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Lismore

 

They call it the Rainbow Region. In this unspoiled, lush and laid back pocket of northern New South Wales is a city that boasts the culture and convenience of a major regional centre as well as an extraordinarily beautiful natural environment. Where else can you find a place where the blend of city sophistication and country calm is so inviting?

 

With a population of 45,000, the city of Lismore is home to the progressive Southern Cross University, the award-winning performing arts group NORPA, a valuable macadamia and dairy industry, a creative artistic community and a thriving business centre.

 

Lismore is just 30 minutes inland from the beautiful beaches of the far north coast, easily accessible via the Pacific Highway from Brisbane or the Gold Coast; and has its own regional airport.

 

Regarded as the birthplace of eco-tourism, the Rainbow Region contains nearly a third of NSW’s forest reserves. Surrounded by an area of extraordinary geographical beauty, Lismore attracts thousands of visitors annually who come to experience the heritage-listed rainforests and national parks, most of which are situated a half hour’s drive from the CBD.

 

The world-heritage listed Nightcap National Park features rainforests saved by logging protests in the 1970s. From the secluded Terania Creek Picnic Area you can access the easy 700 metre trek upstream through the lush, palm-laden track to the base of aptly-named Protester Falls.

 

At the southern end of Nightcap is spectacular Minyon Falls, where you can gaze down at the palm filled gorge from the picnic area at the top, or choose from two different walks to the base of the falls. Another attractive section of Nightcap is the Mt Nardi picnic area, just 12 kms from the village of Nimbin (which is 30kms from Lismore).

 

There’s plenty of choices of parkland located in or just out of the city, including Rotary Park, close to the city centre, is six hectares of restored rainforest where you can walk the boardwalk and spot 17 rare species of plants. 

 

The Koala Care Centre is a superb opportunity for children and overseas visitors. Located on the campus of Southern Cross University, the Care Centre offers the opportunity to view this iconic species at close range while learning something of its plight in Lismore and environs.

 

Lismore’s newest experience, the Café and Culture Trail is a unique experience for Northern Rivers visitors, immersing you in Lismore's culture and cuisine.

 

Part of Lismore's spectacular $9 million redevelopment of the Wilsons River, the Cafe and Culture Trail guides visitors through Lismore's historical and cultural development and into the CBD, with various alfresco dining choices. For families, the trail offers a children’s interpretation of Lismore.

Australia’s leading regional performing arts company, the award winning Northern Rivers Performing Arts group, NORPA, is based in Lismore and presents music, theatre and dance shows throughout the year.

 

In the string of little villages around Lismore, you’ll find some gorgeous self-contained cottages, guesthouses and B and B’s.

 

The most famous of these villages is of course Nimbin, the alternative lifestyle capital and home to a thriving community of gifted artists. You can view their art at the Nimbin Artists Gallery. Gardening enthusiasts should call into the Djanbung Gardens Permaculture Centre for a tour and if you’re interested in renewable energy, The Rainbow Power Company is a must.

 

Other villages include: The Channon, gateway to Nightcap National Park and home of the extraordinary monthly art and craft market; Dunoon, the macadamia capital and neighbour to Minyon Falls; Eltham, with its warm country pub and gallery; Bexhill, home of the open air cathedral; Clunes, known for its early Australian architecture; and Rosebank, with good local coffee at the Green Frog Cafe.

 

If you only have a day, you can easily spend it doing a scenic drive of the region, calling in at one, two or all of these villages for a look around, a coffee or a meal. When you’ve got more time and you’re looking for a fabulous weekend retreat, simply check out one of the accommodation houses in these villages.

The region’s rich agricultural farmland produces avocadoes, stone fruit, coffee, macadamias, custard apples, coffee and other organic fruits and vegetables. You’ll find organic produce and foodstuffs at the twice-weekly markets at the Lismore Showgrounds.

 

The award-winning Lismore Visitor Information Centre includes the Rainbow region gourmet Foods and Crafts shop which offers the largest range of quality regional products and all the information you’ll need. Just next door is Heritage Park, a superb oasis for families with miniature train rides and play equipment.

 Visitor Information Centre Contact Details

 
 

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