We were staying at Yamba and found we had some spare time on our hands. It was decided to go to Brooms Head for a look, as we had never been there before. It isn't far as the crow flies, but to reach it by car, we had to drive out to the Pacific Highway and then find the road and head inland to the coast again, a distance of approx. 43kms.
Brooms Head is another small seaside village, quite popular with campers and families looking for a quiet holiday away from the crowds. This fits the bill well!
The coast here is rocky and pretty. The town is surrounded by the Yuraygir National Park. Plenty of Emus must be in the park as we saw signs along the road in and on my coastal walk.
The coastal walk can be as long or short as you make it. I imagine it would be stunning coastal scenery the whole way.
We were glad we came in for a look. We have been & seen, and now know what Brooms Head looks like!
The main centre of Yamba isn't that big, really just two streets with the majority of shops in them.
Most items can be found here, including the Revival lifestyle store that has items that are retro and vintage. This is the place to come to find music collectables from different eras, like punk, metal, rock, alternate, jazz, blues, country etc as well as the latest releases.
Surfing shops, Bookshops, Laundromat, Banks & ATM's, an OP Shop which is handy for buying a cheap book or magazine to read, Mens & Womens clothing shops, and a great Ice-cream shop where I bought home-made ice-cream in a cone - Yum!
There are many other shops and the Yamba Youth Hostel is right in the centre of town.
This time in Yamba, we found a new shopping centre. It is known as "Yamba shopping fair," and I think a much needed addition to Yamba. At least there is a decent cheap grocery store [Coles Supermarket], a country Target which isn't as big as city Target stores, but a good place to buy cheaper than the specialty shops. It's a single level shopping centre with 20 specialty shops. Over 300 FREE car parks including disabled car spaces.
Yamba Shopping Fair is on the corner of Treelands Drive and Yamba Road, YAMBA.
A 50 minutes drive from the Grafton and 1 hour and 15 minutes from Ballina.
Busways North Coast provides a local bus service between Grafton, Ulmarra, Maclean, iluka and Yamba.
I'm still at the Angourie Blue Pool and now heading to the beach. Well, this was quite a surprise too, as there wasn't beach, just an interesting rock shelf separating the pools from the ocean. The tide was coming in and the waves were crashing against the shelve, quite interesting to watch!
I didn't go too close, as people lose their lives in places like this, when a rogue monster wave breaks!
On the other side of the rock shelf are fresh water pools with reeds growing in them. It really is a lovely area for a picnic, then to go exploring - What fun!
A short drive from Spookies Beach was the tourist sign post to the Angourie Blue Pool. With a name like this, I thought it must be nice!
We stopped at the parking area in Angourie Reserve, where from here, a path led downhill to the Angourie Blue Pool. My first sight was of a lovely fresh-water pool, with clear blue water - very nice!
People were diving and swimming in it. As I walked further around the edge, I had a better view, and could see that once this used to be a Quarry. The blue pool is extremely deep and a very popular swimming hole. There are signs warning against people diving off the cliffs and into the pool, it looks like that falls on deaf ears, as that was exactly what the young people were doing!
Accessible any time of the year.. FREE
Spookies Beach - I wondered how on earth it was named!
We had stopped at the parking lot and as I was about to walk down the stairway to the Beach, I was wondering what I was going to find!
Well, as it turned out, there was nothing spooky about this Beach. It is in a cove, was sandy, and had some nice smooth rocks in ochre colours near the stairway. Probably, when the tide was out, there would be rock pools to explore.
I quite liked Spookies Beach!
This area of New South Wales has a few majestic bridges that cross the large Rivers in the area.
The Harwood Bridge is no exception! This large steel truss bridge carries the traffic travelling along the Pacific Highway, over the main channel of the Clarence River about 10 km upstream from the river mouth at Yamba.
This Bridge replaced the last Ferry crossing on the state highway system in New South Wales.
Harwood Bridge, is also an "opening" Bridge, allowing ships to pass up and down the Clarence river. If it is about to open, flashing lights warn the drivers of their vehicles, that they must stop, and there may be a queue of vehicles already there, so be careful.
The Bridge carries two lanes of traffic and has a footway. It is the longest and last, in a series of steel truss bridges, of a standard design built during the 1950s and 1960s, mainly across the wide coastal rivers of New South Wales, and mostly on the Pacific Highway.
This is a part I love about the Bridge. Ospreys love to build their nests in very high places, and guess what, they chose a spot on the Bridge! Now, the Ospreys have their own Tower, built especially for them. They have used the artificial pole, have nested and raised their young. Isn't that a lovely story.
For photo's of the bridge, either head into Harwood or take the Maclean turn-off and stop at the riverside park by the bridge
If your coming from Brisbane to Yamba, you would have passed hundreds of acres of Sugar Cane.
In October, the Cane was being harvested, quite a sight if you have never seen it done before. It is a very busy time of the year.
Approaching the town of Harwood, which is a small town situated beside the Clarence River, is the large Harwood Sugar Mill, the OLDEST SUGAR CANE CRUSHING MILL STILL OPERATING IN AUSTRALIA. The Mill began operations in 1874.
When you look at this Mill, think of the packets of white Sugar you buy from the Supermarket. As this Mill includes a sugar refinery and supplies most of the domestic market, those packets of Sugar most probably came from here .
These two parks run into each other, making a huge expanse of lawned area bordering the sandy Beach.
There were plenty of picnic tables, bbq's, Toilets and other facilities. Beaches were closed on the day as high winds had made it dangerous for swimmers, but not for Wind Surfers - It was ideal for them! Being a wild and woolly day, they were moving at colossal speed over the water, wow! They can go fast!
We watched from the viewing platform for a while before moving on.
Accessible all year round.
Watch out for Snakes as they like to live in the sand dunes here.
Still at the top of Pilot Hill, take a walk around, for there are some good views to be had.
I was surprised to look over the edge and to see a lovely picnic area and beach. This area was quarried for the construction of the Gantry wall between 1862 & 1903. It was here where a huge Gantry, lifted rocks and concrete blocks from barges onto a Train for construction of the Breakwater walls. Because of this, there are some very interesting rocks that can be clambered over, plus a very nice sandy beach which is protected from the wind.
FREE Car parking, toilets and picnic facilities are all available at Turner's Beach, AND the beach is accessible all year.
Also located on Pilot Hill, is a replica of the old Lighthouse. It was built and painted so well, that it looked like it had been there for ever! I must admit I thought it was old, and was quite surprised to find it's home to the local community radio station 2TLC.
There are a few stories about the old Lighthouse, which is correct, nobody knows. We do know that back in 1866, it was a small wooden humpy whose shutters were opened each night, so the Ships at sea could see the beams from a large kerosene lamp.
In 1878 a permanent light was built. This Lighthouse is a completely different style to the new one. It is only 7 metres high, built in the style of other Lighthouses at that time. The light could be seen 6 nautical miles out to sea. Next to it was the Lightkeeper's Residence.
I love this style of Lighthouse, rather cute!
The Yamba Lighthouse was built in 1955 to replace the old lighthouse once situated here. The old lighthouse was demolished in 1956 to make way for a reservoir. The new Lighthouse is built in the modern style and is 18 metres high.
Located on Pilot Hill, is a plaque in memory of the landing of Matthew Flinders in 1799. Matthew Flinders had been sent on a mission from Sydney to find a new Eden. He stopped at Yamba, thinking it looked a hopeful area. On climbing the craggy promontory, now known as Pilot Head, he saw the dangerous looking turbulent estuary and decided the site was no good, so he sailed away.
In 1999, the voyage was re-enacted for the bi-centenary of Flinder's voyage and the plaque was placed on Pilot Hill
The mighty Clarence River, the biggest River on the east coast of Australia, enters the Ocean between the towns of Yamba and Iluka.
As I was walking along the riverside walkway, I came across the offshore fishing fleet moored in the Clarence River. The Clarence river has over 300 kilometres of navigable water, so no wonder I saw many types of boats on the river, including the House-boat.
The local Clarence River Ferries operate a daily commuter service between Yamba and Iluka at the mouth of the Clarence River. They also do scenic cruises three times a week, and on Wednesday and Friday, the cruise goes to Harwood Island, a 30 km round trip
Interesting to see Yamba now has Canal Estates. This is the area where prestigious homes, nice gardens, huge Yachts and Cruisers are found.
The man made Canal is filled with sea water and has beach on either side, so each house really has a private beach. Quite big boats can cruise the Canal, and are berthed in-front of the owners home.
Quite often, fish can be caught in the Canal.
The houses aren't quite as upmarket as some I have seen, even so, I liked having a drive around this area.
I enjoy walking and seeing the sights this way, more so, if I have a map to follow and information on what I am seeing.
Yamba has two walking maps, perhaps I should say, one for the fit people, and the other for the unfit!
One is known as the "historical FLAT WALK," which is 3kms of walking, taking approx. 1.5hours to see all the sights.
The other map, is the historical HILL WALK," another 3km walk, but allow at least 2 hours to complete this one!
I picked up these maps at the Clarence River Information centre in Grafton. I see you can download these maps on the website.