesque brewery offers a selection of unique and delicious beers, mouth-watering meals and a sun-soaked lawn on which to relax and unwind. Sanctus welcomes all ages as well as our four-legged friends, providing a big and beautiful space for all ages. The brewery offers 9 delicious beers, including lager, pale ale, XPA, stout, sours as well as unique seasonal flavours. Tasting beer paddles enable visitors to try a range of flavours before settling on a favourite. The stout, with its unique smoky after tones, was a clear winner for me, while the Pina Colada Smash, a seasonal sour which recently won a peoples choice award at Gold Coast's crafted beer and cider festival, is a crowd-pleaser.
Chinese barbecue duck pizza and a tasting beer paddle at Sanctus Brewery Yamba
The Sanctus menu is diverse, fresh and flavourful, offering a range of pizzas, burgers, 'brew bites' and desserts. A crowd favourite is the Chinese barbecue duck pizza, made with freshly rolled dough and garnished with spring onion picked from the brewery's very own sustainable vegetable and herb garden. The trio of tacos was my personal favourite, the deep-fried local whiting with mango salsa was an absolute delight and clear winner! The menu offers gluten friendly options and kids meals. The crew at Sanctus are passionate about sustainability, having installed 300 solar panels, a water tank, worm farm and the growing vegetable and herb garden to complement the fresh and flavoursome menu. For more information or to make a booking visit https://www.sanctusbrewingco.com.au
For those eager to get amongst nature, Yamba and its surrounds offers beautiful, lush bushland and sparkling beaches. Yamba is home to 11 beaches, each with its own special qualities, and all regularly visited by dolphins. The main beach offers sparkling white sand, a beautiful beach pool, a beach kiosk with excellent coffee and lifesavers on duty all day, making it perfect for families. For beginner surfers, Turners Beach offers gentle swells, while Angourie Point is a must for experienced surfers. Angourie Point is just a 10 minute drive from the town centre, and behind the lush foreshore hides a boulder-lined right hand point break perfect for those seeking more of a challenge. For non-surfers, a wander through Angourie's lush bushland or a visit to Angourie's Blue and Green Pools is worth a visit.
Yamba's main drag is home to a diverse range of treasures. Yamba Art Space and Yum Yum Angourie Cafe are two worth paying a visit to. Yamba Art Space is an independent creative small business and art gallery, exhibiting work by a range of local artists and offering workshops for those eager to carry their artistic curiosity beyond their visit. Yum Yum Angourie Cafe and General Store is a favourite amongst both locals and visitors to the area, serving delicious coffee and mouthwatering freshly baked cakes. The cafe is located in a renovated home, giving the space a unique character and style, and enabling visitors to find an intimate nook to savour their meal.