Just off the Pacific Highway, on the banks of the Clarence River, lies the picturesque town of Maclean, the administrative centre of the Maclean Shire. It was settled originally in the 1860s as a river port to clear the timber felled by loggers working the region’s cedar stands.
Maclean is known as the Scottish Town of Australia and you only have to stroll the streets to appreciate the connection. There is the obligatory cairn honouring Scots pioneers, the streets bear Gaelic names and the Scots assemble every Easter for the traditional Highland Gathering.
The town lookout gives visitors a sweeping view across the canefields of the Clarence estuary to Lake Woolowayah, Iluka and Yamba. The river is the undisputed centrepiece of the shire. Rising in Queensland's McPherson Ranges, the Clarence meanders for hundreds of kilometres and fans into an amazing delta system before it empties into the ocean between the resort towns of Yamba and Iluka.
The estuary system between Maclean and the mouth embraces hundreds of islands, wetlands and broadwater stretches and is a true paradise for anglers and birdwatchers.