BIG 4 Saltwater Yamba
Discover the quiet beauty of one of Australia’s best holidays spots at Yamba.
From fishing galore to a pirate-themed water park, Yamba has it all
Built behind the headland at the mouth of the Clarence River, the town of Yamba has been a popular holiday destination for many years. Only 60km north-west of Grafton and home to a marina, a number of fantastic beaches, cafes and restaurants, hotels and caravan parks, it has a reputation as a coastal holiday town where you can do as much or as little as you like.
If you want to start with a bit of adventure head to Riverside Ranch, just a few minutes out of town and the only place to go horse trail riding in Yamba. Owners Fred and Chris Welsh are Americans who came to Australia over twenty years ago and never left, falling in love with the Yamba area and the Australian lifestyle. Whether you are an experienced horse rider or a first timer, Fred will make sure you enjoy yourself, firstly introducing you to the horses, showing you how to groom and feed them, before saddling up and leading you around the back paddock (for beginners) or along one of the many trails for experienced riders. Fred’s love for horses, enthusiasm in introducing people to the joys of riding, and his wicked sense of humour will have you feeling right at home. All of our three kids had huge smiles on their faces during their ride, with our three year daughter thrilled to be up on a full sized horse.
After your ride cool off with a visit to the beautiful Blue Pool at Angourie. Only a short drive on the other side of Yamba, the pool is a popular swimming hole created from the remnants of an old Bluestone mine back in the 1890’s. There is room to relax, so be sure to take your swimmers, a picnic blanket and packed lunch, and enjoy a cool dip. Also along the same walking track is its sister, the Green Pool, just a few extra minutes’ walk along the ocean front.
Situated on the shores of the Clarence River just a couple of kilometres outside of town, BIG4 Saltwater@Yamba is our home for this visit and its’ the perfect spot for families. Whether you prefer to camp in a tent, a camper trailer, hire a powered caravan site or step up to one of their deluxe cabins, there is something here for everyone.
We stayed in the new Fig Tree Cabin, which sleep up to five people in two bedrooms, (the three kids sharing a trio bunk bed) and has a large bathroom, kitchen, dining area and comfortable lounge. A full length deck outside with outdoor dining suite and gas barbeque is perfect for relaxing after a long day on the
water or chasing the kids around the park all afternoon.
Kids will love ‘Salty’s Cove’, a pirate themed water playground, complete with water slides, water cannons and a giant tipping bucket. It is so much fun that you will be lucky to drag the kids out for more than an hour at a time (even lunch breaks took second place to the waterpark on our trip), before they are back in again. Shaded deck chairs and lounges mean that mum can relax and watch the fun from behind a good book while she sends dad in to supervise the mayhem.
For those who like to be fully immersed in the water, the park also has an inground pool; you could choose to take a dip in the river or Yamba’s beautiful beaches are only a short drive away. If you are a fishing family, be sure and bring the boat as BIG4 Saltwater has their own boat ramp so you can launch from within a short stroll of your campsite, or you can just cast off from the riverbank. A huge camp kitchen means you can cook up that days catch and enjoy fresh seafood while the sun goes down over the river.
Scheduled activities during the main school holiday periods include kids’ disco’s, movie nights and pizza nights of an evening, while everyday activities include time on the giant jumping pillow, swinging on the flying fox, laps of the park in the peddle cars, bocce tournaments and time on the climbing equipment in the kids’ playground.
At the end of the day, if you don’t feel like cooking, take the short drive to Yamba Shores Tavern for dinner. Just make sure you get there early as it is the most popular place in town. Mum and dad can sit back and enjoy a cold beverage while the kids run amuck in the huge playground until dinner comes out. The hotel has recently undergone a multi-million dollar redevelopment, so everything look and feels brand new, live music plays Friday and Saturday nights and the food is superb with top menu items including Singapore chilli prawns, Wooli oysters and a fantastic rib- eye steak.
After dinner, head back to the holiday park and settle in for a relaxing evening looking out over the river while the kids’ crash early, completely tuckered out. Tomorrow, you can either do it all again, or do nothing at all, that’s Yamba.
03 Exploring the rock pools below Yamba lighthouse 04 Just survived the giant water bucket 06 Plenty of room to park the caravan and stay for a couple of weeks 07 Beautiful riverside
01 The giant jumping pillow is fun for everyone 02 Salty’s Cove water park in Salty’s Cove 05 Peddle cars can be boooked in at the holiday park office campsite complete with tyre swing
08 08 Riverside Ranch horse riding with Fred 09 The BLue Pool at Angourie