Surf fishing capital of the north coast. Pic:

Burning for a weekend getaway up the beach, but not crash hot on dealing with feral Gold Coast crowds? Turn your gaze southwards if you could do with a little stress-free beachside R&R.

The New South Wales north coast in winter is one of nature’s little gifts to east coasters. Still balmy currents, crisp mornings and scarcely tenanted campsites abound.

Iluka’s a five-star spot for a weekend away if you enjoy the finer things in life – breezy beach runs, big jewfish and boundless peaky surf breaks, that is. Shhh though, it’s worth keeping this spot on the down low!

Just 280km south of Brissie CBD, you could be hightailing it down the Pacific Highway and ripping the scab off your first tinnie in three hours. What’re you waiting for?


4WDING: Sand driving is the name of the game. Access is allowed on Iluka Beach from the carpark north of the breakwall right up to Iluka Bluff as well as on surrounding beaches. Beach driving permits issued by Clarence Valley Council are required.

FISHING: The breakwall is your gangplank to angling nirvana. Whiting can be taken in big numbers on beach worm baits, while hefty jewfish can be targeted on live mullet or tailor or fresh fillets thereof. Longtail tuna and Spanish mackerel are a possibility in autumn and are best targeted on live garfish pinned under a float at dawn.


LOCATION: 270km south of Brisbane, access is via the M1 and Pacific Highway.

CAMPING is available at Woody Head campground, which is equipped with showers and toilets, fresh drinking water, barbeques, picnic tables and boat ramp. Nightly rates of $34 per couple apply.

FUEL is available at Iluka, Woombah, Yamba and Maclean.

MORE INFO is available at

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