The Anglican Parish of Maclean is uniquely situated on the mighty Clarence River in northern NSW.
Maclean is known as the Scottish Town in Australia and each Easter has hosted the Highland gathering for over 100 years.The area was originally inhabited by the Gumbaingirr or Yaygir Aboriginal peoples. Cedar cutting began in the area in the 1830s. The Maclean area was known as Rocky Mouth in the 1850s. The township was officially laid out in 1862 and named after Alexander Maclean, the Surveyor-General. The sugar industry began to develop around 1865 and much sugar cane is still grown today and processed across the river at the Harwood Mill.
Yamba is a town in northern New South Wales, Australia at the mouth of the Clarence River. The first European to visit the area was Matthew Flinders, who stopped by in Yamba Bay for six days in July 1799. The town economy is strongly based on fishing and tourism, but has a diverse range of influences, due to the ‘Sea Change’ phenomena and the large number of baby boomers who are starting to retire to the warmer climate.
Iluka is a small village at the mouth of the Clarence River in New South Wales, Australia. It is situated directly across the river from the resort town of Yamba. The town’s name is derived from an aboriginal word meaning “near the sea”. It has long beaches on the ocean side of the river. It is reached by turning off the Pacific Highway approximately 20 kilometres north of Maclean. Iluka also has a world heritage listed littoral rainforest. It is one of the last remaining littoral rainforests in the Southern Hemisphere. It contains many different plant species ranging from coastal dune species to tropical rainforest species. The Iluka rainforest has a vast range of native animal species ranging from wallabies and kangaroos to wombats and echidnas. Iluka is famous for the extremely rare coastal emu. Iluka is a fishing community with many commercial fishing industries, ranging from the oceangoing prawn and whiting trawlers to the river netters and trawlers. The river and beach netters can be seen hauling in mullet during the end of autumn. Iluka is also a very popular recreational fishing destination. Iluka is also the home of the Coast Guard which looks after the crafts going in and out of the breakwalls – as well as monitoring vessels at sea.
The Yaegl and Bundjalung people are 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 the language Yaygirr. This language was closely related to Gumbaynggirr. There is evidence the Yaygirr had permanent settlements and a developed material culture. Matthew Flinders (1799) described large bark huts with rounded passageway entrances which protect dwellers from wind and rain.