Lismore & Nimbin
Just 10 kms north of Lismore, the panoramic view from the Open Air Cathedral makes it a popular spot for outdoor weddings or just a quiet place to sit and ponder. Bexhill’s tiny church is renowned for its outstanding organ with recitals sometimes attracting organists from Sydney and Brisbane.
The little General Store on the main street has some of the best home-made Indian curries this side of Mumbai, Ann’s mushroom curry is amazing! Or pick up some quality meat from the renowned Bexhill Butcher Shop next door on your way to Rocky Creek Dam for a family barbeque.Add to my itineraryView on map
Just 20km north of Lismore, once a staging post on the Lismore to Bangalow Road, Clunes is said to be the birthplace of the area’s dairy industry. Whilst the village is actually named after a pioneering engineer called Robert Mortimer Clunes, it is fitting that Clunes is a Gaelic word for “pleasant place”.
There are some beautiful examples of north coast federation houses in the Clunes district, and some fine early Australian church architecture.
Stop at the Clunes General Store for a coffee or pizza and a taste of the friendly village atmosphere. The Old Romantic Shack is the cutest little curio shop around or check out the nursery just a few minutes up the road, they specialise in Australian natives.Add to my itineraryView on map
Surrounded by endless rows of macadamia plantations, it’s not hard to see why the village of Dunoon is known as the Macadamia Capital of Australia. Dunoon is also the gateway to Rocky Creek Dam, the major source of the region’s drinking water and one of the most beautiful picnic and barbeque spots around. Swimming and boating are prohibited but there is a great kids’ playground and plenty of nature walks.
If you prefer to dine in style, take the family along to Mayfields Restaurant overlooking the lush grounds of the Dunoon Sports and Recreational Club. Each November, the Club plays host to the Village Blues Festival, a great event for locals and visitors alike.Add to my itineraryView on map
Just off the Lismore to Bangalow Road, between Bexhill and Clunes, the historic railway village of Eltham is nestled in a lush and picturesque valley. Hire the local court for a game of tennis then pop across the road for a refreshing ale at the classic country pub, the Eltham Inn, living up to its name with real friendly country hospitality.
Next door, the Eltham Village Gallery sells an amazing range of local arts, crafts and curios. Take a short drive along Boatharbour Road to Eltham Valley Pantry, a lovingly restored farmhouse café on a working pecan and coffee plantation. Join the morning or afternoon tours of the farm from Wednesday to Friday, sample the Pantry’s delicious home baked fare and take home some fresh coffee and pecans at farm gate prices.Add to my itineraryView on map
Nimbin is famous the world over as the spiritual home of Aquarius. It’s a centre for sustainable living, alternative therapies and somewhat unconventional lifestyles. It’s the perfect place to rejuvenate mind, body and soul.
Nimbin shot to fame when it hosted the 1973 Aquarius Festival, attracting students, hippies and visionaries from all over Australia. Once the bands left and the dust settled, a few intrepid souls stayed on to live the dreams and ideology of Aquarius and sow the seeds for today’s vibrant, sustainable community.
This internationally famous village is intriguing and quirky with its unique mural streetscape of indigenous, rainforest and psychedelic facades and colourful local characters. With an amazing array of cafés and shops the village also features fascinating places like Djanbung Permaculture Gardens, Rainbow Power Company and the extraordinary Nimbin Candle Factory.
Surrounded by three World Heritage Listed rainforests, including Protester Falls the site of Australia’s first successful anti-logging campaign. The 1979 campaign, known as the Terania Creek Battle, lasted 4 weeks and assured the survival of NSW’s rainforests today.
Nimbin is the perfect place to rest a while, to relax, rejuvenate and let Mother Nature work her charms. You can stay in luxurious cabins on the edge of the rainforest, in a B&B or backpackers, or perhaps in a teepee with mountain view.
On the edge of the rainforest, the tiny hamlet of Rosebank is dotted with macadamia and coffee plantations and home to Rosebank Gold, the very first coffee plantation in the region.
Make sure your visit includes a trip to Minyon Falls at the eastern edge of the Nightcap National Park. The falls sometimes trickle, sometimes tumble over 100 metres to the valley floor below and the view overlooking the rainforest gorge and valleys beyond is breathtaking. If you’re feeling energetic, take the trail to the base of the falls for a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waterfall pools.Add to my itineraryView on map
This pretty little village is set in the foothills of the Nightcap Ranges draped in tranquil subtropical rainforests. The Channon is home to the original north coast craft market and over 30 years on, their “make it, bake it or grow it” philosophy still holds firm.
On the second Sunday of each month, up to 10,000 people pour into the village to enjoy wonderful home-made cuisine and hand crafted goods, be entertained by buskers and to soak up the colour and energy of this bold and funky market. With up to 250 stalls, the market is one of the biggest and most popular in regional NSW.
The Old Butter Factory on the banks of Terania Creek has been transformed to the heritage-listed Channon Tavern, a popular bar where visitors and locals mix. The tavern’s Nightcap Ranges Restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday serving delicious meals and crispy ales.
Across the lane, The Channon Gallery aims to delight and engage with their exhibitions of contemporary fine Australian art, featuring works by local artists of national and international acclaim. Visit the gallery Wednesday to Sunday to experience their current exhibition.
Travel 15 kilometres along the winding Terania Creek Road to the World Heritage-listed Nightcap National Park. Follow the gorgeous rainforest trail along the babbling, palm-fringed creek to Protesters Falls, named after the protesters whose anti-logging campaign in the late 1970s led to the declaration of the National Park in 1983 and generated world wide awareness of the need to preserve our natural environments. Swimming is not permitted as it is home to the endangered Fleay’s barred frog.
The village also plays host to the annual Opera at The Channon, a black tie event attracting visitors from far and near. Guests enjoy fine food and wine in the picturesque country setting then relax for an afternoon with some of Australia’s finest operatic talent in the natural amphitheatre of Coronation Park.
Downstream from Lismore on the Wilsons River’s meandering journey towards the sea, the village of Wyrallah was once a bustling river port. Just south of the village, stop off at the Aboriginal Bora Ring at the back of the Tucki Tucki Cemetery, a sacred ceremonial site for the Bundjalung tribes of the region estimated to be at least three centuries old.
Further down the road, the Tucki Tucki Nature Reserve is a koala haven which was planted out in the 1950s by concerned locals to preserve the natural habitat of these national treasures. Look high in the trees and you may just spot one of these sleepy little locals.
Add to my itineraryView on map