Regional Tourism and Travel Sites

From Bellingen to Byron Bay, the Gold Coast and beyond, here are some useful links to the region's tourism and travel sites.

Northern NSW || South East Queensland

With easy access to five World Heritage Listed National Parks, and numerous state forests, reserves and creeks, the Tweed Volcano World Heritage Region is the ideal destination for out door and nature based holidays.

Known to the first nations of the region as Wullumbini Momoli or Wollumbin (depending on the local clan affiliation), Lieutenant James Cook named the central feature Mount Warning.  It is the central plug of what is most likely the world's largest extinct shield volcano, with a diameter of about forty kilometres, and a caldera over 1000 metres deep.

General Information about Australia, including such items as States and Territories, time zones, hazards, credit cards, banking, public holidays, shopping and tipping etcetera, can be found here.

Northern New South Wales

  • Big Volcano Holiday Guide The pre-eminent site for accommodation, attractions and activities in the Ballina, Byron Bay to Gold Coast hinterland region, incorporating the World Heritage Information Network Gondwana Rainforests of Australia.
  • Discover Ballina Informative guide to Ballina, Alstonville, Lennox Head and smaller villages in Ballina Shire.
  • Byron Bay Visitor Guide The local tourist site for most Byron Bay accommodation, activities and businesses.
  • Clarence Tourism "The Clarence Valley is located in what's known as the Northern Rivers area of NSW.  It's a three-hour drive from Brisbane and a solid days' drive north from Sydney. Basically, we're below Byron's Big Lighthouse, Ballina's Big Prawn and above Coffs Harbour's Big Banana - Our big thing is the river!"
  • I love Bello Shire  "Your complete online guide to the Belligen Shire."  Located inland from Coffs Harbour on the mid north coast, Bellingen is perhaps the original "hippie trail" town.  As Nimbin is to Byron Bay (although not as nearly in-your-face), you can get the same laid back tree change lifestyle vibe of the north coast, that locals have known about "Bello" for decades.  Visit now, before it suffers the same "loved to death" fate as its more famous northern neighbours. 
  • "Dorrigo sits in a strategic part of the 'Coffs Coast' only a half hour scenic drive along the Waterfall Way from Bellingen, one hour from Coffs Harbour, and one and a half hours from Armidale in New South Wales, AUSTRALIA."  Just up the range from Bello, Dorrigo is the gateway to the New England High Country.
  • New England's High Country "offers visitors a truly evocative and unique experience with four distinct seasons. The city of Armidale and the towns of Glen Innes, Guyra, Inverell, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha share a rich history and stunning natural environment."  Over the "Great Dividing Range", the tablelands are generally more than 800 metres above sea level, with a number of World Heritage listed national parks, and fossicking and trout fishing being popular attractions.
  • Visit Kyogle.  Gateway to the Rainforests.  "Visitors are attracted to Kyogle and surrounding villages by the spectacular natural beauty of the area that flows with the essence of the Australian rural character."  What's a friendly country town look like?  Check out Kyogle.  It's a great base for a variety of self drive half day and full day driving tours through the region, providing a range of experiences - from World Heritage national parks and rural Australian countryside, through to farmland and historic settlements, aboriginal history and alternative lifestyles.
  • Visit Lismore & Nimbin Official visitor information and tourist web site.  Once upon a time it was called the "Heart of the Rainbow region", and while Lismore is often seen as a conservative, buttoned up university town, it revels in the associated "teen spirit" vibe with alternative live music venues, and a variety of festivals and sporting events throughout the year.  It's a pity that its more famous wild child - Nimbin, attracts all the attention, because Lismore is an excellent base to explore the region without the cost of the beach view, while still being convenient to the coast to experience the sand between your toes.
  • Dicover Richmond Valley "Small Towns - Big Adventures".  Located between Grafton and Ballina, you go through the Richmond Valley and enjoy the pictureresque country roads to the rural towns and villages of Casino, Evans Head, Coraki, Woodburn, Broadwater and Rappville.  Soon to be "bypassed", Woodburn is renowned for the 24 hour burger stop, with truckies, grey nomads and trekkers alike, using the riverside picnic facilities for a break from the road, while Casino has made a 10 day festival out of the annual Casino Beef Week each May.
  • Nimbin Australia "Often called the Alternative Capital of Australia, Nimbin has a large population of people looking for sustainable alternatives to the current economic system. This unique population mushroomed from the Aquarius alternative lifestyle festival held in Nimbin in 1973."  A bit slow to load if you're not on a fast connection, but if you want to get a feel for Nimbin, you'll get it here.
  • Visit NSW : North Coast "Discover uncrowded beaches, tranquil rivers and lakes, World Heritage rainforest and dramatic volcanic hinterland on the North Coast of NSW."  The official destination tourism office site for the region from Newcastle (90 minutes drive north of Sydney), all the way to Tweeds Heads on the Queensland border (9 hours drive non stop from Sydney - not advised!  And 90 minutes drive south of Brisbane).
  • Getting to this Region Whether by train, plane or automobile, this region is easy to get to.

Queensland (QLD) Sites

Take a day trip over the border into South East Queensland (SE QLD).

  • Brisbane City Life"Building connections for an active, sustainable Australia."  Includes a guide to community groups, services and organisations around Queensland.
  • Destination Gold Coast"Since its establishment by the tourism industry in 1975, Destination Gold Coast (DGC) has operated as a membership-based destination marketing organisation representing the sector and generating increased visitor demand, visitor arrivals, and visitor expenditure for the benefit of the city."
  • Visit Scenic Rim" Welcome to the scenic rim, stretching from Tamborine Mountain & Canungra through the Lost World & Mt Barney and across to Boonah & Kalbar.  Think romantic cottages and cabins, farm stays, camping and lodges. explore nature and feast on award-winning food & wine ."   Overlapping the area of the Big Volcano and the Gold Coast hinterland, the Scenic Rim extends further west into south east Queensland and the "Granite Belt" country.
  • Discover Tamborine Mountain  "The Green behind the Gold, promoting sustaninable tourism.  It is hard to put in words the beauty and tranquility of the Tamborine Mountain plateau (also often referred to as Tambourine Mountain, Mount Tamborine, Mt Tamborine, or Tambourine Mtn), located only 30kms from the Gold Coast and 70kms from Brisbane."    Another Big Volcano locality overlap, Discover Tamborine Mountain is a locally run web site with a wide range of tourist info..  It is a little slow to load, but nevertheless a handy "locals" guide to the Tamborine Mountain plateau.
  • Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk  "Follow footsteps from the past and discover the magic of walking on an ancient volcano, through the Gondwana Rainforest of Australia World Heritage Area's rainforests and feel the landscapes' spirit." Feeling adventurous?  Feeling fit?  Try this multi day walk through the Gold Coast hinterland. 
  • Southern Queensland Country  "Just 90 minutes' drive from Brisbane, our unique region is the only Queensland destination to offer truly seasonal experiences.  Southern Queensland Country is somewhere to savour crisp clean country air, award-winning wines, the freshest local produce and time with some of the friendliest locals around."  Known for its orchards, wineries and farm fresh produce, the region is mostly still under two hours drive from Brissie, (except St George - you'll be getting out into "the boonies" when you reach St George).  Plus there's an airport at Toowoomba, with QantasLink, Regional Express and AirNorth domestic services connecting direct to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville and regional QLD towns.

See also Australian Travel & Destination Guides These sites are provided for travellers unfamiliar with Australia. It always helps to find out what a country's like from people who have "been there - done that" before you.

Grass Trees, Tweed Valley, NSW

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