Appreciating Australia: you’ll love Yamba
When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems no one – and no place – is immune to the challenges it can bring.
Around the world, people and businesses have had to adapt to new ways of living, working and relaxing – and Australia’s towns and cities are no exception.
That’s why, as part of our regular On the Map blog series, we’re taking the opportunity to understand the pandemic’s effect on the places we call home, and how we can each do our bit to help these special spots bounce back.
Now, it’s time for the laidback location that locals and visitors alike love: say how do you do to Yamba.
Welcome to Yamba, New South Wales
Set on a picturesque corner of New South Wales (NSW) coastline and the undulating Clarence River – the east coast’s largest – unsurprisingly, Yamba is quite the water baby.
Closer to Queensland’s state capital than its own – at 278 kilometres by road to Brisbane versus 662 to Sydney – Yamba shares the kind of relaxed beachy vibe synonymous with some of its neighbours to the north: think Ballina, Lennox Heads and Byron Bay.
Yamba, get connected
Yamba and COVID-19
When the pandemic hit, says James Allan, President of Yamba District Chamber of Commerce, there was – understandably – a lot of uncertainty.
“People were unsure if they could keep their businesses running or if they would, unfortunately, have to face closing down.
“Since then, though, businesses have adapted and are continuing to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
While businesses in Yamba have always been good with their sanitation and hygiene practices, says James, cafes and bars especially had to think through their processes to make sure they kept customers feeling safe while on their premises.
“They also had to look at cash alternatives, and increasing their online presence, which many people had to adapt to,” says James.
So, how has access to connectivity, like services over the nbn™ network, helped businesses in Yamba?
“It’s meant that our businesses can keep in touch with their customers, both locally and beyond, to help expand their virtual presence while visiting stores was put on hold during lockdown.”
Thankfully though, says James, an increase in intra-state travel has also been helping Yamba get back on track with visitors steadily rolling in to experience everything the town has to offer.
The beauty of connectivity
Just one of the businesses in Yamba making the most of nbn™ network connectivity is Amie Rose Beauty.
Located in Yamba Fair shopping centre, the award-winning salon offers services including massages, facials and laser tattoo removal, as well as a wide range of beauty products.
Before connecting to services over the nbn™ network, says owner Amie Rose, the business had to hotspot from its iPad for internet in the salon, making even the most basic of tasks slow and unmanageable.
“Having access to a services over the nbn™ network has allowed us to streamline the systems we use for our salon.^
“We’ve been able to install wireless speakers and have music playing via the internet all day.
“We also use it to maintain and manage our online store, where we sell beauty products to customers in the local Yamba area and beyond, and have been able to perform faster client transactions in store, too.”
As for the effects of the pandemic, Amie Rose Beauty had to pivot to survive.
“When COVID-19 hit, we had to close our salon for nearly three months,” says Amie Rose.
“And, like many businesses in Yamba, we had to adapt. Being connected to services over the nbn™ network meant we could open an online store to continue providing our customers with the products they love, as well as online skin consultations.”
It meant, when Amie Rose Beauty could once again open its physical doors, it was in a stronger position than it otherwise would have been.
“Being able to build our online community during this time has been invaluable to our business,” says Amie Rose.
“And with our shopfront now open again, we’ve been able to continue to grow our online presence and manage it quickly and effectively with our fast and reliable internet.”
How you can help
Holiday Here This Year
With overseas travel currently off the table for the first time in recent history, Tourism Australia is encouraging Australians to ‘Holiday Here This Year’.
Boasting 7,692,024 square kilometres of land that’s ready and waiting for you to explore, there’s plenty to tickle every travel fancy.
Go Local First
Things to do in Yamba
Yamba is a stunning town – no matter what time of year you choose to visit.
Picturesque landscapes and environmental wonders are, of course, remarkable but, for me, the best part about Yamba is its people.
The creativity of what people are doing there is what’s really spectacular.
From unique small businesses, galleries and countless options for delicious food, the Yamba locals make you feel like never leaving.
There’s plenty to do in the area, too.
From exploring the century-old lighthouse, fish and chips under the shade of the Pandanus palms at Main Beach or any one of Yamba’s other beautiful beaches and countless fishing spots, through to the monthly open-air market featuring regional food and free live entertainment from local emerging talent, there’s something for everyone in Yamba.
And it’s been heartening to see the much-loved town navigating its way through COVID-19 and coming back strongly with many visiting the region to see what it has to offer.
And we’re proud to be playing our part.
Access to services over the nbn™ network are helping Yamba residents to stay in touch with family and friends, continue to work, and bring more opportunities for local businesses by expanding their online capabilities, all from the laidback loveliness of this seaside town.
I still call Yamba home
After living in Yamba for 26 years, and recently retiring from work at the Yamba Marina, Bev and John Mansfield are newly connected to an nbn™ powered plan.
"We use services over the nbn™ network at home to make and receive phone calls, emails, to shop online, as well as dabbling in a little work from home for the Yamba Chamber of Commerce," says Bev.
When COVID-19 hit and most of Australia went into lockdown, Bev felt thankful that life in Yamba didn’t have to change for too long.
“Being tucked away in this beautiful part of New South Wales has definitely had its benefits!
“Thankfully, life was much of the same during the pandemic. While we couldn’t go anywhere for about a month, we kept ourselves busy at home, and I thankfully had the ability to work from home, too.
"We had a short time of pick-up-and-go for our daily coffee, which was great as we could walk around in the fresh air and enjoy.
Yamba by the numbers
278 – The distance in kilometres by road from Yamba to Brisbane.
662 – The distance in kilometres by road to Sydney from Yamba.
1880 – The year Yamba Lighthouse was built, looking out over Clarence Head.
1908 – The year Yamba Surf Life Saving Club was founded, making it one of the oldest in the state.
2004 – The year Kaye Cottee AO took over ownership of Yamba Marina. Australian of the Year in 1988, Kaye was the first woman to circumnavigate the world non-stop and unassisted.
2464 – Yamba’s postcode.
7000 – The population of Yamba, which usually swells to more than double this number during the January school holidays.