Northern Rivers Attractions
The Northern Rivers region of New South Wales features a number of attractions in a sub-tropical setting. The region is known for its rainforest, rivers and surfing beaches.
Byron Bay, Australia
Cape Byron, named by Captain Cook after the poet's grandfather, is the most easterly point on the Australian continent. The beautifully situated holiday resort of Byron Bay (pop. 6,200) is highly regarded by surfers. A wide stretch of beach runs along the ocean front here. The imposing lighthouse on Cape Byron itself is a famous landmark. Dolphins and whales can often be seen not far offshore.Byron Bay is a popular stop with bus tours plying the East Coast of Australia.
Ballina (pop. 29,240) is a fishing port and favorite family resort. In the mid-19th C gold was found in the sand of the estuary and on the beach. A predecessor of Ballina on the site was a settlement established on Shaws Bay around 1840 where timber was loaded on to ships.
Tropical Fruit Research Station
The Tropical Fruit Research Station is open to visitors.The station grows fruit such as bananas, avocadoes, macadamias, pecans, pawpaw, sapodillas, mangoes, oranges, lemons, mandarines, limes, grapefruit, persimmons, tamarillos, kiwifruit, blueberries and low-chill peach and nectarines.
Ballina Naval And Maritime Museum
The Ballina Naval And Maritime Museum is interesting and features a steam riverboat exhibit and balsa-wood raft which crossed the Pacific from South America to here.
Broadwater Sugar Mill
Broadwater Sugar Mill is open to visitors.The Mill is situated on the Richmond River south of Ballina and was, at one time, the most important sugar factory in Australia.
Shaws Bay Hotel
The Shaws Bay Hotel in East Ballina is in the style of a well-to-do citizen's house in Sydney.
Amid the banana and sugar-cane plantations near the boundary with Queensland, on the Tweed River above its mouth at Tweed Heads, is the town of Murwillumbah. The Condong sugar mill can be visited between June and December, after the sugar-cane harvest.Murwillumbah was originally home to the indigenous Bundjalung tribe. Today it is a town with a cross-cultural, eclectic mix of people.
Mount Warning National Park
2200ha.This area was declared a nature reserve in 1928, centered on Mount Warning (so named by Captain Cook), which dominates the whole of the Tweed valley. Mount Warning (1156m) is the remnant of a lava plug in the magma chamber of a huge former volcano, the Border Ranges being the last remains of its side walls. On the lower slopes of the mountain the vegetation consists of subtropical rain forest; higher up it is temperate rain forest with many species of birds.
The little town of Yamba (pop. 3700) offers sea, lake and river fishing. On the other side of the estuary is Iluka. Houseboats available for hire and cruises.5km south is Yuraygir National Park (Grafton).
Tweed Heads, Australia
The tourist and holiday resort of Tweed Heads (pop. 5440) lies directly on the border with Queensland, and over the years has joined up with the town of Coolangatta on the other side of the state line.This little town at the south end of the Gold Coast is well supplied with entertainments for visitors. At Point Danger, directly on the state boundary, is the Captain Cook Memorial and Lighthouse, erected in 1970, on the 200th anniversary of Cook's landing in Australia. Point Danger was so named by Cook because he was almost wrecked here. Evidence of earlier settlement can be seen in the Historic Site and Minjungbal Aboriginal Cultural Centre (on Kirkwood Road, which branches off the Pacific Highway to the south of Tweed Heads).
From the hills around Tweed Heads there are fine panoramic views of the Tweed Valley and the Gold Coast (Razorback Lookout).
Border Ranges National Park
31,200ha.Border Ranges National Park takes in part of the McPherson Ranges, adjoins Lamington National Park (QLD) and along with Nightcap National Park lies within the caldera of Mount Warning. Originally only 583 ha in extent, the park was enlarged in 1982 to an area of over 30,000 ha. It protects an expanse of the unique and very complex environment of the rain forest. From Blackbutts Lookout, on the edge of the precipitous escarpment, there are fine views of the Tweed Valley and the whole caldera.
Lismore (pop. 40,120) is the largest town in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales and the center of an intensively cultivated agricultural region (dairy farming, tropical fruits, beef, fodder plants, timber).The town was founded by loggers around 1840 and in the 19th C was an important timber-shipping port.Features of Lismore include Wilsons River Heritage Centre and Lismore Regional Art Gallery.The town is charmingly situated on the Wilsons River, surrounded by hills with rain forest reserves (many picnic areas).
Around Lismore are three nature reserves - Border Ranges National Park and Mount Warning National Park (Murwillumbah) and Nightcap National Park.
Iluka (pop. 1810) is a coastal resort on the estuary of the Clarence River, north of Grafton. Opposite, on the south side of the delta, is the holiday resort of Yamba. Iluka is known for its fishing, and a deep-sea fishing fleet operates from its harbor. Immediately north of the little town are the Iluka Rainforest Nature Reserve and Bundjalung National Park.
Brunswick Heads, Australia
Brunswick Heads (pop. 1670) is a fishing village at the mouth of the Brunswick River. It is now the base of a commercial fishing fleet.Brunswick Heads features Minyon Falls; a lighthouse on Cape Byron; several viewpoints. Brunswick Heads is an angler's paradise. There are boats for hire and good beaches.
Evans Head, Australia
Evans Head (pop. 2370) is a fishing port and holiday resort on the northern Holiday Coast. Evans Head offers plenty of scope for fishing and water sports.
Bundjalung National Park
17,545ha.Bundjalung National Park features a 38 km long coastline with rain forest, heathland, marshland, lagoons and a rich and varied fauna. Rock formations on Esk River. Stretches of the coast damaged by the removal of mineral sands are being regenerated.The park also has facilities for water sports throughout the year (mild climate), beach and coastal walks. Holiday and recreational facilities at the north and south ends of the park, in Iluka and Evans Head. There are picnic areas throughout the park.
Address: Colonial Arcade, 75 Main Street, Box 856, Alstonville, NSW 2477, Australia
Useful tips: Access for the northern section, south from Evans Head; center, from Pacific Highway south of Woodburn; southern section, via road to Iluka. Restrictions on cars in park. No drinking water.