DAYDREAMS – Clarence River Wilderness Lodge, NSW

The NSW Northern Rivers cops a virtually non-stop barrage of digital hype from the #vanlife crowd, largely due to the proliferation of trendy hipster hangouts, plus the surplus of ‘Grammable beachy backdrops.

It’d be easy to brush the whole joint in favour of lesser-known pastures, but you’d be doing yourself a major disservice. There are still plenty of quieter corners that are absolutely worthy of a weekend reccy.

The mighty Clarence River gushes forth ‘tween the twin coastal enclaves of Yamba and Iluka. Sleepy fishing villages once, but certainly well on the map these days. Head inland a little to explore the Clarence’s upper reaches, and you might just find a spot all to yourself.

The Clarence River Wilderness Lodge is a dead stunner of a spot to post up for a couple of days camping, ‘wheeling and just chilling out. Check it out and thank us later.


4WDING: A grid of 4WD tracks on the Clarence River Wilderness Lodge property link up with a series of old logging trails within the adjoining Yabbra State Forest.

CANOEING: A one-kilometre stretch of flat water in front of the campground is a ripper training ground for paddling with the kids. Further upstream stretches of flat water are interspersed with more challenging sections ranging from short gravel races up to Grade Three rapids.


LOCATION: 200km southwest of Brisbane, the lodge can be reached in around three hours from the Queensland capital. Access is via the M3, Clarence Way, Tooloom St and Paddys Flat Rd.

CAMPING: Flat, grassy riverfront camping as well as more secluded campsites are available within the Wilderness Lodge. Composting toilets and gas-powered hot showers are available, as well as established campfire sites with barbeque plates. Fees of $16 per adult per night and $8 per child per night apply.

FUEL is available at Bombala and Woodenbong.

MORE INFO is available at

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