Byron Bay has long been an extremely popular destination for Australian road trips. Promising sand, surf, sun, and celebrity spotting, the Bay is renowned for its allure. 

But move over Byron Bay – there’s a new hotspot in town and its lesser known location means that there are far fewer visitors to contend with. 

So if you’re looking for NSW road trips, Yamba is not only closer to Sydney, but is also the new Byron Bay. Here are five reasons why! 

1. Incredible surfing 

It’s hardly a NSW beach without offering epic surfing breaks, and Yamba has these in spades. 

Head to Turners Beach to watch the surfers take on the waves, or paddle out to join them. This beach also has a more sheltered area for swimming if you prefer. 

For something more challenging, make a beeline for Angourie, which is a national surf reserve and a favourite amongst pros. Top level surfers can also try Spooky Point and Life & Death. 

2. The gorgeous Yamba lighthouse 

As popular with walkers as it is amongst Instagrammers, the Cape Byron Lighthouse is a favourite fixture on the scene – and Yamba has one of its own. 

Take your fish’n’chips up to the Yamba Lighthouse behind Turners Beach to relax on the large grassy area of Pilot Hill. There’s a set of stairs from the carpark, or you can try the more adventurous route of climbing over the rocks. 

3. Ample wildlife

There’s certainly plenty of wildlife to be found in Yamba. Bring a set of binoculars to take a good look at the dolphins just off shore, and keep an eye out for Humpback Whales during their annual migration from April to August. Or take a hike on the headlands and you’ll likely spot emu, wallabies, and kangaroos, and don’t forget to explore the countless rock pools along the shoreline to see what you can find. 

Yamba is also a bird watcher’s paradise, especially as it is quieter than its more famous northern neighbour. 

4. The Yuraygir Coastal Walk

Forget the Cape Byron Walking Track – it’s time for the Yuraygir Coastal Walk to shine. 

This multi-day hike follows the Clarence Coast and is bejewelled with beautiful places to stop for picnics, snorkelling, and swimming. It’s 65 kilometres one way, so generally takes four to five days to complete, or you can pick a section and stick with a quick day hike. 

5. The inviting golden sands

Of all the things to do in Yamba, simply relaxing on the beach is one of the easiest and most rewarding. 

Yamba Beach is the main spot to go, but there are countless stretches of sand where you can stretch out. Pippi Beach is another must-visit thanks to its pools built into the rocks, and Convent Beach is a tucked-away treasure.

Next time you’re looking at weekend road trips from Sydney, consider making Yamba your new favourite go-to beachside destination.