Nature in the Lismore Area
Most national parks in NSW are currently open. However, in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak the National Parks and Wildlife Service has closed all campgrounds, and most visitor centres, cafes and high traffic areas. Please check the NPWS website before undertaking any travel.
Lismore and the Richmond Valley in the Northern Rivers region of the far NSW North Coast gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself entirely in some of Australia’s most pristine wilderness. Discover ancient plant species in UNESCO World Heritage rainforest, spot koalas in the wild, and explore volcanic spires and towering waterfalls.
One of the largest koala populations in NSW lives in the Lismore area – they can often be seen roaming through local backyards! 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, another sanctuary for koalas.
Several national parks in the area 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 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
You can camp inside the forest and campgrounds have picnic tables and other amenities. Peacock Creek camping site 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.
In Lismore, visit the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens and wander among rainforest plant species all found within 200km of Lismore. Just 30 minutes’ drive southwest is Casino, where you can spot platypus in the Richmond River and enjoy sweeping vistas from the Mallanganee Lookout nearby.
On the coast you’ll find national parks at Evans Head, a beach holiday hamlet 40 minutes southeast of Lismore. Paddle a kayak on tranquil Evans River. You can spot whales and dolphins nearby from both Razorback Lookout and Goanna Headland, and keep your eyes peeled for koalas on the Gummigurrah walking track, a 3.3km loop.