Fishing boats, Nick Rains / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 1739

Located at the mouth of the Clarence River on the north coast, Iluka is a relatively uncommercial fishing and holiday village. Its attractiveness is evident in the long stretches of sandy white beaches and rare and accessible rainforest. Iluka Nature Reserve has the largest remnant of littoral rainforest (trees obtaining water via filtration through coastal sand and nutrients from airborne particles) in New South Wales.

Visitor Information

Lower Clarence Visitor Centre, Ferry Park, Pacific Hwy, Maclean; (02) 6645 4121

Nearby national parks

  • Bundjalung National Park

    Bundjalung National Park protects a superb 38-kilometre stretch of the state’s far north coastline, including secluded beaches,...more

  • Yuraygir National Park

    Yuraygir National Park protects the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in New South Wales, a glorious sweep of beaches backed by...more

  • Broadwater National Park

    Located on the state’s north-east coast, Broadwater National Park’s outstanding feature is its lovely sweep of beach, with...more

Nearby towns

  • Yamba

    This quiet holiday town at the mouth of the Clarence River offers excellent sea, lake and river fishing. It is the largest coastal resort in...more

  • Evans Head

    Evans Head is located at the mouth of the Evans River. It was the first prawning port in Australia and is still predominantly a fishing...more

  • Grafton

    With over 6500 trees in 24 parks, Grafton is known for its riverbank parks and jacaranda trees. Its city centre adds to the charm with wide...more

In Town

River cruises: day cruises and evening barbecue cruises (Wed only); Wed, Fri and Sun; from the Boatshed.

Passenger ferry: travelling daily to Yamba; from the Boatshed.

Iluka Fish Co-op: fresh catches on sale from 9am; adjacent to the Boatshed.

Walking track: picturesque coastline walk; access via Iluka Bluff to the north and Long St to the south.


Iluka Nature Reserve This area, nestled on the narrow peninsula where the Clarence River meets the ocean, was World Heritage–listed in 1986. It happens to be the largest remaining coastal rainforest in NSW. It is rich with birdlife and is a beautiful spot for activities such as fishing, swimming, surfing, canoeing, walking and camping. 1 km N.

Iluka Bluff Beach: safe swimming beach with good surf and a whale-watching lookout; brochure from visitors centre; 1 km N.

Bundjalung National Park: protects ancient rainforest and the Esk River, the largest untouched coastal river system on the north coast. Woody Head has rare rainforest with campground, fishing and swimming; 4 km N.

Woombah Coffee Plantation: world's southernmost coffee plantation; tours by appt; bookings (02) 6646 4121; 12 km NW.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Diving and snorkelling around Byron Bay 88 km

Although there is not much in the way of shore dives or snorkelling around Byron Bay, the nearby Julian Rocks Marine Reserve is a top spot if you can get on a boat, with sea turtles, eagle rays, corals, grey nurse and... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

Boatshed Cafe

Tucked away behind Iluka Boat Shed and Marina, Boatshed Cafe offers absolute waterfront dining overlooking the mighty Clarence River. Daily dolphin sightings are common and just as entertaining as the daily fish feeding,... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Stone and Wood Brewing 89 km

The popular coastal holiday destination of Byron Bay is the location for one of the country’s newest and most exciting craft breweries – Stone & Wood. The partners behind the venture include a trio of... Find out more

Campsites around town

Woody Head camping area 5 km

Surrounded by remnant subtropical rainforest, Woody Head is the larger of the park’s 2 camping areas with more than 100 sites, 4 cabins, hot showers, a kiosk and a boat launch. Fishing, swimming, snorkelling and... Find out more

Shelley Head camping area (walk-in camping) 13 km

This walk-in selection of campsites is en route between Lake Arragan and Mara Creek on the Angourie Walk (10 km, 3 hr return). Campers need to bring their own drinking water and gas/fuel stove as campfires are not... Find out more

Black Rocks camping area 17 km

Black Rocks is on Ten Mile Beach, via unsealed Gap Rd, 5 km south of Woodburn. There are concrete bunkers from World War II here – a section in the north of the park is still used by the military for target... Find out more

Lake Arragan camping area 18 km

Next to a small coastal lagoon ringed with paperbarks and nodding reeds, this camping area is just as popular with migratory and resident birds as it is with campers, but with 50 campsites there’s room for... Find out more

Red Cliff camping area 19 km

This is next to Grey Cliff camping area, on the headland south of Lake Arragan, 5 km north of Brooms Head along the unsealed Brooms Head Rd. The campsites are big enough for camper trailers and caravans. Bring firewood... Find out more

Grey Cliff camping area 19 km

Next to Red Cliff camping area on the headland south of Lake Arragan, Grey Cliff is 5 km north of Brooms Head along the unsealed Brooms Head Rd. The campsites are big enough for camper trailers and caravans. Bring... Find out more

Sandon River camping area 30 km

You get the best of many worlds from here: sweeping sandy beach to the north; rockpools to the south at the base of Sandon Bluffs; and fine fishing in Sandon River. The 40 sites in the camping area are suitable for... Find out more

Illaroo camping area 40 km

Just north of Minnie Water, via Minnie Water Rd off Wooli Rd, this is a large and spacious camping area with 60 sites shared between Illaroo north and Illaroo south. There’s room for tents, campervans and trailers.... Find out more

Rocky Point camping area (walk-in camping) 40 km

This is a walk-in camping area with no facilities, accessible via an easy 100 m walking track leading from Illaroo camping area. Campfires are not permitted, so bring your own gas/fuel stove and drinking water.... Find out more

Diggers Headland Reserve Camping Ground 46 km

There are up to 26 camping sites here, tucked in among coastal banksias, only a stone’s throw from the beach. To get here, follow Diggers Camp Rd off Wooli Rd, about 12 km north of Wooli. It’s a pretty basic... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Iluka Riverside Tourist Park

At this large well-appointed park, enjoy the riverside barbecues and picnic tables, the grassy waterfront sites or the fully equipped camp kitchen overlooking the river. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Anchorage Holiday Park 2 km

This is a well-established, owner-operated park with very good facilities. It is situated across the road from the wide Clarence River estuary and is 2 km from the town centre. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Blue Dolphin Holiday Park 3 km

This riverfront, award-winning park is on the Clarence River estuary. It is an excellent park, with everything you would expect of a park of this quality, including a cafe. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Calypso Holiday Park 3 km

This older-style park has a great position on the waterfront. It is a short stroll to the centre of town and just a brief walk to the beach. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at... Find out more

Yamba Waters Caravan Park 4 km

This is a spacious quality park about 2.5 km from the centre of this popular tourist destination. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas and Easter.... Find out more

BIG4 Saltwater @ Yamba Holiday Park 4 km

This neat, spacious, riverfront park 10 km from Yamba has very good facilities. Quiet and out of the way, it is situated on a large, sweeping bend of the Clarence River and has great appeal to those who enjoy estuary... Find out more

Brooms Head Caravan Park 22 km

In an out-of-the-way place, this park spreads along more than 1.5 km of beachfront, surrounded by national park. This is a popular beachside holiday destination and bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Silver Sands Holiday Park 33 km

This is a huge beachside park with good facilities just a short walk from the centre of town. It has many permanent holiday vans and is a very popular holiday spot for people from the nearby inland towns. Bookings are... Find out more

The Gateway Village 49 km

This is a very good quality caravan park, 3.5 km north of the town centre, along the Summerland Way. Good facilities and a lovely garden setting make this an attractive spot for those wishing to explore Grafton. Bookings... Find out more

South Ballina Beach Holiday Park 61 km

This is a very neat park on the south side of the Richmond River. It is in a quiet area and is one of the few parks along this stretch of coast where pets are permitted (except in Christmas and Easter holidays). Bookings... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Emerald Valley Villa 88 km

Nestled in the hinterland some 25 minutes drive from Byron Bay, this is way up the high end of ecotourism in this country. You can rent your own five-star palace (they call it a villa), complete with pool, courtyard,... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Maclean park area 16 km

At Maclean

Small area on the riverbank just off the highway at Ferry Park Café.

Beekeepers rest area 19 km

28km S of Woodburn (L)

Adjacent to the highway. For southbound only.

New Italy rest area 29 km

At New Italy

Just off the highway under shady trees near the museum and cafe. Big rigs at north end of the rest area.

Trustons Hill rest area 34 km

40km S of Woodburn (L)

Just off the highway behind some trees. For southbound only.

Woodburn park area 37 km

At Woodburn

Adjacent to the highway overlooking the river.

McPhillips Creek rest area 51 km

50km N of Woolgoolga (R) or 10km S of Grafton (L)

Just off the highway behind a few trees.

Glenugie Creek rest area 54 km

45km N of Woolgoolga (L) or 15km S of Grafton (R)

Just off the highway behind a few trees.

Wardell rest area 54 km

22km N of Woodburn (L) or 14km S of Ballina (L)

Large areas just off the highway on both sides.

Halfway Creek rest area 64 km

26km N of Woolgoolga (R) or 34km S of Grafton (L)

Large grassed area just off the highway behind the roadhouse.

Lollback rest area 79 km

115km E of Glen Innes (R) or 45km W of Grafton (L)

Just off the highway with good views over the Mann River.

Woolgoolga rest area 80 km

At Woolgoolga

Just off the highway in the middle of town.

Tyagarah rest area 92 km

36km N of Ballina (L)     

Just off the highway. For northbound only.

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