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If Yamba’s all about the beach, and Grafton’s the beating heart of the Clarence Valley, what’s Maclean’s identity? Maclean is Australia’s Scottish town, where you can’t help but notice hundreds of tartan-painted power poles. Can you find your Scottish name and tartan?(No problem if you don’t have any Scottish heritage, just find a tartan and name you like and adopt it as your own for a day. Adopt a Scottish accent for extra cultural immersion.) Savour delicious locally roasted coffee and fresh local produce in the many cafes in the main street. For spectacular views of the Clarence Valley, head to the Maclean Lookout. Stroll to the viewing platform for The Pinnacle, a unique rock formation surrounded by subtropical rainforest, and an important Aboriginal cultural heritage site. Relax with a fishing rod at many superb fishing spots along the river. And you can buy freshly caught seafood – including local prawns – from various locations in the town. McLachlan Park – on the north-east flank of the town, is a great spot for pulling up on your boat: the pontoon and undercover deck provide shelter and barbecue amenities for all. Step back in time and discover Maclean’s historic buildings or wander through the quaint local shops and art galleries. And truth be told, on a clear, still winter’s morning, when river mist cloaks the town in a soft shroud, the Loch Ness monster could pop up next to the pelicans and upriver dolphins, and you wouldn’t be too surprised. But Maclean’s more than tartan power poles, Scottish souvenir shops, amazing cafés and galleries. Maclean is a connector: part river village, part coastal town. Close enough to the Pacific to feel the salt on the sea breeze, country enough that your groceries will be carried out to your car if you require. Maclean serves as a junction: it connects people to the beachside jewels of Red Cliff, Brooms Head and Sandon River, and to the inland valley gems of Ashby, Woodford Island and Lawrence. Fitting then, that they’re all visible from ‘The Pinnacle’ – Maclean’s commanding 360 degree vantage point.
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