The North Coast
The region from Port Stephens to Tweed Heads is famous for its sub-tropical climate, its pristine sandy beaches and its beautiful fish and sea-life.
Port Macquarie is a picturesque little town that charms all who visit. Relax at one of 18 beaches, or get some exercise and learn a little history with a heritage walk. If you love to shop, you’ll love the many boutiques, galleries, and arts and craft centres. Nearby is the Billabong Koala Park, where you can pet a koala and get close to monkeys, wombats, and wallabies.
Superyachts up to 45 metres long have crossed the bar here, but take care in strong easterly swells. Many boating facilities are available on the lovely Hastings River.
Trial Bay is a good anchorage in calm weather or weather from a westerly or southerly direction only. It is exposed in a northerly or easterly. The scenic town of South West Rocks offers a small jetty and a bar crossing to South West Rocks Creek. Also, a bar crossing to the Macleay River leads to the town of Kempsey, 22 miles upstream, where you can play tennis, picnic, and golf with kangaroos.
Coffs Harbour is a large town mid-way between Sydney and Brisbane. It is a designated port, has customs facilities and an airport capable of receiving large jet aircraft. Coffs Harbour offers access and protection for vessels with a draft of 4 metres or less, depending on weather. Here you can stretch your legs on the beach, or free-fall over the stunning NSW coast in a tandem skydive.
The Clarence River is the largest of the northern rivers and is used by ships as long as 120 metres.The entrance to the Clarence River is challenging and requires good light and weather. Yamba Marina, with facilities for superyachts, is an ideal stop for superyachts cruising the river. Cargo ships berth at the Goodwood Island General Cargo Berth, which is managed by NSW Maritime and has its own Pilot/Harbour Master.
From Yamba in the south to Iluka in the north, the Clarence River Valley will seduce you with its beauty and charm. 10 miles upriver are the small townships of Harwood and Maclean. 40 miles further upriver is the large town of Grafton, which can easily be reached by smaller vessels and tenders. Along the way, you’ll find country museums, ecotours, and white-water rafting.
Byron Bay is a vibrant and exclusive holiday town, the ‘St Tropez’ of NSW. It offers anchoring in good weather, with access by tender onto the beach at the southern end of town. Shore excursions are also possible by tender 15 miles south in Ballina, which has a jet-capable airport.
In Byron Bay, you can enjoy luxurious spas, hot-air ballooning, boutique shopping, fine dining and horseback riding on the beach.
More information about Byron Bay can be found at www.byron-bay.com