Yamba just keeps getting better and better by Rupe

I was talking to my wife recently about how I'd love to start taking our three young daughters to Yamba more often. Rambling about why I love the place so much, I realised it has now ticked over 30 years that I've been visiting this beautiful coastal paradise, and yet I'm still keen to spend more time there!
Growing up on the western side of the Great Divide with a dad that had a fishing rod in my hand at almost every available opportunity meant that plenty of long weekends and school holidays were spent on the coast, where we could both chase new species, in new locations, utilising new methods.
Because it was only a 3 hour-ish drive from my old home town of Glen Innes, its sleepy nature, and I'm sure the affordability of its accommodation options, many of those holiday periods were
spent on the banks of the mighty Clarence River in Yamba.
Originally established in the 1830s as a timber harvesting town, it wasn't long before people were living off the land and the water too, with excellent seafood and sugar cane growing conditions. In 2019, commercial fishing and sugar cane are still very strong industries in the region - even if the gantry wall where the trawlers rest between trips is a little emptier these days than during the 90s.
If you were to drive into Yamba tomorrow, the council sign will tell you its population has grown to over 6000 people now, but this was certainly not the case when I was a pup in the late 1980s. Back then the population was about half of what it is now, and it certainly felt that way. Perhaps I'm remembering through rose-coloured glasses, or amber liquid coloured glasses as I slurp my Great Northern and type this out...