On the banks of the beautiful Wilsons River, Lismore is the cultural capital of the Northern Rivers region on the far NSW North Coast. You’ll discover a thriving arts and music scene in the hinterland city. There are wildlife encounters, too - meet koalas on a fascinating tour of the Koala Care Centre.
With a fabulous events calendar, the rich cultural life is reflected in the art galleries, theatres, performing arts spaces, street art and concerts in and around Lismore. Two famous Lismore names are artist Margaret Olley, born here in 1923, and the rock band Grinspoon, which formed in 1995.
Along the riverbank on the Wilsons River Experience Walk are outdoor sculptures. A great way to experience the galleries - and the vintage and recycling markets on weekends - is on the Arts, Vintage and Retro Trail, a delightful walk that includes street art and the Lismore Regional Gallery.
The gallery has an excellent permanent collection, with works by Olley, Jon Molvig, Peter Powditch, Lloyd Rees, Albert Namatjira and Thea Proctor to name just a few of the notable artists. For cutting-edge street art, wander in the laneways of the Back Alley Gallery and explore over 60 works on walls.
Join the fun of the, held on or around every winter solstice, the longest night of the year. This brilliant event celebrates art, nature and community with a parade featuring illuminated puppets, fire art and pyrotechnics. There is tasty regional cuisine as well.
For fresh local produce, browse the weekly Lismore Organic Market and check out the enticing range of cafes and restaurants. The volcanic soils in the Lismore region produce a range of delicious produce, including macadamia, avocado, stone fruit, blueberries, coffee, beef, pork and dairy.
Lismore was once a bustling river port. In the Lismore Museum there are fascinating exhibitions on the agricultural history, the timber cutters and local Aboriginal culture. The museum is in the heritage-listed old municipal building where local rainforest timber panels adorn the walls.
UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforest is just north of Lismore. A short drive south, you can spot koalas in the wild in the Tucki Tucki Nature Reserve. Or tour the Koala Care Centre in Lismore. The city is a great base for exploring the natural wonders, with accommodation to suit various budgets.