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.