Lismore is on Bruxner Highway (B60)
Bexhill is home to an Open Air Cathedral, a delightful setting for outdoor marriage ceremonies. Views from the Cathedral overlooks the Corndale Valley with Nightcap National Park in the distance. It consists of a paved walkway that leads to a cross between large logs strategically placed in rows as seating.
Turn north off the Bruxner Highway, 1 kilometre east of the Wilsons River Bridge in Lismore, at the roundabout where it is signposted to Bangalow. Follow the signs to Bangalow for 10 kilometres then turn left at the tiny village of Bexhill onto Corndale Road (signposted to the Open Air Cathedral). Immediately after crossing the bridge turn left onto Grace Road and the Open Air Cathedral is 220 metres on the right.
This ‘Bora Ring’ overlooking the Steve King's Plain and a portion of the Richmond Valley is an excellent example of an Aboriginal Bora Ring, a circular cleared area measuring 22 metres in diameter and bounded by a bank of earth forming a ceremonial site. It is one of several tribal ceremonial grounds in the district and has been fenced off. There is an information board at the site, which lies to the rear of the Tucki Tucki village cemetery.
Turn south off the Bruxner Highway in Lismore. 1.5 kilometres east of the Wilsons River Bridge, at the roundabout onto Wyrallah Road. Travel 13 kilometres and the Bora Ring is just past Tucki Road on the right. There is a sign on the left pointing to the right just after Tucki Road.
In a small park adjacent to City Hall there is a 16-metre cedar log displayed as a reminder of the magnificent timber that once covered the entire valley. It is also there as a permanent memorial to the first cedar loggers of the Richmond Valley. It is located behind City Hall on the corner of Molesworth Street and Ballina Street (Bruxner Highway) across the road from the Information Centre.
Heritage Park is a paradise for kids, with lots of cleverly designed play equipment where kids can burn off some excess energy. There are rides, slides and other activities for kids of all ages, from babies through to teens so it is a great spot to bring the whole family. The park features plenty of open parkland, a skate park and tranquil picnic and barbecue areas with lots of shade trees. A miniature railway also operates most days from 10.00am-2.00pm
Located next to the Visitor Information Centre in Molesworth Street.
The Lismore region has one of the highest populations of koalas in New South Wales. It is not unusual for people to have koalas roaming through their backyards. Nevertheless, the pressures of disease, habitat loss and degradation, road traffic and dog attacks are inflicting a heavy toll. 'Friends of the Koala’ is a non-profit community group run by volunteers dedicated to conserving koalas in the Northern Rivers. The volunteers operate a 24-hour rescue service for sick, injured and orphaned koalas. They also care for them in their homes or at the Koala Care Centre which is situated in an established Koala corridor. Critically ill koalas are transferred to the Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland.
A native plant nursery, attached to the Care Centre, provides koala food trees for free to local landholders. They also sell some of these trees and the proceeds from the sales goes towards the cost of koala care. The Centre gives visitors an opportunity to view these animals at close range while learning how the volunteers care for the sick and injured koalas and how they grow the food trees for them. There are guided tours Monday to Friday at 10.00am and 2.00pm and Saturdays at 10.00am. Check these times with the Visitor Information Centre as they may change.
Turn south off the Bruxner Highway, 2.5 kilometres east of the Wilsons River Bridge, onto Nielson Street. Turn left at the first roundabout onto Dalley Street, right at the next roundabout onto Industrial Drive, then first left onto Rifle Range Road. The Research Centre is 120 metres on the left. There are lots of parking bays along both sides of Rifle Range Road, plus an extra parking area opposite the entrance.
The museum displays include the flora and fauna of the area, an exhibit of the 'Bundjalung people' who were the original owners of the land, as well as the pioneering history of the Richmond with the early dairy industry and the cedar getters. There is also a beautiful display of local native timbers, musical instruments and domestic utensils just to name a few. It is a very good collection and there is something for everyone to see and appreciate and displays are regularly rotated. Open: Monday to Friday 10.00am-4.00pm. There is a small admission fee
Turn north off the Bruxner Highway in Lismore at the first roundabout east of the Wilson River Bridge, onto Molesworth Street (Information Centre is on the corner). Travel 350 metres and the museum is on the left at the roundabout at 165 Molesworth Street.
The small Gallery has just enough space for two visiting exhibitions, but the curators do it justice by showing quality over quantity. It also supports the development of arts practice in the region by putting together innovative proposals for exhibitions that involve the local indigenous community. There is a unique collection of photographs giving prominence to the 1973 Nimbin Aquarius Festival, perhaps the most famous of the region’s many local celebrations. The collection in the gallery features famous Australian artists such as Margaret Olley, Albert Namatjira and Lloyd Rees and well known artists from the Northern Rivers such as Jan Davis, Angus McDonald and Bronwyn Bancroft. Admission is by donation.
Turn north off the Bruxner Highway in Lismore at the first roundabout just east of the Wilson River Bridge onto Molesworth Street (Information Centre is on the corner). Travel 500 metres and the museum is on the left just past the Fire Station at 131 Molesworth Street.
Protesters Falls is in the Nightcap National Park and is one of Australia’s tallest and most spectacular at around 30 metres. The easy 1.5 return walk from Terania Creek Picnic Area winds its way through the Bangalow palm forest, partly along a boardwalk and partly along a dirt track beside The Terania Creek, to the base of the falls. The walk starts where you cross the causeway adjacent to the picnic area.
Turn north off the Bruxner Highway at Lismore, 1 kilometre east of the Wilsons River Bridge, at the roundabout onto Dawson Street (signposted to Brisbane and Bangalow). At the 2nd roundabout turn left onto Woodlark Street, cross over the Wilson River then turn left at the 2nd roundabout onto Terania Street. After 600 metres turn right onto Tweed Street (signposted to Modanville,Dunoon and The Channon). Travel 18 kilometres to the village of The Channon, then turn right onto Standing Street (signposted to Protesters Falls). After 100 metres veer left onto Terania Creek Road then follow this rough unsealed road for 15 kilometres to the end where there is a car parking and picnic area.
Robinsons Lookout on Girards Hill, offers views west over the river to South Lismore and north over the town to Blue Knob, Mount Nardi and Mount Matheson. Trees for koala's to feed on have been planted here, and each year as they grow taller, they may obstruct some of the views but it is a great place to spot koalas.
Turn south off Ballina Road (Bruxner Highway), 1.5 kilometres east of the Wilsons River Bridge, at the roundabout onto Wyrallah Road. After 500 metres turn right at the Esmonde Street roundabout, then take the third left onto Robinson Avenue. This is a very tight turn onto a narrow road so not suitable for caravans. Take the left hand fork in the road and follow it to the lookout.
This dam is a primary supply of potable water for Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay, Evans Head and Alstonville. The impounded reservoir is called Rocky Lake.The dam wall is 28 metres high and 220 metres long. It is a favourite picnic spot for locals and visitors to the area with picnic tables, wood barbecues, toilets and children's playground. Swimming and boating is prohibited in the lake. From the picnic area there are four walks to choose which range from 1.2 kilometres to 6 kilometres. Just follow the symbols and arrows on the post. The Water Dragon Walk takes you up the hill to the lookout, the Platypus Walk goes alongside Rocky Creek and back across the dam wall, the Cedar Walk takes you towards the edges of the Rous Water Rainforest Reserve, and Scrub Turkey Walk passes through lots of tall shady trees. You cannot walk across the dam wall if water is flowing over it.
Turn north off the Bruxner Highway in Lismore, 1 kilometre east of the Wilsons River Bridge, at the roundabout, onto Dawson Street (signposted to Brisbane and Bangalow). Travel straight through the first roundabout then turn left at the second roundabout onto Woodlark Street towards the Shopping Centre. Drive through the Lismore Shopping Centre, cross over the Wilson River Bridge, go straight through the next roundabout then take the first exit at the next roundabout onto Terania Street (signposted to Nimbin). Travel 650 metres then turn right onto Tweed Street (signposted to Modanville, Dunoon and The Channon). Follow this road which becomes Dunoon Road for 20 kilometres then turn left where it is signposted to Rocky Creek Dam. The dam is 3 kilometres from the turnoff.
Rotary Park is a genuine rainforest remnant in the heart of Lismore and only 3 kilometres from the Visitor Information Centre. It is a success story of rainforest restoration and is significant in having no less than 17 rare or uncommon species. There is a colony of fruit bats that can be clearly seen from the entrance to the rainforest. As you stroll along the boardwalk through the diverse range of flora from huge Moreton Bay figs with staghorns and orchids growing happily on their trunks, the climbing Lianas, and the delicate Maidenhair ferns it is hard to believe that you are in the midst of a large city.
Turn north off the Bruxner Highway in Lismore at the first roundabout east of the Wilson River Bridge onto Molesworth Street. At the third roundabout turn right onto Uralba Street. Follow Uralba Street for 1 kilometre driving straight through 4 roundabouts then veer right immediately after the fourth roundabout where it is signposted to Rotary Park. It is only a small sign so keep your eyes peeled.
There is a relatively high concentration of koalas in the Lismore area but to find them in the wild you have to be a detective and look for the signs such as scratches on the bark of the trees, or droppings around the base of the trees. There is no guarantee that you will find any but it is fun trying. Koalas usually sleep in the fork of a tree near the trunk and quite high up but when they are eating they are more likely to be at the end of the branches.
Turn south off the Bruxner Highway in Lismore, 1.5 kilometres east of the Wilsons River Bridge at the roundabout onto Wyrallah Road. Stay on Wyrallah Road for 15 kilometres to the intersection of Mathieson Lane and Munro Wharf Road. Tucki Tucki Nature Reserve is on the right hand side. Koalas are often spotted in the trees beside the road near the reserve and if you turn left onto Mathieson Lane and then turn right onto Hazelmount Lane they have been spotted in the trees along both of these roads. A short graded walking track and pleasant picnic facilities are provided within the reserve. Another place where you might spot koalas are at the Lismore Golf Course in Barham Street (which also runs off Wyrallah Road) or at the old cemetery next to the golf course.