There are multiple scenic drives that will take you through the ancient Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area of northern NSW. Begin your tour of these spectacular rainforests by exploring three suggested areasat your own pace.
These drives cover World Heritage rainforest in several national parks, including Nightcap National Park, Border Ranges National Park, Tooloom National Park, Wollumbin National Park and Mebbin National Park.
From the acclaimed natural beauty of the Byron Bay hinterland to World Heritage rainforest and spectacular national parks of the Lismore region, you’ll travel through verdant valleys, surrounded by farms growing delicious produce, where you can enjoy spectacular lookouts, exhilarating walks and delightful waterfalls.
Driving from Byron Bay to Coolamon Scenic Drive, this route offers incredible hinterland views of the coast before winding through the village of Federal, home to renowned Doma Cafe which could provide sustenance for hiking at Minyon Falls, on Minyon Falls Road within Nightcap National Park.
The magnificent Minyon Falls area has a picnic spot with views and walks, where you can marvel at the precipitous falls and ancient World-heritage listed rainforest. Heading back along Minyon Falls Road, turn right on Repentance Creek Road and wind your way past picturesque towns and grazing land to continue to Lismore.
Along with a number of art galleries, theatres and markets, Lismore is also great base for exploring not only Nightcap National Park but also the surrounding scenic hinterland dotted with arty villages and picturesque country drives.
Consider making a stop at Protesters Falls, named after the logging protests of the 1970s that saved this precious patch of rainforest and and walking to a cascading waterfall to enjoy splendid views from Mount Nardi picnic area.
The nearby village of The Channon comes alive on the second Sunday of each month with the not-to-be-missed craft market that’s been operating for over 40 years.
Another great side-trip from Lismore is via Bentley Road, or the scenic route along Nimbin Road, north to Kyogle, on the meandering Richmond River at the base of Fairy Mountain. Visit the Kyogle Visitor Information Centre to learn more about Border Ranges and pick up a brochure.
Border Ranges National Park is 31km north of Kyogle. You will find many opportunities to explore untouched wilderness in this part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
Casino to Tooloom National Park
Explore charming villages west of Casino, in this drive that takes in historic towns and significant indigenous sites. Travelling west on the Bruxner Highway towards Tabulam, stop on the way at Mallanganee lookout for tremendous views over the Richmond Range. Continuing onwards, turn right at the historic bridge onto Tabulam Road. This route takes you through Jacksons Flat to pretty Bonalbo, an historic cedar getting town.
Options in this area include stunning Yabbra State Forest and Tooloom Falls in Tooloom National Park, part of the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia World Heritage Area. This idyllic spot has great opportunities for walking, picnicking and birdwatching. You will also be treated to scenic views of the Great Dividing Range.
There’s the option to continue north via Urbanville, situated in the headwaters of the mighty Clarence River with fishing, fossicking and canoeing activities, and Woodenbong, nestled in volcanic country with spectacular mountain scenery and on to Kyogle before looping back to Casino to make for a full day’s drive.
Murwillumbah to Mebbin National Park
On the banks of the beautiful Tweed River and near World Heritage rainforest, Murwillumbah is a great base for exploring nearby national park wilderness, including Wollumbin and Heritage-listed Border Ranges National Park.
Visit the World Heritage Rainforest Centre at the Murwillumbah Visitor Information Centre and learn the story of Wollumbin (Mount Warning) and collect maps and information before heading out to explore this very scenic region.
Follow the Tourist Drive 32 to Wollumbin (Mt Warning), around the crater of this extinct volcano now carpeted with rich farmlands and enchanting rainforest. In the World Heritage-listed Wollumbin National Park you will love the exhilarating walking trails under rainforest canopy.
11km further along, on the banks of the beautiful Tweed River, Uki is a charming village on the Rainforest Way touring route with spectacular views. On the third Sunday of the month is the Uki Buttery Bazaar, a village market with local arts and crafts and delicious food.
Continue from Uki on Kyogle Road for about 7km, turning right onto Byrrill Creek. This winding country route contains 10km of unsealed road. Travel 35km and take the entrance to Mebbin National Park, on Mebbin Forest Road on the left. Enjoy the Byrill Creek Walking Track through sub-tropical rainforest and ancient fig trees.
Driving tired is the second biggest killer on NSW roads after speeding, so it's important to stop, revive, survive. See tips and advice for planning and taking your trip, so that you arrive safely at your holiday destination.
Visit the Roads and Maritime Services transport page to access all the information you need quickly and easily. Plan your rest breaks with an interactive map and receive live updates, traveller information and personalised alerts for NSW roads.