Coastal Calm to Hinterland Havens

From the calm waters of the Clarence Valley coast to the rolling green hills in it's hinterland this drive will be sure to take you through the beauty of both.

Spend a few days by the coast and adopt the local way of life, get all sandy and salty as you spend your days by the ocean. Later, enjoy the adventure of camping and big open spaces, breathe in fresh mountain air and relish in quiet nights. Simply enjoy all that the Clarence Valley has to offer, it’s coast, rivers, country and beauty.

Purely enjoy all that the Clarence Valley has to offer.

Day 1: Iluka

Day 2: Yamba

Day 3: Maclean

Day 4: Lawrence

Day 5: Grafton

Day 6: Copmanhurst

Day 7: Clarence Gorge

Iluka is both tucked-away and close-by at the same time, so its natural delights have been preserve in a quiet atmosphere perfectly. Enjoy all that Iluka has to offer from peace and serenity, to throwing in a line or going for an adventure through the National Park and Nature Reserve.

> Have a fish – you are almost always guaranteed a great catch in Iluka. Pick a spot along the Iluka Breakwall and just wait for that BIG bite.

> Stroll through the incredibly peaceful Iluka Nature Reserve & Bundjalung National Park – Appreciate its beauty and wildlife and soak in it’s unique atmosphere.

> Head out to the Iluka Bluff to catch the spectacular 360 degree views out over the coast and inland forest.

Yamba is one of those magical places that have a way of making you feel totally nostalgic, whether it is your first time there or you frequent it often, Yamba is your home away from home.

> Throw in a line – there is a multitude of fishing options from boat charters to break walls, paddle boat hire, kayaking tours, whale watching tours 

> Let’s not forget to mention the stunning beaches – spend the day at the beach, you are definitely spoilt for choice here with Main Beach, Turner’s, ConventPippi and Whiting – You’ll find each one has something that make them unique from the other. 

> There are bike tracks galore around Yamba, basically running from one end of town to the other. The ride along Ford Park and Yamba Bay is great, but also try the road down to Angourie and check out the iconic Angourie Point surf break. 

> Make your way up to Pilot Hill in the afternoon. You’ll be sure it be in awe of the Yamba Lighthouse standing proudly ontop. From here you’ll get a panoramic view over the surrounding beaches, the mouth of the river and Yamba Bay.

Maclean, the Scottish Town of Australia – and even more so, a connector, a gateway to the coast and country, part river village, part coastal town. With rich history and a tonne of charm, you’ll find yourself left with plenty of things to do and explore.

> Notice all the Tartan-Painted Power Poles? Try and find your Scottish name and tartan – You can find a map at the local Scottish Shop in town, don’t worry if you don’t have a Scottish Heritage – adopt a name for the day and feel the excitement every time you pass it by 

> After some history? Maclean has got you covered! Follow the heritage trail through tow and know what it feels like to time travel as you walk through the close-knit streets. 

> For spectacular views of the Clarence Valley head on up to the Maclean Lookout – While you’re here, stroll to the viewing platform for The Pinnacle, a unique rock formation surrounded by subtropical rainforest, and an important Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Site.

The beautiful village of Lawrence sits peacefully alongside the mighty Clarence River, this quiet village offers endless opportunity to get out and explore what is hiding in plain site. 

> Pull into the Everlasting Swamp National Park – this rare coastal wetland is a hotspot for birdwatching, bring along binoculars, a bicycle, or a canoe to explore the wondrous parks and the wildlife that lives within. 

> Explore the walking track along the riverbank leading from Memorial Park – There are barbecues and playgrounds, perfect for a family picnic, as well as being a great spot for throwing in a quick line or having a refreshing dip in the Clarence. 

> Take the famous Bluff Point Ferry, known fondly as the Lawrence Ferry, which will carry you calmly across the Clarence River toward Woodford Island. 

Grafton is blessed with broad avenues and magnificent architecture and can be explore in your care or simply on food on the abundance of walkways scattered all through town.

> Walk back in time while following the Grafton Heritage Trail – Discover endless history and the extensive amounts of building that still stand to this day, some even still carrying out their original purpose. 

> Discover the abundance of trees that line the streets – Grafton’s Jacaranda Trees are most popular in mid October and early November as streets and parks are transformed as the trees explode in all their purple glory. Another fan favourite are the Giant Fig Trees which are a key feature around town, you may even find yourself under Fig Tree Avenues‘ canopy. 

> Take a stroll along the walkway below the Old Grafton Bridge – you’ll get magnificent views of the Clarence and Susan Island.

Copmanhurst is more than a place to stop for lunch, it’s a fulfilling destination in itself, as evidenced by its growing popularity with campers and keen explorers – You’ll soon find out that this small town has so much to offer.

> For those adventure seekers out there- there is plenty of canoeing and kayaking options up this way, it’s also the last stop on the famous Clarence Valley Canoe and Kayak Trail

> Bring along the fishing rod and chuck in a line – It’s a great spot for keen anglers, with bass being a popular find in the area in those warmer months. 

> Simply explore – discover the skate park, war memorial, pub, sensory garden and saddlery museum.

The Clarence Gorge, to put it simply, is GORGE-ous! Take in the beautiful views and endless green hills and you’ll soon find out the trek up here was well worth it. Discover thundering waterfalls and savage rapids, with pockets of calm delicately sprinkled throughout. 

> There are three main waterfalls – The Rainbow Falls proudly live up to their name on sunny days. 

> The Gorge marks the end of the 6th and beginning of the 7th section of the Clarence Canoe and Kayak Trail

> Take advantage of the river and enjoy having a fish, paddle or swim. 

This is one of those drives that will never get old. With so much to do and see from the coast to inland hills, you’ll never run out of things to discover. 

Got to love the Clarence Valley!