Called the Gateway to the Rainforests, Kyogle is on the banks of the beautiful Richmond River in the Northern Rivers region on the far NSW North Coast. The charming hinterland town is a great base for exploring UNESCO World Heritage rainforest, railway history and scenic drives to villages nearby.
One of those villages is Tabulam, the birthplace of General Sir Henry ‘Harry’ Chauvel, who commanded the 1st Light Horse Brigade in the First World War. On the pretty half-day Tabulam scenic drive you’ll cross the Clarence River on Australia’s longest single-span timber truss bridge.
Enjoy leisurely drives to magnificent national parks in the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area – Richmond Range, Toonumbar, Border Ranges, Wollumbin and Nightcap. Wander through ancient rainforest on walking trails and discover colourful birds and other native wildlife.
In the Toonumbar National Park, northwest of Kyogle, are peaks from the eroded remains of a shield volcano that was active 23 million years ago. Take the Murray Scrub walking track to a towering stand of old growth red cedar. You’ll hear the tweeting of rare birds on this captivating 5.5km loop.
You can pitch your tent at the tranquil Iron Pot Creek campground, near the start of the Murray Scrub trail that winds past Bangalow palms and strangler figs to the red cedar. There are picnic tables and other amenities, and the pristine creek with crystal-clear waterholes is ideal swimming.
The creek flows into Toonumbar Dam, a popular spot for fishing and boating next to the Richmond Range National Park. You can walk across the dam wall - 229 metres long and 44 metres high. The lake is regularly stocked with bass and there is a boat ramp at Bells Bay, 3km north of the dam wall.
North of Kyogle is the Border Loop walk in the Border Ranges National Park. The 1.5km circuit from the lookout meanders through rainforest where koalas doze. About 400 metres below the lookout is the historic Border or Spiral Loop, the first standard gauge railway that linked Sydney and Brisbane.
Woodenbong is a village west of the 1930-opened Border Loop. Browse handmade gifts at Country Brushstrokes and tee off at the Woodenbong and District Golf Club. Kyogle is roughly halfway between Woodenbong and Lismore. You’ll find places to stay in the shire to suit various budgets.