Affordable guided tours of the Clarence Valley
What better way to experience the natural beauty and exciting wonders of the Clarence Valley than through a scenic bus tour, using Hilldrop Motor Inn as the base. There’s so much to do and see in the region and our experienced tour guide is your key to them all.
From our comfortable 23-seat Coaster air-conditioned bus. Our knowledgeable driver will deliver you to the best sights around Grafton and out to Yamba, Iluka and Coffs Harbour.
The tour is offered as a 5-night package, priced at:
Day 1 – Sunday – Arrive at Hilldrop Motor Inn
Wherever you are coming from, the Pacific M1/A1 motorway is your best bet to get to Grafton quickly. It is approximately 8 hours’ drive north of Sydney or 4 hours south of Brisbane. There are also rail and coach connections available through NSW Trains, many of which are free for pensioners. Once you have arrived at Hilldrop Motor Inn, you’ll receive a warm welcome and a hot evening meal. Then you can retire for your first night’s stay with an exciting trip ahead of you.
Day 1 includes:
Day 2 – Monday – Yamba & Iluka
Day 2 begins with a hearty breakfast and an approximate 9am departure from the motel. Going north-east and tracing the path of the mighty Clarence River, we head towards the coast while our driver delivers interesting and informative commentary.
You’ll pass stunning scenery in this vibrant farming region, full of historic pioneer villages, sugar fields, dairy herds and beef cattle. In no time you’ll arrive at Yamba to enjoy a complementary morning tea looking out across the town’s main beach and scenic headland. After exploring the area, we head for Yamba Bay to board the Clarence River Ferry over to Iluka. There you’ll enjoy a tasty lunch at Sedgers Reef Hotel (this cost is not included in the package).
Once we’re full and content, the bus tour travels back towards Grafton via a local cane farm, stopping at the fascinating model train exhibit at Harwood. We also stop at the Ferry Park visitor centre so you can pick a souvenir of the day’s journey.
Day 2 includes:
Day 3 – Tuesday – Grafton City & Maclean
First settled in 1885, Grafton City has a long and rich history as the hub of the north coast of NSW. Lined with huge leafy trees, stunning architectural buildings and bursting with many cultural features, it’s easy to understand why Grafton is considered one of Australia’s most beautiful rural cities. In the morning we visit a range of local attractions, including a cattle auction, the Schaefer House museum and the Christ Church Cathedral. Then we watch jewellery being made at the Lapidary Club, before a lovely morning tea in beautiful See Park, and a drive down the spectacular Fig Tree Avenue.
The tour then breaks for lunch at Grafton Shopping World (lunch costs not included in the package). Our next stop is the Scottish Capital of Australia, Maclean located on the banks of the Clarence River. After a scenic drive through Southgate and Lawrence, you will be able to take in the whole region from the Maclean lookout. There’s a short break in the town centre before we head back to Grafton via Woodford Island, famed for being the largest river island in the southern hemisphere.
Day 3 includes:
Day 4 – Wednesday – Coffs Harbour & Woolgoolga
At the centre point of the tour, we travel south to Woolgoolga, taking in breathtaking views from the headland outlook. Following a short break for morning tea, you’ll experience a slice of Dutch culture at the Clog Barn and Miniature Dutch Village. We continue on to Coffs Harbour Jetty and explore the gorgeous Botanical Gardens. Lunch is held at the Palms Centre (costs not included in the package), then we board the bus again heading towards the famous Big Banana to explore the banana plantations. Our journey back to Grafton takes us through the Wedding Bell Forest to Nana Glen and its Two Tails winery—for a taste test and informative talk about the wine.
Day 4 includes:
Day 5 – Thursday – Washpool National Park & Gibraltar Range
On the final day of the tour, we explore the natural wonders of the region in Washpool National Park. We’ll pass the Mann River Valley as we wind our way to the summit. Deep into the wilderness of this stunning rainforest, you’ll be treated to a delicious picnic lunch and the opportunity to take a 15-minute walk through the canopy. The next stop is Raspberry lookout and majestic Boundary Creek Falls. Our journey back to Grafton includes a stop off at Mann River Crossing near Cangai.
Day 5 includes:
Day 5 – Friday – Depart Grafton
Sadly your time exploring the wonders of the Clarence Valley has concluded, but we’d love to have you back again soon! If you’re returning home via XPT or coach, we offer free courtesy transfers to your connections. Checkout time for the motel is 10am.