About Lismore, NSW, 2480

Heart of the Northern Rivers

The Channon Market © Northern Rivers Tourism

Channon Market photo © courtesy of Northern Rivers Tourism

Lismore is the Northern Rivers university town, and heart of the Rainbow region, with a wide range of visitor accommodation, conference facilities and natural attractions.

With a population of just over 29,000, it is regarded as the principal city of the region.  All the usual amenities of civilisation can be found here including government services, hospitals and social services.

Weekly farmers markets and craft markets, along with a lively pub scene, and regular concerts, events and theatrical productions, offer a range of entertainment options and things to see and do.

Natural attractions include Rocky Creek Dam, Mount Nardi and the World Heritage listed Nightcap National Park, about 20 minutes drive from the city centre.


Nightcap National Park signage

If that seems a bit too much, then the “Birdwing Butterfly Walk” is a paved walk located in Kadina Street, Goonellabah.  Planted out with a native vine to attract the rare Richmond Birdwing Butterfly, you might also keep your eye out for platypus in the creek, especially at dawn and dusk.

Plentiful accommodation in the town centre includes motels, guesthouses and caravan parks, and a number of Byron Bay tour operators will pick up in Lismore for day tours to the rainforests.

B&Bs, farmstays and retreats are scattered through out the picturesque villages and hamlets including Dunoon, Clunes, Bexhill and Eltham, which are the centres for local macadamia and coffee planatations.

Transport links include daily flights by Regional Express Airlines, and interstate coach services between Sydney and Brisbane, with TrainLink coaches connecting to rail services at Casino.

Check out the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Lismore for more information, accommodation options, local tours & attractions, and how to get there.


About Lennox Head, NSW, 2478

Sun, Sand and Surf

Beach at sunset

Surfer sunset Photo © by Big Volcano

Very handy to Ballina and Byron Bay, Lennox Head is a beach resort town with about 6,100 permanent residents, situated at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach.

Visitors are attracted here by the great weather, incredible scenery and splendid beaches, famous for their surfing and fishing.

This is a place of wide open spaces and vast vistas.

Just start start walking north along Seven Mile Beach towards Broken Head, if you want to feel a bit lonely.

At the northern end of the town, Lake Ainsworth is renowned as a freshwater recreational area ideal for families, just 50 metres across from the beach.

Accommodation includes motels, holiday flats, a caravan park, backpacker hostel, holiday apartments and resort style complexes. Local real estate agents provide holiday rental services.

Al fresco cafes and restaurants almost outnumber the accommodation choices, so if you’re into a total “do-nothing and completely relax holiday”, this is the place do it!

For the more active holiday maker, activities on offer include hang gliding at nearby Pat Morton Lookout, snorkelling and scuba diving off Seven Mile Beach, and of course – surfing, with left and right breaks available at local beaches.

For those who prefer flower power, coastal heath and sand dune communities are dominated by banksias and wild flowers, which bloom from late winter through to summer.

Check out the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Lennox Head for more information, accommodation options, local tours & attractions, and how to get there.

About Kyogle, NSW 2474

Kyogle, known as the “Gateway to the Rainforests”, is situated at the head waters of the Richmond River, adjacent to the World Heritage listed Border Ranges National Park


Photo © courtesy of Wendy Sibley

It’s a great base for a variety of self drive half day and full day driving tours through the region, providing a range of experiences – from World Heritage national parks and rural Australian countryside, through to farmland and historic settlements, aboriginal history and alternative lifestyles.

The most famous drive is the Lions Road Scenic Link (“Lions Loop”) Rd, which parallels the Sydney – Brisbane rail line from just north of Kyogle in NSW, through to Rathdowney in QLD.

The picnic lookout at the top of the range is also a popular spot for train and rail buffs, who watch for the freight and passenger services travelling through the rail loop tunnel.

Bird trails are also very popular, with a mix of eucalypt, grassland, rainforest and swamp habitats offering a variety of places get that elusive “lifer”, or to spy a shy local like a Paradise Rifle bird, Regent Bowerbird, or Red-backed Button -quail.

Brochures for “Bird Trails of Kyogle and District”, the Lions Road Scenic Link, and other self driving tours, can be picked up at the Kyogle Visitor Information Centre.

For more information on Kyogle and surrounding towns and villages, go to the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Kyogle.


About Kingscliff, NSW, 2487

Just south of Tweed Heads, Kingscliff, with a population of just over 9000, is a beach community offering a wide variety of holiday accommodation and water based activities for visitors and locals alike.


Aerial view of Kingscliff looking north, 2010.

Together with the villages of Chinderah and Fingal Head, it is a popular family destination which provides beach and estuary access for swimming, surfing (of course!), fishing and water sports.

Cudgen Creek is a major attraction.  Riverside reserves offer excellent BBQ and picnic facilities, and sandy shorelines suitable for paddling.

During the warmer months, swimming and snorkeling in estuary is a fun family activity.  Fishing, canoeing and kayaking along the upper reaches of the creek are also popular activities.


Kingscliff Beach with Cook Island in the distance, 2008

The area is is short drive to Tweed Heads and its sporting clubs, just 10 minutes drive from the southern Gold Coast, and about 45 minutes drive to Wollumbin (Mt Warning) National Park.

Great day trips await south to Byron Bay and hinterland villages, or chasing waterfalls and scenic views further afield, in the Border Ranges and Nightcap National Parks.

Read more about Kingscliff, Chindrah, Fingal Head and Cook Island in the Big Volcano Visitor Guide.

Check out the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Kingscliff for more information, accommodation options, local tours & attractions, and how to get there.

About Casino, NSW, 2470

herd of cattle in daytime

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Strategically located at the junction of the Bruxner Highway and Summerland Way and sitting astride the upper reaches of the Richmond River, Casino is the rail and freight hub for the far north coast of New South Wales, and best known as a beef production and agricultural centre, with two major agricultural shows mid year.

It’s also a primary stopover on the Summerland Way, the alternative inland route between Brisbane and Coffs Harbour.

This is the country beyond the coast, and some say, “the Real Australia”.

Accommodation is limited mainly to hotels, motels and caravan parks, with a growing base of farmstays offering a wilderness retreat experience, in the rural settlements and larger land holdings.

The Jabiru Geneebinga Wetlands, adjacent to the Golf Club, is a sanctuary for native birds and wildlife, with picnic facilities and public toilets.

It’s also home to the local mini railway club which runs on every Sunday between 10 am and 4 pm, public holiday weekends and throughout Beef Week.

Casino Tourist Information Centre can provide a range of self guided tourist drive information sheets for the area, ranging from 2 hours to a full day, winding through the varied farming and rual lands, and to the Richmond Range National Park and Cambridge Plateau, to the west.

Check out the Big Volcano Visitor Guide – Casino for more information, accommodation options, local tours & attractions, and how to get there.

Blake Neka Getting Air

Courtesy @kingscliffboardridersclub via Instagram – KBC surfer Blake Neka

Kingscliff local Blake Neka getting some air.  Photo courtesy @kingscliffboardridersclub via Instagram – KBC surfer Blake Neka.

@Regran_ed via Instagram from @kingscliffboardridersclub – Good to see KBC surfer @blakeneka firing 🚀 boardriders2018 kbcforlife


Original photo by Dean James not James Dean at http://layerofsalt.wixsite.com/layerofsalt/about-me

Kingscliff Boardriders Club http://www.kingscliffboardriders.com