These are our top recommendations of things to do in Yamba, as well as our choices of accommodations and restaurants.
Nestled along the pristine coastline of northern New South Wales, Yamba stands as a tranquil seaside hamlet that’s copped the title of Best Town in Australia by a panel of fair dinkum tourism and travel experts. This unassuming coastal beaut is a paradise for those seeking a laid-back, beachside escape.
We’ve asked the travel experts from Westpac Concierge for recommendations of things to do, as well as their top accommodations and restaurants. They’re here to help with every aspect of your trip and, if you’re a Westpac cardholder, you might already be eligible for this complimentary service. Simply click the button below to find out and pack your bathers and sunnies as your next beach trip awaits.
Things to do in Yamba
Undoubtedly, the first thing to cross off your bucket list is a day at the beach. But hold onto your Akubra, Yamba offers more than just sun and sand; it presents a myriad of choices. Convent Beach, with its pristine shoreline and inviting waves, is a real corker of a spot for sunbathers and surfers alike. Just a 10-minute drive away, Angourie provides a picturesque extension of the town’s coastal offerings. Here, Spooky Beach, aptly named for its intriguing caves and rock formations, sits smack-bang on the border between Yamba and Angourie. Nature enthusiasts will also appreciate the stunning Blue and Green Pools, showing off the area’s natural beauty in all its splendour.
Set off on a scenic river cruise
For those who prefer a slower-paced adventure, enjoy an informative history tour on a river cruise along the Clarence River. Operated by Clarence River Ferries, these leisurely excursions take place every Wednesday and offer a different perspective of the waterways. This cruise is your chance to soak up the area’s rich history while enjoying some great views.
Check out a local market
For all of you keen shoppers out there, these markets are the bee’s knees. The Yamba River Markets and the Yamba Farmers & Producers Market are two must-visit destinations for conscious shoppers.
The Yamba River Markets
As the name suggests, this family-friendly market is located on the banks of the river. The Yamba River Markets might only roll around on the fourth Sunday of the month, but it deserves an honourable mention. Expect an array of artisanal goods, from handmade crafts to locally produced gourmet treats, all topped off with live riverside entertainment.
📍 Ford Park, Yamba NSW 2464
Yamba Farmers & Producers Market
Every Wednesday morning, the Whiting Beach car park transforms into a mindful shopper’s paradise and offers a taste of local culinary excellence. Yamba Farmers & Producers Market shows off the region’s finest goods, from organic fruit and veg to upcycled clothing and kitchen utensils made from repurposed timber.
📍 Corner of Clarence & Harbour Street, Yamba NSW 2464
Pick your Yamba accommodation
Picking the perfect Yamba accommodation can make a real difference to your trip. Here are some options to consider:
The Surf Yamba
If you’re hunting for top-notch accommodation just a stone’s throw from the beach, look no further than boutique hotel The Surf Yamba. It provides a perfect base for exploring the area and offers its guests a distinctive blend of style and modern comfort without losing its small-town charm.
When you’re not relaxing in one of the well-appointed rooms that flaunt cracking ocean views, you can soak up the sun on the immaculate surrounding beaches or savour fresh seafood at nearby eateries. The Lighthouse is also within short walking distance. The icing on the cake? The hotel also boasts a chic rooftop deck and pool, ideal for unwinding after a day of surfing or exploring the picture-perfect surroundings. With a range of rooms and apartments to suit different preferences and group sizes, it’s a top pick for accommodation.
📍 2 Queen Street, Yamba NSW 2464
Yamba Tiny Houses
For a memorable and eco-friendly Yamba accommodation option where you can embrace the essence of minimalist living against the backdrop of the destination’s natural beauty, Yamba Tiny Houses has you covered. These quaint tiny houses seamlessly fit in with their idyllic surroundings, providing a snug retreat for travellers seeking simplicity and tranquillity. Plus, their strategic location, just a hop, skip, and jump away from the major beaches and town centre, ensures easy access to sun, surf, and all the local delights Yamba has to offer.
📍 9 Southbank Road, Palmers Channel NSW 2463
Set on a cliff overlooking Main Beach, this historical hotel built in 1934 provides breathtaking panoramic views of Yamba’s coastline. Pacific offers modern, comfortable rooms with ocean or town vistas. The hotel’s ocean-view pub and restaurant has a lively atmosphere topped off with occasional live music, making it an ideal choice for those looking to combine good food with entertainment.
📍 16 Pilot Street, Yamba NSW 2464
Eat at Yamba restaurants
When it comes to where to eat in Yamba, you’ll find an array of options that highlight local produce and offer farm-to-table experiences:
If you’re up for a bit of Mexican fiesta, then you’re in luck as the vibrant flavours of Mexico come to you by way of this farm-to-table spot in the town’s dining hub at the top of Coldstream Street. The eatery is all about sourcing its tucker fresh from local famers and the menu features an authentic and tantalising choice of Mexican-inspired dishes, including tacos, burritos, and chimichangas. The atmosphere? Well, it’s energetic and relaxed, making it perfect for a ripper feed with a sprinkling of fiesta vibes.
📍 2/25 Coldstream Street, Yamba NSW 2464
Right on Clarence Street, this restaurant and bar showcases fresh seafood and ingredients from nearby farms, all expertly prepared to satisfy your taste buds. Open from 5pm, Wednesday to Saturday, Paradiso is the maven of midweek drinks and dining in town. Tuck into Asian-inspired dishes and botanical cocktails while enjoying the neighbourhood scenes at sunset. It’s a popular spot, so book ahead if you’re up for dinner at one of the must-visit Yamba restaurants.
📍 10 Clarence Street, Yamba NSW 2464
This cosy spot on the high street is all about good vibes, brekkie, brunch, and lunch. Beachwood Cafe prides itself on using local and organic ingredients to produce mouthwatering Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes that satisfy the most discerning buffs. We suggest grabbing a table outside for the perfect people-watching and dining experience.
📍 22 High Street, Yamba NSW 2464
This charming eatery is known far and wide for its delish grub, embracing fresh, locally sourced ingredients to craft modern Australian dishes that reflect the region’s culinary essence. With its prime waterfront location directly across from Main Beach, Sandbar creates a serene atmosphere for diners to savour their meals while enjoying the view. The restaurant is one of the few offering all-day dining options, making it an easy choice when exploring Yamba.
📍 30 Clarence Street, Yamba, NSW 2464
In the heart of the town, Karrikin – named after a family of plant growth regulators that are triggered by wildfires – focuses on hyper-seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Expect a four-course set menu that changes daily and features a variety of cuisines, bringing an already sophisticated dining experience to life.
📍 27 Coldstream Street, Yamba
So, there you have it! Although Yamba might seem like a sleepy seaside town hiding in Byron Bay’s shadow, it’s actually a hidden treasure trove of experiences with something for everyone. From unspoiled beaches and fascinating river cruises to conscious shopping and farm-to-table dining, the things to do during your stay are countless. And don’t even get us started on the top-notch accommodations and delectable cuisine – it’s all here, waiting for you to dive in. Forget the clichés and embrace the destination’s natural beauty, while soaking up its one-of-a-kind culture.
Are you looking for more domestical travel inspirations? You’re gonna love our Top 6 eco lodges and off-grid escapes in Australia. You can also join us for a wine tasting at the Mornington Peninsula’s Port Phillip Estate and meet the owner of the estate in our exclusive interview.