Clarence River

4.5 from 8 Reviews


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Fish and chips to die for in a safe anchorage

Reviewed Nov 2017
Iluk is reputed to be the place that has the best fish and chips in Australia, which is a claim that several othr places also lay claim to. During a winter delivery trip in 2017 I had to stop in and put it to the taste test. I'm delighted to say that there may be equally good places, but none better than the co-op for a fish and chip meal. and it's worth braving the bar just for the food alone.

Speaking of the bar, it is deservedly notorious. Make sure the VMR know you're crossing and DO make sure they understand what your boat is like. Just using your boat name to identify yourself might lead to confusion, especially if you are in a slow, small cruising yacht and there are big, powerful fishing boats also crossing in around the same time. It may be 'fine and flat' and 'perfectly flat' for someone who can ride along the back of a wave with 150 horses on the back, but the same conditions could see several tonne of yacht alternately surfing on a brach-maker wave and dropping into deep holes in the water, for the length of the entrance channel up to Iluka. I still wake in fright with cramps in my tiller arm!

The holding in the Iluka basin is great in good mud. A winter blow there can really test your anchoring gear, but you'll hold well. There are two very good chandleries ashore, the co-op, a fantastic pub and a really lovely town with great facilities. Anchoring is free and there are options to moor if you want to pay. If you want a change of scenery the Yamba marina is also worth a visit.

Above all, the fish and chips!
Great holding in mud
Aussie's best fish and chips
The bar entrance is not to be trifled with.
6 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank frankk.fatt

November at Illuka

Reviewed Nov 2017
2017 Nov

Been here just 3 days so far... and pleasantly surprised. We have folding bikes and have enjoyed a ride around the river and along one of the estuaries... just follow the Main Street past the ferry terminal and keep water on your left. Road becomes gravel but is good quality. The local council have done a great job on local bike/walking tracks, water fountains and bins. The bins at the fish coop include recycling options. We also enjoyed a track through the rain forest... a pleasant 90 min return trip allowing some sight seeing on the bluff. Lots of birds and lizards. Local IGA offers most things but quite expensive... might try Coles on line who deliver on Wednesdays for around $4. We had hoped to take the ferry to Yamba... but $32 return for us both is a bit out of our budget. Hope to find an anchorage near yamba for a few days and then head for Lawrence and McLean. I'm disappointed that yamba has no public jetty, but we hear that the tavern has options if you take in a meal.
Protected, not at all crowded, friendly locals, shops
2 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank elin3366

Illuka is a great place to stay while the weather is bad down south

Reviewed Oct 2017
Great holding in the Iluka Anchorage with easy access to shops and pub. If you get a bit bored a trip of the Clarence river under the Harwood bridge is a great trip. Plenty of pubs to stop and have lunch and the great town of Maclean is another good spot with use of free jetty with power and water
Very well protected Anchorage at Iluka
2 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank persides2yacht

Iluka and Yamba anchorages

Reviewed Nov 2016
Iluka would be one of the most pleasent spots on the NSW coast. Pick up totally protected pile moorings for $85 a week. Park alongside your vessel and walk 100m to Sedgers Reef Hotel. Amazing bird life. Cockatoos in your rigging and ospreys on the piles. Best fish and chips on the coast at the co'op. (Sorry Coffs Harbour). However if you anchor out in the bay, watch the weather!
2 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank reuterguy

Anchorages on the Clarence River

Marilyn Graham
Deckee Pro  
Reviewed Mar 2016
Don't cut the corner going into Iluka Harbour, there's a few shallow spots! Then head towards the Co-op, go along the wall and into the bay, there is a deep hole in the middle. Good holding in mud. Clarence River Fisherman's co-op often has berths available at Iluka - Phone 02 6646 6116. They sell diesel, have a chandlery, and good fish and chips!

To have Harwood Bridge opened, call 02 6682 8388. They request at least 24 hours notice, they need details of the vessel, mast height and a contact. No cost. You may have to wait for opening, or may go through quickly, it changes each time. Height closed is 8.5m, open 36.5m HWS. Call the same operator for opening Wardell Bridge on the Richmond River upstream from Ballina.

Anchorage is good either side of Harwood Bridge, however the current can be very strong and if you anchor near mangroves you may find the mozzies as well! Up river is the Harwood Hotel Jetty and a new floating pontoon.

Maclean: The jetty is easily seen when approaching. At present there is power and water available. The local council operates the jetty, the sign notes a maximum stay of 24 hours. The rules do change and the locals will advise the latest! Cruisers have been known to leave their vessel anchored on the river here, best holding is opposite the township.

Grafton: Large provincial city famed for its annual Jacaranda Festival, has all facilities. Grafton Bridge has a clearance of 6.6m only and does not open for masted vessels. Anchor in mud near the Pound Street Jetty where you may be able to tie up your dinghy. The wooden jetties opposite Elizabeth Island are a very long walk to the town centre.
2 people found this helpful. Do you?Thank Marilyn Graham

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