Marcus Clement, of Denmark, cools off with his family at Whiting Beach, Yamba. His father Martin said they discovered Yamba in the Lonely Planet guide en route from Cairns to Sydney.
Marcus Clement, of Denmark, cools off with his family at Whiting Beach, Yamba. His father Martin said they discovered Yamba in the Lonely Planet guide en route from Cairns to Sydney.

Yamba set for top summer

RESTAURANTS have been packed, accommodation is booked out and according to some who have witnessed the town’s silly season for years, Yamba is hotting up for its biggest influx on record.

It all started in March with that little announcement about Yamba being a not-so-bad place to visit.

Curiosity has mounted about the town that’s often passed on the way further north, with hits to Yamba’s own homepage soaring to more than 10,000 per day.

“We’re getting a lot of first timers from out west who heard it was the number one town,” Mick Leavey, from Yamba Bait and Tackle, said.

Those hits spiked again in September – regarded as a ‘planning’ month for holidaymakers – and as a result, accommodation from budget to luxury is recording an 80-100 per cent booking rate for December, peaking in the three weeks from Boxing Day.

Denise Gillies, from PRD Nationwide real estate in Yamba, said this will be her 21st Christmas in the town and it was going to be ‘huge’.

She said it grew each year and businesses coped well with the demand.

“Yamba has a high quality of accommodation and is still very affordable for families,” Ms Gillies said.

What many businesses had noticed was an earlier than usual increase in activity for the month of December, with varying opinions about why this was so.

“We had floods in the ’07/’08 Christmas break and the news of a global financial crisis came just before holiday season last year,” Clarence Valley Tourism manager Jenny Massie said.

“This year we’ve got hot weather and more positive news on the economic front.”

Councillor Karen Toms, who manages the Calypso Holiday Park, Yamba, the Iluka Riverside Park and Woody Head camp ground, said she’d noticed a sharp rise in occupancy all year and was turning people away in July.

“I think there is definitely more room for motel style accommodation in Yamba,” she said.



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