Nature in the Lismore Area
From exploring ancient rainforest to memorable wildlife encounters, the diverse Lismore area in the Northern Rivers region on the far NSW North Coast is enthralling. Nature lovers can walk in UNESCO World Heritage rainforest, enjoy whale watching from rugged headlands, and spot koalas in the wild.
Discover volcanic spires and dramatic waterfalls. Relax on gorgeous beaches at Evans Head as dolphins frolic in the waves. Paddle a kayak on the Evans River, a pristine estuary. You can even camp by a babbling creek near a walking trail in the World Heritage-listed Toonumbar National Park.
One of the largest koala populations in NSW lives in the Lismore area. You can tour the Koala Care Centre which rehabilitates injured or sick koalas before returning them to the wild. A short drive south is the Tucki Tucki Nature Reserve, a sanctuary for the protection of the iconic furry animals.
Several magnificent national parks are part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area - Richmond Range and Toonumbar in the west, Border Ranges in the north and Wollumbin and Nightcap in the northeast. There are beautiful rainforest walking trails in the parks, including:
- Culmaran Valley track in the Richmond Range
- Murray Scrub walking track in the Toonumbar
- Pinnacle walk and Rosewood loop in the Border Ranges
- Protesters Falls track and Minyon Falls loop in the Nightcap
Camping is popular, and campgrounds have picnic tables and other amenities. Peacock Creek is in the Richmond Range and Iron Pot Creek is in the Toonumbar, both west of Kyogle, while the Forest Tops and Sheepstation Creek camping sites are in the Border Ranges, north of Kyogle and Nimbin.
No camping is allowed in the Nightcap, north of Lismore, though bordering the wilderness is Whian Whian State Conservation Area’s Rummery Park campground. From the campground walk to the captivating Minyon Falls, a waterfall that drops over 100 metres over cliffs made of volcanic rock.
In Lismore, visit the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens and wander among rainforest plant species found within 200km of Lismore. Just 30 minutes’ drive southwest is Casino, where you can spot platypus in the Richmond River and enjoy marvellous vistas from the Mallanganee Lookout nearby.
On the coast you’ll find national parks at Evans Head, a beach holiday destination about 40 minutes southeast of Lismore. You can spot whales and dolphins from both Razorback Lookout and Goanna Headland, and keep your eyes peeled for koalas on the , a 3.3km loop.