Cruising the Clarence River
On our sail from Coffs Harbour to Yamba on the Clarence River I saw my first water spout! The sailing was down wind the entire way and Dwayne spent most of the day at the wheel. Crossing the bar into the Clarence River was not the most fun I’ve ever had. We crossed at low tide with a 2.5+ metre swell and blowing 25 knots. We found out later that day that the fishing boats had not gone out that day… and if the fishing boat don’t cross the bar, you shouldn’t. Oops!
Anyway, got though safe and sound and went to Yamba. The next day we went for a walk around the town and out to the end of the breakwater… the bar crossing this morning was dead flat with no waves breaking, it would have made for a less stressful crossing.
Next we visited Iluka. They have a small remnant of rainforest which is part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana rainforests. The forest was full of birds; we saw a lot them and heard even more, including the ‘whipcrack’ of the Eastern whipbird. The walk took us through to Iluka Bluff where the view was spectacular.
We had a drink at Sedgers Reef Hotel and a walk along the wharf, where we found a great little fish shop selling the freshest prawns. (I’m still trying to work to how to catch prawns!)
Up the Clarence River to explore!
The bridge at Harwood lifts up to allow larger boats through, therefore we were able to head up river to explore more of the Clarence River.
Maclean was our first stop. Maclean calls itself “The Scottish Town in Australia” They are very proud of their heritage and you see it everywhere, from the Gallic street names, the painted Tartan Power Poles, and banners in the streets.
We walked to the lookout which gave good views of the river system back towards the ocean and had drinks at the Maclean Hotel with some fellow sailors.
Upstream we visited Ulmarra along with Ty from Sahara. The next morning we had coffee at the café with Ty and Alan Lucas (writer). We then had a look around this quaint little town and checked out a few antique shops.
The wind was forecast at 30-40knots and, as we were getting back to the boat, the wind hit.
We found protection from the wind downstream at a place called Lawrence. We had a wander around town, had drinks at the pub with Ty and then stayed on for dinner when Dwayne spied pork Shanks on the menu.
Later that week we headed down to Harwood and were joined by Dave, Christine and Lilly from Trufflehound. The ‘Trufflehound’ family joined us for dinner on Thorfinn. Marlin steaks… again!
Under the bridge the next day we headed back to Iluka. And set sail the next day for the Gold Coast. Onwards and upwards!
Yamba – Yamba has a Marina (we didn’t stay there) click here for prices http://www.yambamarina.com.au/prices.php
Iluka – We anchored in a sheltered area. The Clarence River Fishermen’s Co-operative (CRFC) also has moorings http://www.crfc.com.au/facilities.html
Maclean – There is a pontoon at Maclean, with power and water. In busy times I’m sure it would not be easy to get a spot as it only takes two or three boats. We anchored (easily) across the Clarence River the first night and then moved to the pontoon the next day. We connected to the power and water as we filled our tanks and did the washing. Maclean is a great town and I enjoyed the walk to the lookout several times and the pub meals. Large town – camping and fishing store, supermarket, police station, church and walking trail etc
Ulmurra – has a jetty that we berthed at until the weather became unsuitable. Historic town, pub, crafts and antiques.
Lawrence – We had 35 knots plus, as we left Ulmurra and we looked for somewhere protected along the Clarence. We found a good spot at Lawrence with good holding. Pub nearby on shore.
Harwood – This is just before the bridge if you are heading east. We berthed at the pontoon before moving the boat across the river to anchor near friends. Limit space on the pontoon. Good anchorage. Small town and pub.
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