On a fine Sunday morning 31 headed off on Brian’s Coaches to Yamba for the next 5 nights. After picking everyone up, we left the Peninsula just after 9 AM and headed down the motorway. We stopped at the BP at Chinderah for morning tea early lunch and then also stopped at Woodburn for a comfort stop before arriving at our motel in Yamba around 2:30 PM. We had a very good trip down with no delays.
After checking into our rooms we had time for afternoon drinks around the pool. Later another 2 couples from further south joined the tour and along with our hosts Vickie and Rick for the next few days we all headed off on the Yamba Tours coach up to the Yamba Bowls Club for dinner.
Next morning we headed off around 9 for a tour around Yamba taking in all the beaches and lookout before stopping at the Yamba Museum run by The Port of Yamba Historical Society. Here we heard a very interesting talk about the various areas in the museum by one of the volunteers. This covered how Yamba came about, some of the old buildings and how the rock walls were made at the entrance to the rivers to protect the mouth of the river. Then spent some time looking through the museum before having a lovely home cooked morning tea put on by the volunteers. Our drive after morning tea to the Ostrich Farm took us through the sugar fields of Historic Chatsworth Island. We had an entertaining talk about how he incubates both the Ostrich and Emu eggs to hatch and then grows them to about 10 months before he sell the animals. He also has a couple of large sheds filled with old cars and army jeeps. Here we enjoyed a very nice BBQ under the very large patio followed by fresh fruit salad. Back on the coach we returned to Yamba via Hardwood Island.
Tuesday we departed again around 9 heading off to Woodford Island were we caught the car ferry over to Lawrence where we enjoyed morning tea beside the mighty Clarence River. Here we checked out the flood sign to show us how much water goes up when the river is in flood.
Then up the hill overlooking Lawrence to check out 2NR radio museum which is full of timeless artefacts, radios and lots of interesting pieces from yesteryear. Brought back some old memories of what we used to use a long time ago. A delicious lunch was served at the Lawrence Tavern and then a quick drive through the village and back onto the car ferry and back to Yamba.
Wednesday we headed off for Angourie where we checked out the fresh water Blue and Green Pools right beside the ocean. The rock in this area was used to build the break wall in Yamba and ran on a train line to Yamba. Whilst they were digging the rocks out they struck fresh water springs which filled the holes up so they had to go elsewhere to get the rock. Also saw how close the recent bush fires got to Angourie. We checked out nearby Lake Wooloweyah and how close the bush fire came to destroying this little township.
Back on the coach for drive to Maclean lookout where we enjoyed a yummy morning tea looking out over the cane fields all the way to Yamba.
Then had a drive around Maclean before enjoying a 40 minute walk around the CBD area of the town before heading to Harwood Hilton (Hotel) for lunch. View from the pub, had a shower of rain.
From here and on the cruise we got a great view of the old and new bridges crossing the Clarence River. The new one is not yet open. After lunch we boarded M.V Mirgina at Harwood and had a lovely two hour cruise down the river to Yamba stopping in at Iluka. It was very nice to see the area from the river and some of the large houses right on the river bank. Our coach met us at the wharf for the short drive back to our motel.
For our last day of touring we had an early start of 8am to travel down to the ‘Jacaranda City’ of Grafton. A bit early for the Jacaranda to be in flower. We travelled down through Maclean and onto Woodford Island before joining the highway near Ulmarra and onto Grafton. Once we got through the traffic getting onto the bendy bridge. As it’s used for both trains and cars, the cars have a bend in the road to get onto the bridge. They are in the process of building a new bridge over the river.
Had a short drive around the city checking out some of the historical buildings and then out Carrs Peninsula. Here we sampled some Olives and checked out the big shed which is full of old stuff. I have not seen so many Arnott’s biscuit tins in the one place. We enjoyed a very nice morning tea which was one of the biggest slices of cake I have seen which had won prizes at the local show and real coffee. The owner gave us a run down on how he and his wife collected everything and he still does not have a big enough shed to house it all. We also heard some bush poetry from another gentleman. Also checked out some of the baby animals on the property.
Then off to Alumny Creek School, which is a museum with one class room set up as it would look like back in the 1930’s. Also checked out the teachers in charge house. One of the volunteers gave us a run down on the school and the grounds. Here we enjoyed a scrumptious lunch of Prawns & Chicken with fresh salads in the grounds of the school. After lunch we had a scenic drive through Grafton again checking out some of the large trees before returning back to Yamba.
Brian from Brian’s Coaches came down Thursday to stay for the night and had dinner with us, so the coach was there ready for our return trip on Friday morning. Left Yamba around 8:15 AM after a final farewell to Vickie with 2 stops on the way home, arriving in Redcliffe just on 2 PM.
Each afternoon after we returned to the motel we had time for some drinks and nibbles and then some took the coach and some walked up to the bowls club for dinner. Each night we picked what we were having for dinner for the next night from a selection of 8 different meals. All the meals were very nice and included a dessert. There was entertainment on one night.
We were well looked after by Vickie and Rick from Yamba Tours, thank you very much. We enjoyed lovely home cooked morning teas each day either by Vickie or volunteers at the couple of museums we visited. A great time was had by all; sorry it had to come to an end.