Sunday, 7 April 2013

Iluka NSW

We have been to Iluka a number of times and every time it rains - not all the time, but at least twice each trip. We still come back - we love it.
We usually get spectacular sunsets.
We've been here twice at Easter, once before Christmas, once in mid January, and once in October - rained!

Iluka is situated on the north bank of Clarence River, opposite Yamba. Iluka is located 280 km from Brisbane and 680 km from Sydney.

It was proclaimed a township in 1885
It has wonderful seafood and a heritage listed rainforest - Iluka Nature Reserve has the largest  remnant of littoral rainforest in NSW.

The Iluka beach is a long sandy beach that we have always found windy. Often one can find kites flying on the beach. On the Bluff it appears locals seem to gather around lunchtime to eat their lunch in their cars before going for a walk out on the sea wall.


There are a lot of places to stay - motels, holiday lets and 3 caravan parks - with another three caravan parks not that far away. We always stay at Iluka Riverside Holiday Park. It is situated right on the Clarence River and is a very clean and usually quiet caravan park. It does not have a swimming pool or kids playground, but it is right on the river with it's own boat ramp, jetty and pontoon. Iluka protected and enclosed river beach is next to the park and has a kids playground.

The Jetty is a great place to sit and fish - as is anywhere along the river. Most evenings fishermen with their beers can be seen fishing from the rocks in front of the vans.

There are a number of bird species, including this lovely duck family who seems to have the run of the park.




Fishing - with a NSW fishing permit
Bush and Beach Walks
4WD - with a permit
Ferry to Yamba
Day trip to McLean


Iluka has a Post Office, Chemist, Foodworks Supermarket (not bad prices), petrol station, bottle shop, arts and craft shop, and a 'Bali' type shop - reasonable prices.


The local Fish Co-op has the freshest and tastiest seafood. We often get take-away and either eat back in van or at the tables overlooking the fishing boats.

One can always cook at one of the many BBQ's in the park or in the van.

Iluka has many take-aways, cafes and daytime restaurants but for evening meals it is limited to three venues - all of which provide a courtesy but for pick up and drop off. 
1. the local pub (above) - has Sedges Reef Bistro, open for lunch and dinner and provides a courtesy bus that drops one right back at your van. Meals are typical pub food and well worth the money.

 2. the Iluka Golf Club - courtesy bus Friday nights for raffles and dinner at the Fairways Restaurant. Haven't tried this one yet.

3. The Iluka Bowls Club - raffles Friday and Saturday nights - courtesy bus operates Friday and Saturday. Master Wok Restaurant operates 6days a week for lunch and dinner. It also serves a number of Australian meals.
At different times of the year they have a smorgasbord - we've had it once and although it was ok, we would not do it again. The food is usually good, but at times the service is dreadful.
We go on Friday and Saturdays for the raffles and stay for dinner. Last Friday (April 5, 2013) we waited for almost 45mins to be served and then another 30 minutes for entrees - prawn cocktail, which was still frozen and tasteless and 3 mini spring rolls - tasty. Two tables nearby came in after us and were served before us. When we questioned the staff, we were told it was our fault because we ordered entrees.
We booked for 6.30. We arrived at the club (on the courtesy bus) at 6.05 and had a drink in the auditorium before heading to the restaurant at 6.25, served at 7.15, entrees came at 7.45, mains at 8.20, and desert at 8.45. We were one of the early diners and were the second last to leave.
For main we ordered honey chicken, garlic prawns and chilli beef and special fried rice.
The garlic prawns were perfect.
The fried rice was ok.
Peter asked for HOT chilli beef (Peter likes it hot), and he was very happy with it - although he said it could have been hotter :)
The honey chicken, did have honey, but not as much as usual BUT it also had cashews!!! We wondered if they stuffed up our order and prepared chicken and cashews and added the honey as an after thought - was lovely with cashews though. 
However, we were with our 3 year old grand-daughter and it was a long time for her to sit and wait. We missed the intended 8pm bus and also the 9pm bus. We ended up walking back to the van park - not far but late at night with a 3 year old was really not the ideal situation.Will have to re-think eating dinner there again.

4. Clarence River Fishing Co-op - wonderful variety of fresh seafood and great chips - great friendly service. Take away only, but tables are situated overlooking the boats.

 5. Iluka Bay Boatshed Cafe - lovely food - good service

6. Hogues Hot Bread Cafe - has tables outside to eat purchases - very yummy and so fresh.

7. Sumthing Tastee on Charles


 Iluka Markets are on the first Sunday of the month starting at 8am. We have been lucky enough to go to a few and always get the bacon and eggs on bread from the Lions Club (I think). We haven't always bought anything, but if there is a bargain we'll find it. The markets are also sometimes on long weekends.
Other markets are held in the church hall on Charles St

Iluka has two op-shops - one across the road from the Riverside Van park and one at Woombah on the road into Iluka. I have picked up some special items at each.


We do love our van, and wish we had more time to travel in it. Peter installed an outside hot and cold shower. I don't know why, but Cooper loved it.
Here is our little Easter Bunny. 

 I made new curtains for the en-suite. Do you like the possums?

This is the Easy Street Mystery Quilt I made for the van.

When we stay longer than 2-3 days I like to sew. I always have one or two projects with me.


Yamba - across the river heads.

Woody Head picnic area

Happy Travels - until next time