The Clarence - River of Adventure

The Clarence River is one of the Valley’s most precious resources and offers a range of recreation opportunities experiences.  Building on this and to increase tourism and usage of the river is the Clarence River Way project, a joint initiative with Clarence Valley Council and the Federal Government following the successful TQUAL grant application.

The main features of the project are:

The project has already commenced with the commissioning of guides to the upper reaches of the Clarence River for canoeing and kayaking and of the lower river for sailing and boating enthusiasts.  Both guides will detail the river, points of interest and location of supporting infrastructure to encourage and enhance use of the river.  Aiding access to the river are the new pontoons at Iluka, Ulmarra and Harwood with funding applications currently in progress for further pontoons.  These will be detailed on the new guides for the area.  These guides will be available in both printed form and via electronic media. 

The provision of primitive camping sites on the river has also begun with 2 camping grounds at Copmanhurst due to be ready in early 2011.  This will offer a unique way to experience the wonders of this pristine area.  The remaining camp grounds at Lilydale, Alice near Baryugil, Cangai Broadwater, Cangai Bridge and Buccarumbi are planned for 2011.

The new camp grounds compliment established operators in the region forming a network of camp grounds to allow full coverage of the broad system of rivers in the area.  There are camping and cabin facilities at Clarence River Wilderness lodge at Tabulam, Wavehill Station and the Winter’s properties at the Clarence Gorge and the Nymboida Canoe Centre on Goolang Creek.  Qualified river guides from the Clarence Wilderness Lodge, Nymboida and Exodus Outdoor Adventures are available to ensure you have a safe and exciting river adventure.

Clarence Valley Council has commissioned two sculptures from leading artists.  Cass Samms has created a sculpture on the foreshore of Yamba’s Turners Beach that takes the form of four stylised wishbone pieces that interconnect reminiscent of the shipwrecked steel armatures of boats.  Measuring 1.6m wide, 2.7m long and 1m high, it has been designed to work with the natural setting.  Stuart Payne has created a sculpture to represent the theme of “productive landscape” situated on the river banks of Maclean.  The twisting cane knives rise up like a blazing cane fire and are embedded in a tree stump representing the timber industry, but stand back and look at the sculpture as a whole and see the metal blades shaped like a fish to represent the traditional fishing importance of the area now and hopefully in the future. 

As part of this project, Grafton’s riverfront area has also been earmarked for improvements to the area between Grafton Bridge and Queen Street.  Although still at the planning stage, the conclusion from community consultation has shown a clear message that residents and visitors want a family focused low key recreational area with walking and cycling trails, a self-guided riverside discovery trail, stories about river experiences and histories and reflection opportunities that support the City’s health and wellbeing.