Monday, March 27, 2023


Australian Sojourn – March 2023 • Part 6

I spent most of last Monday, March 20, at Yamba with my friends Mim and Collette. It was a beautiful day to be at the beach, as I’m sure you’ll see by the images I share today.

Yamba is a town on the north coast of New South Wales and is situated at the mouth of the Clarence River.

The Yaegl and Bundjalung people are the traditional custodians of the coastal areas around Yamba, Iluka and Maclean. The ancestors of the present day Yaegl people lived around the mouth of the Clarence River and spoke Yaygirr. There is evidence the Yaegl had permanent settlements and a developed material culture. In 1799, for instance, British navigator and cartographer Matthew Flinders described large bark huts with rounded passageway entrances to protect dwellers from wind and rain. Similarly, Captain Perry in 1839 described canoes of a superior construction.

According to Wikipedia there are two theories as to the meaning of Yamba, one being that it is the local Aboriginal word for “headland.” However, J.S. Ryan, following R.L. Dawson’s early Recollections and Records of the Clarence Aborigines, believes the most likely derivation is an Aboriginal word yumbah meaning a rough edible shellfish the size of a person’s hand that clings to rocks and is similar to an oyster.

At a Yamba surf shop, Mim and Collette helped me find a rashie that is a great fit for me. While I was looking around the store for some shorts, Collette quietly went and paid for the rashie so that it would be a gift from her and her family, all of whom are dear friends of mine. What a sweet and generous thing to do. Thank you!

NEXT: Gunnedah

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
In Northern Rivers Country (2019)
Rising Waters
Yaegl Country

For previous installments in the “Australian Sojourn – March 2023” series, see:
Central Station

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